The Journey Begins
It’s hard being a relaxed girl in a natural hair world. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against natural hair, I just don’t want it for me. And that’s fine. What I don’t get are people who get so defensive about how someone else chooses to style their hair. I like my hair this way and you like your hair that way. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be a political statement. It doesn’t have to stand for something. Sometimes, it can just be. It is just hair after all.
One thing I want to put out there is natural hair isn’t always the answer. Every time I mention a problem or a setback I’m having with my hair, the first response I get from hairdressers and friends is to go natural. NO! I know that relaxed hair can be healthy, I just have to figure it out like everyone else. Natural hair does have its benefits but it’s not the easier option. Just like having relaxed hair isn’t a walk in the park either.
But back to me and why I’ve decided to embark on a relaxed hair journey. I’m someone who is terrible with hair. I can’t do it, I can barely style it and I definitely have no idea how to maintain it. Since I got a relaxer in 8th grade, I’ve been going to hairdressers to get it done. My hair was at its best when I was in Tallahassee during my undergrad career at FSU (Go Noles!). A beautician sent from God himself touched my strands every two weeks and it was pure magic. My hair was silky smooth, blew like feathers in the wind and had so much body it was a crime. Then I moved to LA. *shakes head I absolutely adore LA but these prices on a graduate student budget are not working for me. When I saw that I was giving $70 for a wash every two weeks and over $120 for a relaxer every six weeks, I had to back out.
So here I am, beginning this hair journey. I’ve been on it for a month and I’m already exhausted. You see, my biggest issue is I’m not finding the information I need for my hair. The relaxed hair YouTubers I used to watch have all gone natural. And even the forums don’t help as much because not only do I have relaxed hair, but I have a scalp condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis (SD). I’ve had it all my life and it wasn’t until a month ago that I understood what was causing it to flare up. Not many people have a grasp on SD so all the remedies and regimens that have been suggested to me are ones that irritate my scalp. And trust me, it is the worst feeling when this happens.
I’m currently at a time where my SD is at its worst. I have so much irritation that it’s begun to cause discoloration and hair loss around my edges (one of my biggest fears, unfortunately). I went to a dermatologist and was told that I just have “something”—have no idea what it was called—where my hair falls out and comes back (uh, excuse me sir, not an answer I can really work with). The research I’ve done says bad flare-ups can cause hair loss but they have no idea why it happens (not something I can work with either). So, I’m just a relaxed girl with SD in a lonely world with minimal answers.
Since I’m not seeing many women out talk about the struggle of maintaining relaxed hair and SD, I’ve decided to be one of the guinea pigs. I want to help anyone else who has SD out there. If you’re someone who deals with SD or is relaxed, I’d love to hear suggestions as I go through this journey because Lord knows I need it. I am both terrified and excited about how this will turn out. I just pray I don’t lose all my hair before I reach hair enlightenment. Wish me luck!