SUITE7beautyTALK

There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes. Beauty is not one of them.

Natural Hair Chronicles: The Breaking Point & My Last Relaxer

[photo source: Pinterest]

[photo source: Pinterest]

In 2008, I decided to end ties with my beloved Walter – my hairstylist of nine years and whom I followed to four salons. Walter loved boasting about my hair to his other clients when they’d comment on its thickness and health “under his care”. Truthfully, it was attributed more so to genetics and my own efforts than his, but I allowed him to bask in his self-directed spotlight for all it was worth. He was a good stylist with an excellent assistant, endlessly entertaining and didn’t damage my hair.

But once my hair really needed his “expertise” upon suddenly falling out, he seemed gun-shy about what to do. I was pretty surprised, given his 20 years in the business, that he had no remedies, no tips, or suggestions for my now thin and wispy strands. I expected more, got less and decided he was no longer worth the two-hour commute. I was done with Walter.

She returned…. 

I tried a few local salons in my area before reconnecting with the fabulous Kim. Kim was my old stylist with “growing hands,” and she’d opened a salon not far from me. What were the odds! I felt it was fate & anxiously made an appointment. Our friendship resumed where it had left off all those years before, but it wasn’t long till I realized the magic was gone. Maybe it was due to the change in my hair, or her apparent fading luster for the industry. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the same. But finding a decent hairstylist for my hair was such a challenge; I viewed the proximity as a major perk and continued seeing her.

From the very start of our reunion, I mentioned my love of cellophanes to cover my greys. Kim wasn’t familiar but suggested demi-permanent color as an option. She said it was “just as safe” as semi-permanent cellophanes with a greater deposit of color and shine. Sounded good to me, but again, I stressed the importance that it mustn’t damage my hair, and she insisted it was super safe, so I acquiesced. The next two years consisted of bi-weekly blowouts, relaxer touch-ups every six weeks and demi-perm color every eight weeks. While my hair had not resumed its thickness, it was no longer falling out, so I was fairly satisfied.

My Last Relaxer…. 

It was July 2010, I had just left my job of 15 years and returned to Kim for a much-needed relaxer touch-up. She was running late, but arrived ready to get to work. As she’s working her fingers through my hair, she said I had some breakage in the back. This was surprising, so I asked where, and she said “right here” while guiding my fingers to the spot, “in the middle, and it’s quite a bit.” Once again, that old panic-stricken feeling returned, unsure how THIS could’ve happened. I had not noticed any breakage. I started thinking about those damn demi-permanent applications. It was the only thing different in my routine. Or maybe it was the protein treatments she’d been applying to help with winter shedding. (I’d later find out that’s not why you use protein on hair at all, hmph..growl..) She proceeded with applying the relaxer, and I left to examine my hair at home. How in the world had I not noticed?

Breakage

Breakage is worse than it looks.

 Blessing in disguise…

Once again, I was back to thinking non-stop about my hair. I just knew the breakage was due to the change in hair color. Angry, I didn’t return for my bi-weekly blow-out but reluctantly returned in October 2010 for a touch-up. My grandmother’s retirement party was that weekend & I needed a more polished look than what I was able to do at home. So I scheduled my appointment but found myself running late on the actual day. I called as I was en route to let them know I’d be 15 minutes late. To my surprise, Kim didn’t take the call but told the receptionist she wouldn’t be able to fit me in if I was going to be that late. THAT LATE? Surprising given the several times I’d waited 20-45 minutes past my scheduled appointment for her to finish up with another client. I was shocked and offended to say the least, some people clearly mistake a short memory for a clear conscience….

Little did I know it was a blessing in disguise. I’d soon meet the woman who would forever change not only how I viewed my hair, but the idea of going natural altogether. 

My hair under Kim’s care prior to the breakage incident, she insisted I let anyone who asked know that I cut my own bangs one bored day..she wanted nothing to do with that, hey I thought they turned out okay… lol

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3 comments on “Natural Hair Chronicles: The Breaking Point & My Last Relaxer

  1. lawoilsandsprays@aol.com
    February 13, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this!!

    • suite7beautytalk
      February 14, 2013

      Hi Lucretia,

      Thanks for visiting my blog! Congrats on that huge order (200 body butters – wow) & the Grammy goodie bag inclusion…. not surprised at all… : )

  2. Pingback: Natural Hair Chronicles: The Trouble with Transitioning | SUITE7beautyTALK

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