I can’t believe it’s been almost four months since I started my journey to lose weight and eat healthy. It’s evident that my diet and my body has changed, but I feel like my entire life is going through a transformation.

I’m even taking the time to go back to my roots. Literally.

I’ve relaxed the roots of my hair for years.

Between six and nine, I endured afternoons at the salon or the kitchen table getting my hair pressed to get all the kinks out. I’d grimace as the comb struggled to make a clean break through my tightly coiled strands of dry hair. Sometimes I’d even scream as the comb lost teeth in the process.

My hair was what many would call “nappy.”

And back then, that meant dealing with it took lots of time, lots of grease, and even more patience.

Eventually, my hair would always straighten out. But all the grease would weigh it down so it never moved and all the direct heat would keep it from growing past my chin.

My hair ended up with so much damage I had to cut it all off the summer before I started fourth grade and get a Jheri curl.

And wearing those wet, loose curls simply mortified me.

I’d have to wake up daily and put curl activator in my hair…something I didn’t hear about many other fourth graders doing.

I wanted to have long, bouncy hair that I could just comb into a ponytail or curls that would sway with me when I moved. I wanted to fit in with the majority and do what was accepted at the time. But that was not an option with a Jheri curl.

I had that Jheri curl for a year, but refused to spend my fifth grade year with one.

So I asked my mother for a chemical relaxer.

And she scheduled an appointment with her hair stylist, and took me to get it done.

Once that creamy lotion hit my coils and I felt a tingle from its coolness, I officially became a big girl…with “big girl” hair.

No more twisted ponytails and barrettes.

My hair was silky smooth, easy to manage and I could actually wear it curled.

But a few weeks later, the evidence of my coiled roots reappeared, sending me on a merry-go-round of chemically-infused contentendness.

Now, I’m officially off that merry-go-round and I’m discovering that my so-called “nappy” hair isn’t so bad, afterall.

That’s because I’m learning how to work with it instead of working to permanently change it.

The process is naturally teaching me a lot about my hair, but it’s also teaching me a lot about myself. It’s teaching me to love myself and the way God made me. I don’t have to have hair that’s bone straight or down my back. I can keep my hair short and wear my curls or straighten them.

And knowing that is so refreshing.

My curls, or lack thereof, don’t define me.

What qualities/traits are you learning to love and embrace?

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