Yes, My Hair Is Relaxed. So What?

Writing at MadameNoire, Dantel Proctor says she's happy that natural hair is celebrated, but she wouldn't mind a little support for her own, different, choice.

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In an opinion piece for MadameNoire, Dantel Proctor says she's happy that natural hair is celebrated, but she wouldn't mind a little support for her own, different, choice.

I am now one of the ridiculed ones, but I’m having a hard time understanding why. I have been relaxing my hair since I was eleven years old. My hair is soft and fairly curly and my roots do in fact grow up, not down. However, I prefer my hair straight. I like my hair to flow, lay across my shoulders, and I hate to say it, but I am a habitual hair twirler as well. I can’t help but get the “I need a touch-up” itch every couple of months to maintain the ultra-straight look that I’ve loved my entire life. This once was also the practice of all of my friends, but now everyone is natural, and that’s fine, but they’re pointing a finger at me because I have yet to “convert.” Do I have to?

A close friend of mine told me that all women that wear perms are only doing so because they are insecure and care too much about what men and society think of them. Another friend was a little less judgmental and said that those aren’t the reasons for all women, but it sure is for a lot of them. I have also been told that I am living an unhealthy lifestyle and that I am just assimilating to what “White America” wants. My question is, why does it have to be that I’m appeasing white folks if I like my hair straight? I am the type of person who doesn’t adhere to every new trend or fad and style-wise, I am basic and constant, knowing what I like and not straying too far from it. My mother had her reasons for giving me my first perm, but my continuing it for all these years has little to do with what others think and more to do with my own personal style choices and how I like my hair. Keyword, my hair.

Read Dantel Proctor's entire piece at MadameNoire.

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