If I had to sing only one Beyoncé lyric for the rest of my life, that would be “I like my baby heir with baby hair and Afros” from “Formation.”
When the song was released, my 15-year-old self was on her way to celebrate her thirdnatural hair anniversary, absolutely drowned by poor capillary management skills and the consequences of doubtful products’ combinations. Undoubtedly, Queen Bey gave me a much-needed confidence boost.
Truth is, I was never supposed to keep my kinky hair straight for so long. I used relaxers (i.e., harsh chemicals that straighten curls irreversibly) through my childhood and stopped only when the accumulated breakage was too much to handle.
My mom and I had tried every single damage control strategy we could think of, from spacing out the use of relaxers to a biannual basis to reducing the processing time. And still, my hair wasn’t having it.
I reached my peak of hair unhealthiness in eighth grade, when we finally decided on a pause from relaxing. My mom cut my hair to its natural roots so I could grow it back with a healthier base, especially since my plan was to try the new generation of (marketed as) harmless relaxers after a while. Continue Reading