My name is Camille and I’m from Maryland. I’m 17 and a half and a senior this year.

Over the 6 years I had my perm I never had issues with it, I never had breakage or burns.

My main reason for going natural was because I received a gift from a friend; a book called “Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America.” This book really changed my life. I guess I never realized how harmful a perm was too my hair.

Once I finished the book, I knew I just had to go natural. My big chop story is funny. Originally I had planned to big chop a lot sooner but my Mom was against the whole idea. On October 30 I had school, so I told my Mom I wasn’t feeling well and I did the whole fake coughing thing. I guess my Mom felt bad so she let me stay home.

There I was all alone at home so what was I supposed to do for fun? I decided to call my friend Stacie who is also natural and does hair and I asked her to cut it all off. She agreed. I drove to her house in Baltimore and she cut off the perm one by one. The whole time I kept worrying if I was making the right choice.

Anyway afterwards I saw my shoulder length hair all gone, I had only 3.5 inches off hair. Now I’m not gonna say I was totally thrilled afterward. But once Stacie washed it and styled it I was happy. I drove home and to my surprise my Mom and Dad and sister were all siting in the dining room asking wondering where I was since I was so called “sick”.

As soon as I took off my hood my mother slapped me so hard, and really was angry with the fact that all my hair was gone. She was chasing me around the house and was the maddest I had ever seen her. My dad and sister loved it though and convinced my mom to calm down. After a few days she got used to it, and stopped complaining about it.

The biggest opposition I faced would be my mom. She’s biracial and has long hair with hardly any wave to it. She’s very old school and believes you need straight hair to be beautiful. She also was the one who started me on perms when I was 10.

After about the first 2 months of my natural journey around the time I had almost 1 inch of new growth, my mom started to notice my very different texture from hers. I would say I have 4a (kinky) hair everywhere but my sides/edges where it is bone straight is probably 3a (curly).

She would say things like “Camille why didn’t you get my hair texture, how come you got your Dad’s.” She also would say she’d be much happier if I went back to perms.

My younger sister Candace who is 16 has my Mom’s hair. It’s also very straight and she is very stuck on the whole “good hair” idea. Even now that I have my fro, my mom will make negative comments, not as much as she used to, but still sometimes. I always tell her I’m happy where I am and I don’t need to conform to society’s standards of beauty by relaxing my hair.

Honestly, at first I did have unrealistic expectations of what my natural texture would be. Originally I expected to also have type 2 hair like my mom, but soon quickly changed, as my natural journey progressed I saw more and more of my type 4 hair and had to accept that’s what I was given. Sometimes it is hard having a mother who’s a little stuborn, but I just keep counting down the days till I leave for college, less than 5 months away yay! Hopefully I will meet other naturals when I am in college who share the same idea of beauty as me.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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85 Comments on "True Life: My Mother Slapped Me Across the Face After I Did the Big Chop"

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Ms. Bar B
Camille, your story simultaneously saddens me and makes me extremely proud. The saddest part of your story for me was when you said, “She would say things like “Camille why didn’t you get my hair texture, how come you got your Dad’s.”” I apologize for what I am about to say, but I feel that if your mother is so against “hair like your fathers” she is also against “that” part of her self, which is then projected onto you. Its wrong any way you look at it and I hope that she will eventually realize that!! With that said,… Read more »

heyyy another natural from Baltimore!! ;] i’m from baltimore too!

Amma Mama
I hope things get better before you leave for college! I really like your hair and think you are very bold for doing the BC. I always wanted to go natural but didn’t do it until this past Oct, my last semester in college, so kudos 2 u 🙂 I don’t think I would have ever done it in high school. I know for a FACT I wouldn’t have done it in high school. I graduated from h.s. in 2005 and I was very BIG on relaxing and straight hair and I definitely thought that was the only way I… Read more »