My hopes were met with relief. The first bit of great news was that I didn’t have to do another big chop! I could relax my curls and trim the processed ends away slowly. As a result, when I got the first relaxer after my Jheri Curl, my hair was the longest it had ever been! I was delighted and immediately took advantage of my newfound glory. Black girls with “real” long, straight hair were uncommon at that time, so I moved into “first place” in the hair competition amongst my peers.