I’ll try to keep this BRIEF and interesting because it’s really not that interesting. I feel like “SHARING” though. :::clears throat:::
November 9th 1986 in Memphis, TN LaShara Danielle Quinn was born. Fast forward to the year I turned 5 (do the math yourself). Yeah so at 5 years old I got my first relaxer. My mom used to hot comb our hair, but that was before she started getting business as a lawyer so she really didn’t have the time anymore.
I guess I had the “nappiest head of all” because I was the only one out of my 2 sisters to get a perm that young. Or maybe I was just the guinea pig. Well in any event I was “Just For Me” ‘d up. Silky straight straight stunting on these hos. Yes I was “stunting on hos” at 5 years old.
Fast-forward high school.
So I’m in high-school still relaxed. Concerned with “fitting in” even though I’d fallen in love with Lauryn Hill’s whole style, but back in the day where I was from, raised by my momma it wasn’t happening. Plus I really didn’t WANT TO-WANT TO, because like I said I was concerned with how the opposite sex would react to my looks. Well my parents got divorced in 1999, and my mother remarried in whatever year she remarried (not my anniversary I can’t remember) my stepfather, Mark. I was just entering 6th grade when they remarried so whatever year that was.
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PAUSE: I know I’m skipping back and forth but I just remembered this. It’s important. Please believe me.
Yeah so my mom marries Mark. Mark is completely different from my bio-father. My dad is a preacher/Christian, slick pretty boy (he’s 50 now so not so much anymore), country as HEY YALL. AND Mark. Mark is agnostic, angry black man, pro-black, F- the POLICE!, the government is crooked, legalize weed, ex-gang member semi-reformed still bout it bout it….andddddd I don’t know HOW they got together but he loves her so we’re cool.
Initially we weren’t though. I used to be this bourgeois spoiled bechacha and I just didn’t like him. He used to tell me and my sisters “Yall need to stop getting perms/wearing make-up/dressing revealing” annnnnnnd I was in high-school, I was fine! You can’t tell me NOTHING plus he wasn’t my daddy, I wasn’t listening to this fool.
Ok so lets go to my junior year of high-school. I’m on the couch. My sister is doing my hair and she says:
**Mistye: LaShara. You have a bald spot!
I run to the bathroom and I have a totally bald spot about the size of a 50 cent piece on the bottom right sied of my head. I’m secretly thinking my sister messed up and pulled my hair out so I’m just like “Let’s just NOT do my hair”.
Well as the week progresses I develop more bald spots and they’re getting larger. I’m freaking out because there’s no way I can hide it so we go to the dermatologist and he tells me that I have Alopecia and the only thing I can do about it is to use Rogaine EVERYDAY and I have to get steroid shots in my scalp to stimulate growth.
To keep up appearances of normalcy I have to get tracks put in. As you may or may not know taking glued in hair out pulls out a lot of hair so I’m screwed. Basically. But I still do it because I’m concerned with my appearance. I’m putting Rogaine in and it’s making my tracks loose, and then I’m getting SHOTS IN MY SCALP once a month and yes it’s painful and yes there was a lot of blood.
Well finally I just got tired of it and I pray to God for healing and that’s what I got! My hair grew back nice and thick. Back to stunting!.
Ok so Summer 2005 I go in for a retouch annnnnnnnnnd she leaves the relaxer in too long and burns out a lot of my hair in the back. I have to get tapered in the back. I was upset but not really because I’ve had alopecia and hair wasn’t that important to me AS LONG AS I had it and I could style it I was straight.
Fall 2005 I’m in college. Meet a guy. Fall in love. I’m stupid over him. I’m going crazy literally. There’s drama. Blah blah blah… Now in college you finally start “finding yourself” because there’s no high-school bull, and I’m thinking “I think I’ll go natural now”. My sister did it. She kilt it. I felt like I could do it too. BUT I was with Ol’ Boy and like a lot of “Ol’ BOYS” he liked girls with “LONG STRAIGHT HAIR” and he didn’t want me to cut it. I’m sprung so I don’t.
Well he breaks up with me. I’m depressed. I lose a lot of weight. I’m holed up in my dorm room or my sister’s dorm room. Her boyfriend broke up with her so we’re both SICK AND SAD and having a pity party.
During this time in my life I developed a real relationship with God and slowly he began revealing to me…”ME” and I reached that point where I just gave up trying to please everyone and doing things because “society says so” and “that’s what guys like” and all that other garbage. SO….I can’t remember the date. It’s somewhere in my FB album, I cut my permed hair off and I was AU NATURAL.
It was a liberating experience. And even though a lot of people, particularly men folks, didn’t like it at first I got used to it. I didn’t like it at first BUT that’s only because the broad lined me up like a young man. But I learned some NIGGAS are just going to be shallow and brain-washed to believe there’s only one standard of beauty and it’s “the closer to white the better” BUT who wants an idiot like that anyway? Not I.
Well eventually I made a name for myself. I became my AUTHENTIC SELF. No trying to fit in. No dressing a certain way for approval. No pretenses. And you know what? People actually respect and flock to you more when they know you’re at ease with yourself and that you love yourself. You can call it “GOOD VIBES”.
IN THE BEGINNING I was anti-perm, anti-color, anti-straightening, anti-weave. But now I’m just chill. I know who I am. I love who I am. I’d never get a relaxer again, but I’ve colored by hair numerous times. I’ve straightened my hair with a flat-iron and I’ve worn weave and now I’m on wigs. I’m trying new things. I switch the style up every 2 weeks. I can’t keep anything in for long because I know how to do my own hair and I get bored so wigs help me keep my hands out of my hair, plus I get the straight look without the pain.
I believe every black woman should be natural though. You don’t have to wear locs and afros and other “ethic” styles but not being familiar with the natural texture of your hair is ridiculous! I’ve had black women ask me “How do you get your hair like that?” when I’m wearing an afro! Uhhh it does that naturally. How can you not know that?
There’s nothing wrong with having nappy hair. It’s yours and it’s beautiful. Not only that but it’s healthier that way. Not on your hair because it’s already dead, but on your body. Relaxers are toxic and you’re putting that directly on your scalp.
Not trying to call my Moms out BUT I’m bout to call my Moms out. She ain’t here, yall don’t know her so it’s cool. But my mother used to have thick natural hair. Rocked her fro and all that jazz. This is pre-motherhood so I didn’t see this for myself BUT this is what I heard from her and my aunts.
She gets a perm and she’s been getting them for as long as my oldest sister has been alive (25 years). Her hair NOW is super thin! She doesn’t even really need to get perms that’s how damaged her hair is now and she has this scalp condition where she has this white dandruff looking layer, but it’s not dandruff and if she scratches it her hair will fall out.
I can’t absolutely say that’s the result of 20+ years of chemical services but that’s the only thing I can think of.
And I used to have dry scalp problems when I was relaxed, but now I’m not having snow-storms and itchy scalp. I’m STRAIGHT!
I KNOW I SAID I WAS GOING TO BE BRIEF BUT I LIED!
Being natural is real chill. Real chill. Try it out! If ya boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/bestfriend/cousin WHOEVER has a problem with it replace & give them space.
OH YES ON THAT NOTE LET ME SAY THIS: My ex I mentioned above. The one who was like “Ugh don’t cut your hair”. WELL he loves my hair and he still loves me. The feeling is mutual on the hair (I love my hair too.) but I love the nigga I’m just not IN LOVE WITH HIM. On to the next one! :D
Guys now actually get pissed off when I wear wigs. It’s always “Kiki what’s that BS on your head? You need to take that off.” What can I say they like me for who I am, but I’m my own person so I’ll do what I want. I’m not here to impress anyone.
Not trying to show-off just stating facts, I paved the way for a lot of chicks at my college to “JUST DO IT” and cut it off and they let me know and I just get all warm and tingly inside because I like helping people love themselves. It’s the best feeling in the world.
AND that’s the story of my life. Thanks for reading. There will be drinks and refreshments in the lobby.
AND WAIT ONE MORE THING: I have to thank my step daddy for his unwanted suggestions and comments. I now see that he was right.
Ok I’m done now.
:::drops mic exits stage left:::