There’s something thrilling about celebrating nappiversaries, or the date when a woman decides to disavow from relaxers. Nappiversaries are a commemoration of an intimate decision, but for me, it’s also an acknowledgement of a struggle. On May 26, I celebrated my one-year nappiversary, and it has been nothing short of a turbulent journey.
My decision to loc my tresses was borne from frustration. I’d big-chopped in 2011, and had worn a Caesar that blossomed into an afro, who I affectionately named Harriet. I admired the resiliency of my hair – after all, it had survived over a decade of chemical straightening – but I felt unreasonably stifled by my ‘fro. I became disenchanted when Harriet didn’t meet my unrealistic expectations. I wanted my hair to do things it was incapable of doing, like producing those adorable spiral curls I pined for.
I also wanted to feel free. I’d bought into the idea that chopping the relaxer from my hair and growing my ‘fro would make me freer, so I was depressed when I didn’t adjust well to the changes my tresses were undergoing. When I became frustrated with Harriet, I’d hide her under braids. I’d weave her up. I told myself I’d deal with her later.
Well, later came, and I still wasn’t prepared to care for Harriet in the way she deserved. So, last summer, I decided to relax my ‘fro and chop her into a sexy Halle Berry-esque do. However, my mother intervened. She told me not to abandon all of the progress I’d made as a naturalista, and suggested locs as an alternative to a relaxer. I was initially hesitant. I’d never considered wearing locs, and I didn’t think it’d change the way I was feeling about donning natural hair. I was wrong.
I’m in complete love with my locs. They’re radiant. I can wear them in dope styles. I can let them lay loosely after a dip in the pool. At first, I was unsure. I spent the first several weeks wondering if I’d made the right decision. I knew, definitively, that I had when I donned my locs to Mexico. The versatility of the style combined with the sheer beauty of them persuaded me to embrace this hair transition.
I’m so glad I have. It has taken me 14 months, multiple breakdowns and several stylists to fall in love with my locs, but now I’m in a peaceful, loving relationship with them. I hope all other women enter into similar unions with their manes.
Reprinted with permission from Clutch.