I love natural hair. I know we live in a day where the hair industry has advanced tremendously but personally, to me, there is nothing like a well groomed head of natural hair. I grew up in the days of the Jerry and Carefree Curls. In an effort to keep up with the trends, I convinced my mom to give me a Care Free Curl. Looking back, that wasn’t the wisest of decision since I have naturally curly hair. As the hair industry advanced the Wave Nouveau hit the scene. It gave you the ability to wear your hair curly or straight without losing your locks. Of course, I was one of the first in line to receive this more versatile style. Satisfied with my beautiful mane, I headed off to college.
After about a year, the Wave Nouveau wasn’t popular anymore so I decided to put a relaxer on top of it. Relaxers are used to take the curl and frizz out of the hair and keep it straight. Now if you know anything about African American hair it is very sensitive. It has a tendency to be drier than other textures and can’t handle a lot of chemical processing at one time. So my young tenacious self ventured out and plopped a relaxer on top of it. So low and behold you can only imagine what happened. Over a span of about two months, my hair fell out. Here I was a sophomore in college and my hair was about one inch long. Thank God my roommate’s mother was a beautician and she gave me a sassy style to work with until my hair grew back.
Over the years, unfortunately, I have continued to do dumb things to my hair but it would always grow back until I ran into a season of unexcpected health issues. At the time I was going through a personal war and this series of unfortunate events took the wind out of my sail. I’d just cut inches off my hair and boasted a nice short, sassy cut I loved. As life continued to present major difficulties, it was my hair that displayed the inner turmoil.
All of a sudden my hair would not show any growth and would get shorter and shorter over time. I was just undone. Hair is known as a woman’s glory and now, in my opinion, mine was less than glorious. In my culture women are known to give their hair a rest and put it in a protective style. I would usually lean into braids or wear a curly ponytail until I could give my hair a rest, but this time things were different.
Whatever was going on with my health caused my natural curls to disappear, so sporting my curls was out. I wanted to get braids but that financially was not an option, and I definitely could not afford to go to a beautician. My hair was spiky and the only way to get it to look halfway decent was to flat iron it daily which only led to more damage. I had tons of conditioners trying to nurture it back to health to no avail. When I went for a trim my hair would only get shorter. There were times I felt as if I would never get out of the season and that my hair would not grow back. I began to hate looking in the mirror. I would find hair everywhere, in the car, on my clothes, literally everywhere. I can remember sweeping the bathroom floor and the amount of hair that was in the dustpain made my heart faint. My hair stayed in that state for over a year. Needless to say, it was a very difficult season.
As things in my personal life began to get better, my hair began to slowly grow. It was still straight but I could see length returning. I began to make declarations and speak positive life over my hair. At that point what else was there to do? Little by little, I would notice change. It was slow, but it was change.
As my hair was slowly recovering, an older gentleman at work gave me a compliment. He said “You are the only woman I know whose hair looks good every day.” I almost had to look around because part of me was still stuck in the old paradigm of my hair but I smiled quietly thanking God for the movement. Time passed and COVID-19 came on the scene. My hair had now grown to my mid-ear and I could wear a ponytail. Due to the shut down, I did just that for about three months. Something supernatural happened during that time. It was like my hair had grown faster than it ever had.
I’m proud to say God has fully recovered my hair. I never went to a beautician, never wore a protective style and flat ironed it every day. Everything I needed to do I had no power to. I didn’t begin to see change until I began to look in the mirror and speak life to my hair and health. If you find yourself in a powerless situation where everything is falling apart including your ability to bring change, I encourage you to use the power of your spoken word to breathe life into those challenged areas. Sometimes we have to be backed into a corner to cry out and become a recipient of a miracle. When the doctors don’t know what to do and the medicine doesn’t work God restores.
Author: Petrina Milan