TGIF: Is it a Perm or a Relaxer

In my experience, a perm is a verb that does two different things. It either straightens curley hair or gives curls to straight hair. Which word is right? Technically, a perm gives curls to straight hair, but I did not know that. I grew up hearing it called a perm. In my late teens, I learned that was not the case for everybody else. Turns out the at home kits say relaxer on the box. I knew what brand I used, but I never read the box. When I was little, I got a perm at home and at salons. No one called it a relaxer. Whatever you call it, it’s a painful process.

The Truth About Relaxers

I love the fact that Blackish showed how painful a relaxer is through anime. I could relate to the story and I’m a blerd [Black Nerd]. That’s why I share anime content on social media, write post inspired by games, and listening to music in a different languages. Afterall, music transcend language barriers. Case and point, the Dragonball Z reference was unexpected.

During the Pandemic, I had my last relaxer. I decided that the pain wasn’t worth thinning my hair temporarily. Nor, flat ironing my hair on a daily basis. So, I decided to go for a slicked back look with an afro puff. Meaning, I still show off my natural waves with a bang and picked out afro puff.

It took me over thirty years to finally get to this point. So that’s over two decades of relaxers. That’s why I’m thankful to be a woman of color in this day and age. I appreciated how Diane’s hair journey ended with a musical featuring Jill Scott that celebrated all types of hairstyles and beauty. In fact I didn’t realize how significant the word “crown” was in that final act of the Blackish episode.

Our Crowns Are Beautiful

The Crown Act and Crown Movement is taking the pressure of women of color to maintain damaging hairstyles to appease academia and the corporate world. Its interesting that I didn’t know much about a movement that impacts my life till I saw Tabitha Brown and Dove post on my Facebook Feed. At this point, I was casually following Tabitha Brown, because of KevOnStage. This was the first time I really came across her impact on my own. I was able to find her YouTube post about it to share with y’all today.

Tabitha’s experience was relatable. I grew up hearing I had good hair, because it could hold a style. At the end of the day, my crown was still being restricted and influenced by my environment. To an extent it still is…I don’t have the desire to greet the world with a full afro. My hair is capable of it. I don’t push the envelope as far as I could.

Trisha’s Hair Journey

Woman of color with afro puff ponytail
Yes, that’s an Aggretsuko Graphic Tee

I know the Trisha of my teens and early twenties wouldn’t consistently rock my current hairstyle confidently. She’d wear braids with extensions. She’d put a lot of product in hair to create micro curls that hold appearance but doesn’t flow naturally with the wind. All of that adds up.

My hair is not low maintenance. It is beautiful and manageable. I hope the Crown Act/Movement continues to ensure girls of color celebrate their hair in their youth in a world that won’t create the negative memories many of use associate our natural hair with today.

Is Tabitha Brown the reason you found out about The Crown Movement?

Do you have negative moments in your you the assoctiated with your hair?


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