I have been in an endless war with my hair for as long as I can remember.
Everything is wrong with it. It’s too full, too thick and too stubborn. Hopping on the natural hair train was always out of it for me. Unfortunately relaxing my hair does not make it any better even when I relax almost monthly. Last month my regular hairdresser went to the village for the usual Igbo pilgrimage, leaving her apprentice in charge of the salon.
I went to relax my hair as usual and even when the lady attending to me was almost using the shampoo in the relaxer box as the activator, I wasn’t deterred. After an hour of botched instructions and curses, I left the salon looking like I only came to wash my hair.
The girl had managed to not use up half the relaxer and for some reason I decided to relax the hair myself (I don’t know what comes over me sometimes).
I mean how hard could it be right? Part the hair into four, use a tail comb to apply, sit and wait.
I could not quite get the relaxer on, line by line. My hair kept running into the lines I had parted and getting tangled. Second problem, I wasn’t even half way through and it was starting to pepper me. Thirdly, I was sweating like a cow and so somehow, relaxer was running down my face and into my eyes.
So my solution? Sit with my head bent over the bath tub and attempt to work out the kinks I had managed to twist my hair into. When I couldn’t take the pain anymore I started to rinse out the relaxer and it felt like someone had soaked my hair in ata rodo. I managed to get out all the relaxer through my pain and towel dried the hair. I tried to use my drier but my scalp had reached its stress limit. By the time my hair dried, most of it was burnt into clumps and stuck all over my head. I had to wear a wig for three weeks straight while my hair recovered.
I haven’t relaxed my hair since then and I’m now considering the big chop.