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, I absolute­ly… 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 »