I kept the hair. With the coastal climate, it was usually limp. It started getting a tint and I would cut it often to keep it looking full. A thought of shaving it never occurred to me (that is, while I was still in college. It occurred a few years later as you will soon find out). How could I survive looking like a boy? I’d rather keep the limp hair than have no hair.

With time, nothing seemed to salvage my hair. The time and the relaxers had started taking toll on it. It was damaged and weak because of the over processing. I had used relaxers since I was thirteen years. What was the point of it all? I had long hair, so what? I decided to cut it. This was much later, after my college days. It was in the stage of ‘finding myself’.

I didn’t do it in the Stone Cold style I had donned in my earlier years with the assistance of the master barber. I cut it short in the Lupita style. It was a bold step but then again I was finding myself.

It is always scary to cut hair after having it for more than ten years. You can’t remember the shape of your head. What if my head looked like an avocado seed? I remembered a girl in high school who told me that my hair looked funny when I held it because I had a bump at the middle of my head. I never saw the bump but what if others could see it? I tried to picture my childhood birthday photos. I knew I had a big head but I consoled myself that I had grown into it just as I had grown into my hands and feet.

I now have short natural hair. Technically not so short but with natural hair, you can never tell. I put down blow-driers and relaxers. I decided to start afresh. It is so funny, I have embraced the things that I was in such a hurry to leave.  The Alleluia comb, the coconut oil; the simple things my mum had tried to teach me.

I believe all hairs are beautiful. I believe that natural hair is the most beautiful. I have dropped the chase for the long straight hair. I have embraced the curly, coily and kinky that my natural hair is. Natural hair has helped me learn a lot. People ask me, “How can you keep your hair like that? I would look horrendous!” I tell them that confidence is the key. If you believe in your beauty, everyone around will believe in it too.