Growing, up in a Bi-cultural house whole. With a added bonus that my Grandmother, is a Beautician. One, would think I had it made; in the hair department. Yes, I had the latest hair styles, access to the newest hair products. "That's why, I am a self proclaim product junkie". When it was time to take school pictures my hair would always look Fabulous.
My hair has always been Naturally Curly. However, at that time my hair had tight coils, very tight coils. Unfortunately, no one really knew what to do with mixed textures of hair. Hair was considered Good Hair or Bad hair, even if you had soft curly hair it was still considered "Nappy". We would either have a soft press or hard press (Hot comb). Or someone would slap a relaxer on your hair (Reg or Super). Since, Nana is a Beautician she always pressed my hair (hot combed). Up until, the age of 7 or 8 that's when, I started to get relaxers put in my hair. There were no kiddie relaxers back then either.
Must, admit at that time. I was so loving the way the relaxer felt, after it was shampoo out. I can recall the nice silky feeling the roots were bone straight. Now, I had hair like my cousins, on my Fathers side. You couldn't tell me nothing, flipping my hair, and shaking it all around. Young Hot mess!! Who knew?
Then it was the Early 80's The Jerri Curl Era!!! Yes, I can remember when,
The Jerri Curl first came out Nana, had all the brochures around. When ever a new product would come out Nana, was there going to seminars. The "Jerri Curl" Marketing campaigned, was marketed for the sole purpose. The Jerri Curl grows your hair long and it appears to be naturally curly. Except, one thing no one ever explained, the slippery slimy mess you would have. Needless, to say, I pleaded to get the curl put in my hair. Again, I was still very young. Nana, was hesitated, looking back now. I believed Nana, knew my hair was naturally curly. Guess, you can say, I was the live mannequin. What better way to get practice or practice on a live model.
I Rocked, the Jerri curl for a few years. Next, The "Wave Nouveau". Basically, the same thing as The "Jerri Curl", with less mess, drippy, and slimy mess. This look was directed to make your hair look really natural (body wave). Unlike, The Jerri curl, which had the wet look appearance. This was our curly perm.
The process for both of these curls were ridiculously, very, long, and crazy.
First, apply this relaxer type base which straightens the root of your hair, just as a relaxer would. Next, you rinse off this relaxer base, then you roll the hair with tight or loose rods, next you apply a neutralizer solution. Totally, crazy we were all over processing our hair. Yes, it seems as if our hair was growing. The reason why our hair was growing was due to the moisturizer, we kept in our hair. When it was time for a touch up, most people would, have severe breakage due to the over process.
Also, recall when the makers of the "Jerri Curl" came up with the, "Snap back" product. This product was attended to make your hair more versatile. From curly to straight. You would simply shampoo/conditioner your hair. Next blow dry and style. When you wanted to return to the curly look you would shampoo and conditioner your hair. Then you will apply "Snap Back" to bring back your bouncy curls back to life.
After, rockin the chemical enhanced curl, I went back to the hair relaxer.
Remember when Dudley's came out with a new relaxer system , remember when you couldn't buy Dudley's products unless you were a licensed cosmetologist. Not at just any beauty supply store. You had to attend a seminar 1st,then get a Certificate of completion, next you could only purchase products through a certain Dudley's distributor. "Gangster" I still love the fact that this company is still one of the first "Black Owned" Company based in NC. I'm glad they listen to us and have a "DIVERSIFY NATURAL HAIR CARE MAINTENANCE SYSTEM" available. This gives you options I get that not everyone once to become "Naturelle" with there hair. At least we have a company that listens and understands our hair. It's all about choices.
My girlfriend came over to my house, I immediately noticed her hair had body and bounce. It wasn't greasy or stiff like that hard hair spray used with curling irons, her hair just looked and felt soft. She replied, I go to the "Dominicans" to get my hair done. Really, I replied; makes sense, since we have similar hair texture.
Why not give them a try, so I did just that.
I started going to "Milagros" in "Washington Heights" Rosa applied the relaxer, next it was time for that deep conditioner treatment. Next, Rosa sat me under the dryer with massive rollers. Next, I remember getting out of the dryer and siting in the chair and she would start to blow dry my roots. Okay, at the time that shit was very painful. The end results were amazing you couldn't tell me nothing. My hair was so bouncy and full of body "what" girl, please I was loving it, especially, all the head rolls. Most, people thought I had a weave in my hair amazing. That was when i was addicted to the creamy crack!!! I got tried going to Manhattan just to get my hair done. Wanted to find someone local.
Then I met "Yvette" her salon was in "The Bronx" my hair really started to grow a lot. Yvette, refuse to relax my hair all the time she only applied a relaxer every 6 months because of my texture. Yvette, said I didn't need a relaxer every 4-6 weeks. Yvette, would Blow dryer my roots really straight. At the time I began to conduct my own research and wanted to give my hair a break. I made a conscious effort not to relax my hair again. That's when my "Naturelle" Hair Journey Begins....
"To Be Continued"
Peace ~ Blessings