When I Decided to Stop Getting Hair Relaxers

Young woman holding hair against white background

I decided it was the last time I would get a hair relaxer.  The final straw came 3 months ago when my stylist gave me a style I did not want (again!), and I left the salon with lye burns on my sensitive scalp.  All I could think about as I put ointment on my scalp to ease the pain was my first visit to Miss Simone’s Salon when I was 5 years old.  I remember feeling so excited about getting my hair straightened for the first time.  Now, I wished I had never set foot in that place!

Over the years, I came back to Miss Simone’s Salon monthly to get a touch up and deep condition, only to spend $80 to go home unsatisfied and in pain.  Even with all that disappointment, I kept coming back because it was all I knew about hair care.  Three months ago though, I had enough.  After 20 years of getting relaxers, I lost all belief in the illusion that relaxers would somehow fix my unruly hair.  The only thing they had ever done for me was make my hair dry, thin, and lifeless.  I didn’t care what it took, I was not going back to Miss Simone’s.

I decided to wear micro braids until I could figure out what to do next with my hair.  I really loved the convenience and ease of styling them.  I could just wake up in the morning, spray the braids with some hair sheen, put it in a ponytail and go.  After three months, I had to take them out to give my hair a break from the weight of the extensions.  My hair had already begun to thin from the relaxers and I did not want to put any more strain on them.

About half way through removing the braids, I noticed my hair was shedding a lot more than usual.  I expected shedding since my hair had been weaved inside the extensions for so long, it made sense that some hair would come out.  This was different though.  I looked at my comb and noticed a thick layer of hair caught in the teeth of the comb.  Something wasn’t right.

I had to figure out why all this hair loss was happening.  Did I comb through my hair too rough?  Did the braids take some of my hair out accidentally?  I ran to the bathroom, turned the light on and stood in front of the mirror while parting sections of my hair to find out where all my hair was coming from.

I took out my hand mirror to further investigate the back of my head.  What I saw next brought tears to my eyes and made my stomach turn.  There was a patch of hair missing in the middle of my head!


Stay tuned for the next installment from the Writing 101: Serially Lost Assignment 

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