My First Relaxer

I was ten years old when I got my first relaxer. For both me and my mom, managing my natural hair had become a daunting task. My mom is bi-racial and has naturally, moist, silkily hair.

She did not know how to style my highly textured naps. My hair was long, thick, and coarse, and worst of all—I WAS EXTREMELY TENDER-HEADED! Hair day was a war for our sanity.

I’d cry as if my life were ending, and mama’s hands would ache as she tugged and pulled trying to get it detangled. What was really bad though, was the disappointing result; for all that fuss and pain, I only looked “okay” when it was done.

I didn’t really know what a relaxer was when my mom suggested it to me. All I knew is that she promised me it would give me pain-free hair days and prettier hairstyles.

She needed to say no more; I was sold. The process of putting the relaxer in was torture. I thought my mom may have tricked me at first!

But when it was all done, I could see and feel the difference. I will never forget the feeling of seeing that long, silky hair for the first time. It was so smooth, so easy to comb, so carefree… and so… weird looking!  

The relaxer seemed to have taken all the life out of my hair. It was flat and limp, not very appealing to look at. I’d never noticed how tiny my little peanut shaped head was, but my relaxed hair made it obvious.

I didn’t love it, and my mom could tell, but we both knew there was no going back. I eventually got used to the relaxed hair. We found ways to add volume and create some cute styles.

But more importantly, mom hadn’t lied about those “pain-free hair days”. For the pain relief alone, it was worth showcasing my peanut head, and thus began my 32-year relationship with relaxed hair.

I will continue to share my journey with you in the next article.

I am SouLah the Legend,


speaking the universal language of the soul…

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