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Curly Nikki

Paying to be Different

By January 27th, 202145 Comments

Paying to be Different
SheenaLaShay.com writes:

While waiting to join our theater’s yoga class back in 2001, I chatted with a friend about our weekend plans.

“Do you want to get together on Saturday?” I asked her.

“Depends on what time. I have a tanning appointment at noon,” she said.

I rolled my eyes. “Why are you trying to be black? Paying to make your skin darker like mine!? Seriously?” I said. (This wasn’t said in a demeaning way. She was my best friend at the time and we often spoke like this.)

She rolled her eyes. “Why are you trying to be ‘white’?” she said, “Paying to make your hair straighter like mine!? Seriously?”

We both laughed. But that was the FIRST time I ever thought about that. It would be three years later when I finally did stop paying to make my hair straighter. But that was the little pebble thrown in the water that would have a ripple effect years later. I had NEVER thought about the fact that I was paying to be different than I naturally was.

When did that happen for you? Was it something that was years in the making or did you have a moment like that where all of a sudden it was thrown in your face?

45 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I was in elementary school in PE walking in between my friend who had recently gotten a relaxer and the coach who was a white woman with a curly perm. Without even realizing what I said and not understanding until years later what I was really saying when I blurted out "Isn't it funny how white people curl their hair and tan when black people get relaxers? No one wants what they already have, I guess."

    From the mouths of babes indeed.

  • Anonymous says:

    I hate how most women on these sites fake this 'I love natural me, I'm so proud to be black and who I am, I love black natural beauty' but at the same time, get disappointed when they have tighter coils than they wanted or shamelessly admire mixed girls or any other type of looser haired women. Not to mention the way these same girls go out of their way to avoid being compared to another type of black women. It's ridiculous. You don't love natural beauty, you love you. Loving yourself is not a problem, but I mean lots of these women on these sites are so in love with their 'Look at me, I'm not your average black girl! I'm (insert whatever supposed to be different thing they can think of)! See how different I am?!" It's stupid. Stop pretending you love black culture, you don't. You don't love our music (and by that I don't JUST mean f-ing hip hop for heaven's sake), you don't love our heritage, you don't love our people, you don't love our men, you don't love the women who came before you, you only love the approval from white people that you seek when you shout out how different you are from another black woman because of the music you listen to, how much you just loved Eat Pray Love, or how your hair is styled.

    I know that might not go to well with the article, but these thoughts have been on my mind for like, ages now ever since I first started reading these blogs last year. *down from soapbox*

  • Anonymous says:

    For me it was more about self-hatred that had been taught to me from an early age. It wasn't so much that I felt I was trying to be white but I had been taught that I as a person would be more accepted if my hair weren't kinky.

    For at least 15 years I've hated being a slave to straightened hair (whether permed, flat ironed, or pressed). I really hated that the only way I felt the least bit attractive was if my hair was straightened.

    In 2000 I was pregnant and was supposed to be having a girl (but somehow I got a boy). I didn't want to pass that self-hatred on to her, so I started mentally working on my perceptions of 'good' versus 'bad' hair. Although it would still be another decade before I got the nerve to actually venture back to my natural texture, mentally I had already started the journey.

  • Anonymous says:

    That's how I see it, paying to be white. We get all rattled when we see white people trying to act black and wear their hair like ours. But we pay to have our hair straightened like theirs, and this country is a Europeanized redominantly white culture so go figure.

  • Anonymous says:

    Tanning is something that everyone does for the same reason (because they feel they look a little pasty, lol). But there is no way anyone can lump in all girls who have relaxed into one category and say they are all doing it for the same reasons. Some females CHOOSE to relax their hair for a variety of reasons (manageability, to fit in, etc.)But some girls like me didn't have a choice. I've had a relaxer since the age of 5 under my mom's decision because of manageability (my hair used to break combs y'all), and the only reason I'm transitioning now after 20 years is because relaxed hair was the only thing I was familiar and comfortable with. It was the only thing in my realm of thinking.

    So to me, tanning and relaxing can't even be compared. Tanning is a choice. Relaxing isn't always a choice. And even for me when I realized relaxing could be just an option instead of a "necessity", I still had to condition myself and be open enough to not want to do it any longer. I feel lucky to be at this point and have been transitioning for 7 months strong.

    http://loveh8relate.com

  • CSI says:

    I find it ironic that many would say that they're not trying to be White by straightening their hair but when the issue comes up as to why we do it they always throw the blame on White people and the "Society".

    I probably would've felt the same but my "a-ha" moment came over 20 years ago in High School. I was on the Cheerleading team and was one of 2 Black girls on the Team. I remember that I was very good friends with many of the other girls and we spoke openly to each other. I obviously had many derogatory comments to say about the way I "thought" White people viewed us as Black people and one of the Cheerleaders set me straight. It was a simple comment. She said, "not all White people think that way….I don't"

    Ever since that moment I realized that swooping, generalizations are wrong and I stopped cold turkey. I then realized that each person is an individual.

    That being said….that means that not all White people tan to be Black and not all Blacks relax their hair to be White or that we straighten our hair to be White…..the list goes on and on. Everyone is an individual with individual circumstances. One this is true though, we all would do better trying to be ourselves and not someone else or trying to fit us all into ONE box. The whole idea of some feeling inferior to the hair typing system is a case in point. Why should we all fit into one box? it's impossible. Enjoy you, be you and let everyone else be themselves too….

  • Anonymous says:

    Real talk: There's a lot of ignorance in these comments.

    Okay, so let's say most black women aren't consciously trying to look white when they're straightening their hair. However, the ENTIRE BLACK HAIR CULTURE is and has long been based on the idea that tightly coiled/kinked hair is inferior, unprofessional, difficult to care for, unattractive…compared to what, pray tell? Hello??? Why in 2010 do black women STILL get grief FROM THEIR OWN PEOPLE for wearing their hair in its natural state, ESPECIALLY if it's tightly coiled/kinked type 4 hair? Hello?????

    When all textures of hair are seen as equal, THEN we can say people straighten or curl purely out of choice. But we're not there yet, folks. Get out of LaLa Land, please.

  • la tabou says:

    ok well there are many people of color who have straight hair (naturally) and there are also many people of color who use the tanning bed, lay out on the beach, and like spray tanning……come on! sometimes we make things more than they need to be. when we have options (as humans, no matter the "color") we just take advantage of them

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow Mystic Jungle and Perkisha, your stories really resonate with me.

    Anyway my aha moment came when back to me from when I was a teen and one of my uncles, (a chemical engineer) would say that I was over processing my hair. A couple years ago my hair looked like straw and my scalp would be dry and flaky. Since I stopped perming last may, well you can fill in the blanks. Let's just say that I went from straw to cotton candy!

    On another note, does anyone know of Nikki's status. I am anxiously awaiting word.

  • Anonymous says:

    I had been searching for another option for years. I thought my only options were relaxer, heat straightening, or braids. Then I picked up Good Hair by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner at the home of my mother's friend and had an AHA moment: I had more options than those three.

  • Anonymous says:

    I stopped going to a hair stylist almost 3 years ago, and started doing my own hair. However, up until now, I was so fed up with it because I couldn't do a thing with it. It was just plain, and it made me feel plain, I felt like I was trapped in a box. Not embracing who I really am was one of the factors (among many) that affected my past relationship.

    For starters, cutting my hair short made me feel liberated, but not having to put relaxers in my hair, and most of all, being able to wash my hair everyday, was a wonderful feeling. I feel like for once, I am in full control of my life.

    If I knew then what I knew now, I would have went natural a long time ago. I believe some events that I have gone through in my life would have been different (particularly my love life), as I would have had more confidence in myself and not feel I had to be in the box that society puts us in.

  • Jeannette says:

    The comment that SheenaLashay's friend made is priceless! Like the saying goes, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Seems like the friend made a comment that struck a chord with her. Sometimes people have to do that in order for us to see the light. My moment came when I looked in the mirror and saw that the long, thick, hair I had as a child was broken off, thin, dry and brittle. I knew that relaxers weren't for me. That is when my natural obsession was birthed. I was raised around White people and saw how long their hair was and what seemed to be easier to do than mine. Although mine is thick, it is also kinky and I hated sleeping over my White Girlfriend's house without it being pressed. I wanted to wake up and go just like my White Girlfriend. What made matters worst is that Black people would tell me how difficult my hair was because it was too thick. As I got older, there was something that I noticed about my White Girl friend's hair compared to mine and that I was able to get a variety of hairstyles and my hair stayed in it's place and looked fantastic! I had to mentally grow and appreciate that hair I have and embrace my, thick, kinky, coily hair.

  • Jeannette says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Sheena LaShay says:

    For a bit more elaboration on what I 'meant' you can read here. http://sheenalashay.com/2010/08/paying-to-be-different-2/ At anon 5:26pm…you get my point. The whole black/white thing was a silly joke between a friend and I. It was more about having an "aha" moment. It was my first time ever.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think the comments, about wanting to be black or white, between the author and her friend were meant at the time to be funny. That it created an "ah-ha" moment for the author doesn't mean it has to be taken literally.
    My "ah-ha" moment was simply another black woman at a party stating she was going to stop relaxing her hair because she felt it was causing gradual damage after many years. Up until that time I hadn't really considered not relaxing because I didn't have damage. Her comment stuck in my head for 3 years until I seriously started considering going natural. I agree with others who wrote that black women often don't consider natural hair as an option.

  • JazzyNikole says:

    @AnaNicholle Well said. I also never knew my hair was curly and I had options with my natural hair. I thought of a relaxer as a way of life. Discovering YouTube was the kick-in-the-pants I needed.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok, it seems that people are getting really sensitive when folks say they were trying to white when they were getting their hair relaxed.

    If I were to say, you were affected by societal standards of beauty, does that fly better?

    Because why would anyone think that their hair was or was not easier to manage if she wasn't basing it on what someone else's hair does? I.E: WHITE PEOPLE'S HAIR?

    I'm just saying…..

  • Perkisha says:

    I was beginning to transition when this happened, but it was a moment it was thrown in my face. I am a social worker, and I worked in child welfare. I was doing a home visit with a mother (who was white) and her 4 year old daughter (who was biracial, black and white). The daughter was in foster care with the mother's sister (who was also white of course).

    While in her mother's care, her mom would seek out counsel from black women on how to deep condition, grease or comb her daughter's hair (the daughter's father was not involved). Her hair never looked the greatest, but the mom always made a point to tell her daughter she was beautiful and called her curls "boing-boings" which mader her daughter laugh.

    I went to pick up the daughter from her aunt and saw that her hair looked dry and crispy, like straw. The aunt felt the daughter's hair was unmanageable and gave her a perm (which by law she was not allowed to do, but I digress…). When I brought the daughter to see her mom, the mother burst into tears at the sight of her damaged hair. When her daughter asked why she was crying, the mother replied, "Because Mommy loved your boing-boings. I love your brown skin and your smile..everything about who you are. I am sad that your auntie changed that, because your hair was beautiful just the way it is." Then the mother pointed over at me and said, "When she was little she had boing-boings too. And now that she's a grown up she decided she didn't want them anymore and got a perm. You can make that choice too when you're a grown up. But for now, I want you to stay just the way you are." I was almost moved to tears by this white woman's ability to see the beauty of textured hair in her daughter, that I hadn't realized until my twenties. Sorry so long, but this is one of the reasons I was able to be so strong in my decision to stay natural…

  • Unknown says:

    I remember I had that moment in high school during the time of black history month. Our class president was a white girl and for the school announcements and the history announcements they were all said by her and the her other staff. so when the day came for her to talk about the historical self made millionaire Madame C.J. walker she said and I quote "Madame C.J. Walker created the pressing comb because back then black women didnt like themselves and thought that straight hair was better than their own hair." There was only five black people in my government class counting me as the fifth, and the rest of my classmates were white. all of the white kids smirked and laughed at her remark about the pressing comb. the worse part about it was at the time I had my hair straight, and it was nothing I could say to those douchebags because My hair was straight. it would be ironic for me to curse my classmates and claim that that theory was inadequate because My hair was not in its natural state it was burnt straight. There also nothing the black girls and black boys in my class could say to defend me and themselves because the proof was on our heads. I do not want to ever go back to the way I felt that day EVER again.

    -http://coilymystic.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous says:

    I think i was paying to be fake: i wanted to look like that gorgeous black woman in the Neo videos…long hair with lots of volume and have the perfect body…
    I thought that's what men were attracted to. Yes, i was a mess.
    Last year, i started thinking about a lot of stuff including the fact that although i was doing all of that i was still single…lol…
    So i decided to get rid of all that fakeness and be myself…
    I've been wayyyy happier…

  • Anonymous says:

    I do not believe that everyone is trying to be something that they are not by relaxing there hair or by getting tans. I can honestly put out there that the majority of people are not there 100% natural self. Think about it. I mean if I was 100% natural that would include me

    1)not shaving
    2)not plucking my eyebrows
    3)(I think you see where I'm going lol)

    We all do many things that alter the way that God made us. I do not dismiss the fact that some of the things that are done by some is to imitate what society thinks this the "superior" way to look, but I don't think everyone does thinks for that particular reasons.

  • Anonymous says:

    I never thought getting my hair relaxed was any different than, say, buying makeup to enhance my appearance. I grew up during a time when straightening our hair was what we did because it was “easier” and it made us look “prettier”, or so we thought. In the 70s, when afros were “in”, I had one and it was cool. But then, after that era, I went back to my perm, because it was easy – I didn’t know how to take care of my natural hair; it was too hard.

    In the mid-90s, I did a BC and wore a TWA for 1½ years, but not because I realized I was “paying to be different”. I just got tired of being quadruple-booked by the “neighborhood hairdressers” I went to and allowing them to make me wait through a 5-hour hair appointment every 6 weeks. Eventually, I got tired of the TWA and began to grow out my hair, but as it grew I couldn’t figure out what to do with it, so I went back to what I knew.

    If, I hadn’t discovered, just a couple weeks ago, all the great info on the web about how to take care of our hair and how beautiful it can be, I would probably still be going to the salon for a “fix”, but thank God my eyes have been opened.

  • Kitkat says:

    hahahaha amaven you are completely right!

  • Amaven says:

    I'm getting tired of hearing this "subconscious desire to be white" or anything about what is going on in the "subconscious" of anybody. First off unless you studied psychology, psychotherapy or if you are some sort of psychic AND you know this person personally, you don't know jack about what's in someones "subconscious" as most of the time people on the internet are using it in the wrong way anyway. I often wonder if people proclaiming to know what's in someone elses "subconscious" are doing nothing but but projecting your own inner self disillusionment on other people, just because YOU wanted to be white when you were straight doesn't mean everyone else did.

    When I got relaxed as a young person I did simply because it made my hair easier to manage as at that age I had NO IDEA how to care for natural hair. The info just wasn't out there like it is today and being a in a poor family without internet didn't make the search easier. PLAIN AND SIMPLE –that has nothing to do with wanting to be any other race. Even at that age I realized I'm the same black person just with straight hair, lol.

    In my teens I just stopped getting relaxers because my mom stopped putting them in my head, probably because she couldn't afford it anymore, and I never picked up the habit because my hair was long enough to just throw in a puffy ponytail, so that what I did for years. I must admit I was very hard on my hair because I still didn't know how to correctly detangle it. I am grateful for sites like this one where I have found I have more options of how to wear my natural hair and info on products that keep it healthy.

    So here I am today, natural, curly, and NOT recovering from an identity complex.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post! I found the assumptions made by both the author and her friend that the other are engaging in other beauty practice to be like another race to be a little reaching. I'm a black woman who knows many naturally curly haired white women who never wear their hair straight simply because they don't think it's attractive at all. They have no problem paying to get blowouts on a regular. On the flip side, I have met a few lighter hued black women who like to tan also particularly to get more of a bronzed look. The ladies who tanned didn't like to admit it to other black women for fear of being ostracized. I think it's safe to say like others have mentioned that people don't all make decisions based on one reason only.

  • MsFoxxy says:

    I never really had a moment that I saw myself as trying to be 'white'. Up until a few years ago, I never even thought about there being any other option than using a relaxer. When I received my first relaxer after moving to Atlanta, it really hurt my pockets… deeply, LOL! It was like almost twice as much as I was used to paying for a relaxer + deep condition. That was the stimulus for beginning to stretch my relaxers longer than usual. Then I started researching our hair on the internet and came across so many naturals with relaxer horror stories that it made me think of my own history with relaxers. Every time I had a problem with my hair, it usually stemmed from a relaxer… I'm surprised I have any hair left at all, LoL! Out of about 17 years of relaxing, I rarely remember ANY time that I did not end up with burns after the process. I now understand that though my hair is thick– dense– my actual strands are fine. The thickness combined with the kinkyness of my mostly 4a hair prompted most stylists to use a regular relaxer on my hair when they probably should have been using mild. My hair always processed super quickly… I remember at one point I had to cut my hair down to about 1/2 an inch after a bad relaxer combined with a weave caused chunks of my hair to fall out… the stylist tried to give me a texturizer on my new cut… lol.. my hair still turned out COMPLETELY straight.

    The more I saw naturals with their beautiful curls & kinks, the more I thought about all of the horrible experiences I'd had with the creamy crack.. I wondered why it had never occurred to me before that maybe relaxers just weren't for me. My hair hasn't grown past my shoulders since I was about 9 years old… and I'm all but certain that's because I started getting relaxers when I was 8. Once I really started thinking about it, everything fell into place. I think that maybe it hadn't crossed my mind before because I'd always been told by my mom & grandma that my hair was "bad" or "too thick" to do anything with. But I didn't even know how manageable or unmanageable my hair was or even what my hair really looks like since I'd gotten my first relaxer so young.

    I've been natural for almost 2 years now and I can't see myself ever going back! My hair is more healthy than I ever remember it being in my life!!

  • modest-goddess says:

    AnaNicholle said… When i was relaxed, i wasn't paying to be different…i was paying to be the same.

    I agree with this comment. For me relaxing my hair was about conformity. About blending in with other people who had straight hair (naturally or artificially straight). It was about not attracting attention.

  • Sheena LaShay says:

    AnaNicholle – That is more accurate. Paying to be the Same (as others). Paying to be Different (than my natural self). I like that twist, lady!

  • Anonymous says:

    Being socially acceptable is what causes most women to relax their own and their daughters hair. As black people we were conditioned for 100s of years to believe that our hair was horrible. We didn't coin the term nappy. And yet is has been attached to our hair for generation. We may not have been trying to be white but we certainly weren't trying to accept what made us different. We would prefer to say it's easier, or that I just prefer to wear my hair straight. I have NEVER, EVER met a black woman with naturally straight hair. Where they at? Some things are just conditioned and without delving into psychology, if you, your momma, your grandmomma and great grandmomma were all rocking relaxers- chances are you have been conditioned to believe that is how it should be and whatever qualms they had about hair have been subliminally passed to you. Some of us like Nikki were blessed to have parents that refused that conditioning. I wish my parents had been among them.

    The truth is… we live in a melting pot and we do try to emulate each other. Cultural thinking blends. I doubt that white women were ever as concerned about darkening their skin before darker women came to be thought of as beautiful. And we already know, the straighter the hair in US culture, the more beautiful. Relaxers and brown paper bag tests existed in our culture for a reason. And it wasn't to be different or fashionable.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wasn't paying to "be" different. I was paying to "look" different. Every now and then, I like my hair straight. Just because some women choose to relax their hair or press their hair doesn't mean they're trying to be white, because other cultures have straight hair. And I don't think the author was trying to imply that women that get their natural hair pressed or relaxed are trying to be white; at least that's what I hope she wasn't implying. I choose to still get my hair pressed because I don't want to get in a rut of looking the same all the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    When I first got my relaxer, my momma was paying for me to be different….because it was what I wanted at 12 and all the girls around me (I grew up in a white suburb) were white with long flowing hair. 20-25 years later, I noticed a difference in my hair…not as thick, thinner on the sides and edges…started getting the mild relaxer and going longer between touchups…kept thinking to myself I don't want to continue getting touchups.. my hair is getting thinner!
    Didn't want my hair bone straight….liked the feel of some thickness and wave but was clueless on what to do! My a ha moment came almost 3 years ago twofold–a new stylist asked if I had ever considered going natural (and I looked at her like, are u out of your mind???? NOOO!) and my increasing passion to workout (including swimming)…my concern not only for a healthy body but healthy hair (my hair had been thinning…. I was seeking a new stylist because a previous stylist had colored and relaxed my hair in the wrong order and my long strands were coming out in the shower!!!) became more important especially as I aged and here was a stylist who didn't shun natural hair but questioned if I thought about it.

    It is sad as it was mentioned earlier that black people do not know how to take care of our hair or don't want to hassle with it….laziness….we rather put the creamy crack on it because it is easier to do or put a weave in so it is long and flowing…but what is most important? how you look or how healthy you are from the inside out? I decided I wanted to be as healthy as I could be especially as I age, we know everything goes down hill and I don't want to lose my hair to chemicals or being pulled out from weave just to look a certain way.

    I want to live as God made me to be so I worked with my stylist to transition with mini trims for almost 2 yrs.

    I have been natural almost 3 yrs and love it! It is so free!! I am no longer a slave to sitting in a salon 3+ hrs paying $80+ dollars for chemicals, a blow dry and flat iron that was killing my hair! I can do what I want to my hair when I want to…i am free to swim everyday, get my hair wet, wear it twisted/braided up, or just wash n go!! FREEDOM!!!

    yes it is sad that most of the hair salons don't give you the natural option…just tell you you need a relaxer or you can get a weave….like those are the only options we have!

    however, I am so grateful for my stylist opening my eyes that I don't need chemicals and can still look good and can be free to get my hair wet…no longer is my hair keeping me from doing what I want to do!

    I am so grateful for Curlynikki and all the other sites, blogs, etc. teaching about natural hair and letting us know we have this option and we can still be beautiful!! AMEN

  • AnaNicholle says:

    When i was relaxed, i wasn't paying to be different…i was paying to be the same.

  • Anonymous says:

    My moment came from actually sitting in a salon chair. I was getting my usual biweekly wash and set and I asked myself: Do I really want to sit in this chair every two weeks for 3+ hours putting a chemical in my hair, getting a style that does not last more than a week, and paying for it each time for the rest of my life?

    Just the thought of getting or "depending" on relaxers for the rest of my life frightened me. After my last scalp burn, I vowed to never get a relaxer again and started researching natural hair.

  • JustTrena says:

    "Being white" NEVER crossed my mind as I've always thought black folks were beautiful-er! *not to sound divisive or anything, just being honest!

    My "a-ha" moment came as I watched my daughter get a touch-up by a so-called "professional" (controling the flashback of wanting to kick the "stylist" butt!) and thinking to myself….after all of the issues I've had with my scalp, WHY would I allow my daughter to even start this process?!!
    From that day on, we all started the journey, and we've never been happier with our hair!

  • Sheena LaShay says:

    @Anon 9:34. I feel what you're saying about us not even knowing what the options are. First I didn't even know I had the option of wearing my curly hair. And just as you mention products and techniques…it wasn't until about two years ago after being natural for 4 years that I realized I could try different techniques. That's due to online communities like Curly Nikki or Youtube and what not.

  • Shante (Tempertink) says:

    My moment happened in June 2009… I had already cut my hair off wearing it in a short Rihanna cut. Before this point, I was getting a relaxer every 4 weeks (clearly getting a touch up when the slightest bit of wave apppeared). When I got out the shower and was setting my hair for the night, one of my girlfriends came in the bathroom and watched me set my hair. She said " you have such nice waves, I never knew your hair could do that. You should grow it out". At first I was like Hell Naw…. but then in August I said f**k it, Im going to grow my hair out. Here we are a year later, and I am 100% natural LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    Women who straighten their hair are not consciously trying to be white. Subconsciously is a whole different story.

    To borrow an example from another race, I think those Asians who have eye surgery are not doing it for health reasons–they're doing it because they think that's what looks (more) beautiful. However, where does this aesthetic come from???

  • Anonymous says:

    I never really cared about the paying part I cared more about healthy hair. My hair was breaking off badly constantly for years and a friend made me aware of the great things we can do with natural hair on youTube. I worry more about why don't most of us as a people know about this as an option? About the different products and techniques we can use to make our hair manageable! Why are we force fed one way and one way only which is chemicals and more chemicals?

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't believe she is saying that ALL black women who are straightening their hair ultimately want to be white and that all white women who tan want to be black… She is indicating that "ah ha" moment when it finally clicked in her mind that she was "PAYING" for something that was unnatural which later led her to go natural. I never had a moment quite like that, but soon after seeing Chris Rock's Good Hair movie, I stopped getting relaxers and started transitioning. I left the theater that night knowing I would never relax my hair again…

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't feel that way either. I am brown skin and actually lay out trying to get darker (I look better when my skin isn't 5 different shades of brown lol). For me it was ease of styling. I am clearly a woman of color. And let's not forget there are Black women with naturally straight hair!

  • Sheena LaShay says:

    I don't believe all women who straighten their hair are trying to be white and all women who tan their skin aren't trying to be black. What I realized…because I'd never thought about it before…was the simple fact that I was paying to be different.

  • Anonymous says:

    I decided I wanted to "go natural" in college, but had no clue how to do it. Ultimately, it was the fact that my long time hair dresser was moving on to other endeavors that made me decide to give the natural thing a try. It's been almost three years since I made that decision and I'm not looking back.

  • Anonymous says:

    i also don't mind going straight sometimes
    its fun do all kinds of things with hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    i realized that i was paying for my hair to be straightened when i tried it for the first time,
    i was 12 and after i threw my head around for a couple hours with my new salon hair i realized this wouldn't last forever and I'd have to go back and pay for this again.later on it was relaxers. and then search for the best flat iron. but it all felt the same like i was paying
    but the liberation after going natural!
    wouldn't trade it for anything!

  • Kanisha says:

    I don't believe that all women who straighten their hair are trying to be white. At least, I know I wasn't. So I've never had a moment like this.

    And even though I'm natural now, I still opt for a straight look every once in awhile.

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