I was giving my sister a perm yesterday…

My sister and I in 2007, me with texturized THIN hair, she with a perm.

And it confirmed all over again how happy I am that I quit the creamy crack.

"AJ you gotta make sure you do my right side first because it’s nappier than the left side. The left side takes a perm fine.

"Oooh, AJ hurry up the back is starting to burn!"

"You gotta smooth it through. I’ll just have to deal with the burn. It needs to smooth through or the perm won’t take. Hurry up!"

This chick WRECKED my nerves. I didn’t want to burn her scalp and I didn’t want her hair to fall out from the perm staying on even a moment longer than it should. I spread and I smoothed and I spread and I smoothed. While she burned but endured it for a smooth finish.

I can’t sell my dear older sister on going back Natural. She has a demanding job and crazy hours which don’t leave a lot of time or patience for intricate hair maintenance (even though I assure her it’s easy once you get going!).

I almost got a little emotional yesterday because the struggle of Black women to maintain “acceptable” hair slapped me right in the face while I was doing my sister’s hair. We’ve endured some RIDICULOUS things through the years and still are enduring ridiculous things in the name of beauty. Not even just Black women but the female race in general.

My sister who once had hair as long and thick as Rudy Huxtable now has a short bob hanging just below her ears from years of excessive heat damage and overprocessing and subpar maintenance. I’m trying to regain the thickness of youth that I lost due to tension and drying products.

I don’t miss texturizers at all. I don’t miss the burn. I don’t miss the thinning of my hair. I don’t miss never being able to retain length and not understanding why. I don’t miss trying to make my hair something it ultimately was not. I don’t miss hating my hair.

Don’t get me wrong, my sister looked FUH-LYYY after her hair was styled and she’s happy with it. I support that. She is content with her perms and I’m all about people doing what makes them happy with their hair. I’m not a Natural Hair Nazi. Lol. Just… giving her that perm yesterday turned my thoughts on full force and made me even more happy I made the choice to go Natural and stick with it this time.

If I’m ever blessed with a daughter I’m most definitely going to tell her that she and her hair are BEAUTIFUL from the moment she opens her eyes. Consistently. Affirmation for the Natural beauty God breathed into each of us as creations made in His own image. How amazing is that?

Be encouraged. Get lifted. ;)

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