I spent my childhood running wild, 'fro n all, as a frizzy-mopped and carefree child. As a teen I'd keep my hair in only one style for fear of my 'fro unleashing itself in public - it would be kept up in a tight french twist...everyday...for years. I used to dream of thinner hair.
Here's the thing no one tells you about at home relaxers....they're ADDICTIVE! Ok....so I finally had slightly less curly and almost manageable hair....then a few months later, my roots would grow throw to remind me of what will happen if I don't buy another box of relaxer and slap it all over my head, again and again and this went on for YEARS!
Once I was over my braid phase (still at uni) and was kinda sick of being called a rasta, the braids came off and I did something i'd never done in my life before. I rocked my 'fro like no ones ever rocked a 'fro. It was big, it was awesome and it was extreme side-parted. It looked great!...but still....the relaxing continued.
After uni, I moved to Dubai. Nothing could have prepared me for what 100% humidity would do to my 'awesome 'fro'. I moved here in the middle of August and needless to say, my hair quickly formed itself into a poof of unimaginable frizz. So now what? No amount of products could help me.
Dal, who'd moved here a year before me, had tried something called re-bonding. Which she explained to me was basically like relaxer, but done in a salon the hair would be relaxed, straightened and left to 'set' for 3 days. She told me to try it. So I did. I couldn't believe how straight and tame my hair was! It was actually almost too straight! I'd gone from massive hair, to flat, straight hair which took some getting used to. But at least I was presentable! when your hair is re-bonded well, when the roots grow even a tiny bit look ridiculous as the result is straight hair with poofy frizz at the top. So as you've probably gathered from my history with my hair, re-bonding was my new addiction and it continued for 5 years. Shortly after discovering re-bonding, and with thinner hair from all my treatments, I found the wonders of hair extensions. Glue-ins, clips-ins, weaves, you name it, I've had it. This coupled with the re-bonding and the years of abuse - my hair had finally had it with me.
My hair had become thinner and thinner from all the chemicals, colours, relaxers and braids throughout my life. To the point that it was visibly thinner and very brittle. I was now at 27 years old and the realisation hit me - if i don't stop, I'll have no hair by the time I'm 40.
I stopped everything.
Growing out re-bonded is not fun. But it needed to happen.
I'm now 30 and have ceased chemicals on my hair for the last 3 years. My hair is getting healthier, but it will never be as thick as it was. It doesn't curl as it used to, which when i look back, were the tightest most beautifully defined curls.
I wish someone had grabbed me at 15, slapped me and shook me and said "STOP! You're hair is awesome!" I would have all my thick beautiful hair and I'd be proudly rocking my 'fro. Now I can't really wear it curly as its so damaged and uneven - so it stays blow dried and I will continue you to condition it and nurture it until it resembles the texture of normal hair again.
Your hair is your hair, own it, style it, rock it. Don't destroy it.