July 9, 2013

On the Couch with Erika- "Give Yourself a Chance"


Dear Nikki,

I’d love to start this letter out by saying “you changed my life” – but the truth is I changed my life and you are an important part of making sure that this change sticks.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

On July 1, 2013 I wore my own hair for the first time in five years and six months! Yep, that’s right. For five years and six months the world never saw my real hair. Wigs, weaves and scarves adorned my head all 2,007 days.

Now, only a few days after my decision to start wearing my hair again, I remain on a cloud of self acceptance and dare I say—self-love. A love like never before.

Four years ago I lost 60 pounds. This feels better than that.

Reading your story online made me smile. Much like you, my husband was my motivator for wearing my own hair. Forget natural or permed, he just wanted me to wear MY hair.

I had just given birth to our daughter when the question came. After nearly two years of dating he looked at me and said “Babe, I have a question for you. Do you ever wear your own hair?” I promptly said “nope.

But of course, the question stuck with me. He never pushed me on the issue, only made subtle (and not so subtle :)) suggestions. But all in all I thank God for him because in that moment I decided that my journey back to me had to start soon and this time I wouldn’t dive back into the foxhole of faux hair.

One week after our conversation, I cut all my hair off. I mean all of it. Think about any black man you know with a fade and add about a centimeter to that. That was my hair. I wore scarves until my first beauty shop appointment where I had my stylist do a quick weave and I made the decision to grow my hair out until July 1. No turning back.

Two quick weaves and one set of kinky twist took me through the six months. All of a sudden I was at the end of June and it was time. I undid my twist on a Friday night, deep conditioned all day Saturday and spent Sunday cutting, combing, twisting and praying. On Monday morning—July 1—I woke up to see what I was working it.

I had previously coined this day “D-Day,” but had since changed it to “Me Day.” Me Day was here.

Read On>>>



At 5:30 a.m. I woke up, untwisted my tiny knots, did a little fluff and puff, put on my earrings, and went to my husband’s side of the bed. “Babe? You ready to see my hair?”

He cracked his left eye and rolled over with an anxious smile. “I’m ready.”

I cut on the light to our closet and “voila!” for the very first time he saw his wife. The real me.

My husband really likes my hair. And now when he says he loves it, I know he is saying he loves ME. Because it is part of who I am.

I truly feel beautiful from the inside out.

Then I found you!  I saw you on a recent edition of Melissa Harris Perry and thought to myself, “What a beautiful black woman with beautiful curly hair!” She represents me and the kind of woman I want my daughter to be. I have since gone on curlynikki.com everyday and am more than inspired to keep rockin my real ‘do.

I am sincerely hoping you will accept my appreciation for being as real as the hair that now grows from my head.

I’m not sure how many women out there have gone as many years as I did without wearing their hair. But I want them to know that if weave is not an option—but instead is something they feel they must wear because their hair isn’t good enough—it doesn’t have to be that way! Your hair is you and you are beautiful. Give yourself a chance.

God Bless you for your message.
Sincerely, EE Hayes

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