Flashback Time: Part 2!


I was hoping to get a few more of these Now and Then pics, so that I could do a batch of five. But, it’s been awhile, so didn’t want to wait any longer to share these great flashbacks with all of you! Maybe it’ll prompt some more of you to submit your pics:)!!


K e n d a l l

So, I found some pictures from pre-kindergarten age hair. It’s weird looking at these because these are pictures of me pre-chemicals, which is also crazy because I’m only 4 in them! I’ve had chemicals in my hair, starting with relaxers, since the age of 7, and then dye in high school and college. My mom has a very different texture of hair than I do. I think amongst the black hair community, we can sometimes forget how hard it is learning how to take care of specific types of hair. What my hair needs to be healthy is different from my mom. That difference in texture and not knowing what to do with it combined with my tender-headedness (and my temper tantrums about going to the beauty salon!) caused my mom to relax my hair. I’ve tried to go natural before, but have relapsed, so this grow out challenge is like rediscovering my baby self! *lol* Each month I get closer and closer to being all natural and closer and closer to my childhood, which is a nice little bonus! I’ve done so many different and often damaging things to my hair from coloring, weaves that were too tight, braids, flat ironing my hair almost everyday and passing the iron (at extreme temperatures by the way) multiple times over my hair … it’s amazing I’ve got any left!
But now I can take my hair into my own hands and nurture it. I’m so happy to be apart of the natural/transitioning community!
D r .  B .  N a t u r a l

THEN: I was near kindergarten age. My hair wasn’t considered thick, but has always been at least shoulder length (unfortunately, not always by choice). My mom always kept my hair ‘laid’. In fact, it wasn’t until age 11 that I received my first relaxer. I didn’t have to beg for it, but was elated to have that long flowing hair that I saw on television. No longer would I have to wrap a pillowcase or towel around my head to pretend I had luxurious Egyptian/European type tresses. Up until my first or second year in high school, I could depend on my mom to care for my hair and recreate the styles most girls my age had to go to the salon to achieve. Unfortunately, I was never taught how to care for my own hair. I was left only to unsuccessfully mimick what I thought was appropriate. Thus, after years of thinning, growing and breaking, going natural was my last option.

NOW: (As in January!? lol) I have a full head of AfroMerican locks. In this pic, only the front middle section of my hair is colored (faded actually, from a deeper copper-auburn color). Still in the early stages of my hair journey, I did not know how to treat colored hair. Therefore, the thinning process began again. Since then, I have grown at least five or six inches of thick black hair, while the color treated keeps getting thinner, weaker, and less manageable. Hence, I had to cut away all the color. Can you image how that looks? Not so hot!!

M a r s h a


I was recently checking out some old pictures of my pre-relaxer days and I found the least embarrassing ones to share. The first was actually  a passport picture taken years ago when I was probably 5, I think. Clarification needed from Mommy of course. I was clearly wearing a protective hairstyle with added hair accessory for pizazz, lol. Who would have known that I would have begged my mom to relax my hair, after seeing the sleekness and bounce that was worn by other teenagers at my church and school back then?

So, Mom gave in when I was 13 years old and welcomed the idea of the relaxer, then later stating that I wasn’t allowed to get another. Yes, I was traumatized because I was brainwashed to believe that my hair would  break off if it wasn’t relaxed again and it did. I later ended up getting a curly/jheri curl after going to the hairdresser who cut off (BC’d) the rest of my relaxer. I wore my hair in a curly perm until I was tired of  it. Well the style was fading out in the early ’90′ too. I then got another relaxer. The picture below was taken a few months after i got my curly/jheri curl. Can you say drip drip drip?

So the years went by and my hair grew, and broke, and grew, and broke  some more. Fast forward … I did another BC years later. At this point I was fed up with breakage from a bad relaxer and a botched dye job. Okay, so my hair grew back again and yes, I didn’t learn my lesson, I relaxed again and yes put more color.

It had been only 2 months since my last relaxer and I was in love with my hair. This was the longest my hair had ever been and although it looked healthy, it didn’t feel healthy. The crown of my head was suffering. This time I was determined to transition and to never look back to a relaxer, of course. But today I looked back, only  looking back on  where I once was in the hopes to learn from my past experiences and mistakes.


Missed the first round of Flashback photos and stories? Check them out here! And, let’s keep the fun going! Send your Now and Then pictures and stories to  hairscapades@gmail.com to be featured in a future post!


10 responses »

  1. I love these back-in-time photos. Marsha your photos remind me of my childhood hairstyles when I grew up in Trinidad; had to have the big, floppy ribbons and the bow clips!


    • Hey Tilaina, you don’t need to send a story, but it is nice to know a little about the pics … like how old you were, when you got your first relaxer (if you ever did) and when you decided to go natural/how long you’ve been natural/transitioning. Thank you:)!


  2. Pingback: Flashback Time Part 3: More Then and Nows « hairscapades

  3. This pics are so adorable. It is s funny that I had that same exact dress that Kendall has on in her pic when I was in elementary. I took school pics in that dress i will have to find the pic and pst. As a matter if fact I still have the actual dress.


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