I saw myself in a whole, new light the day I cut my hair. Being an African-American woman, a lot of people make you believe that “straight hair is good hair.” And that’s what I use to believe. I remember going to the beauty shop with my mother as a child and always asking her to buy the relaxer kit for my hair and the answer was always “no”. I never understood the beauty of my natural hair and wanted that “good hair.” When I was about 17, I finally got my hair relaxed and had that “good hair.” I used a relaxer on my hair for 4 years and thought that I was doing the right thing. But I was wrong. I realized that the “straight hair is good hair” idea was not for me and I should be proud of the head of hair God has given me because He knew that it was right for me. So then I stopped using the relaxer in January of last year and let my hair grow until this past January and cut the left over relaxed parts of my hair and decided to embrace my beautiful, natural hair. Although it is a teeny, weeny afro, it’s “good hair” to me.
—Nicole “Nikki” Vonleh