I went “natural” the summer before my senior year of high school. I remember falling deeply in love with the foreign mix of textures that inhabited my head. Ever since, I’ve rocked everything from a twa (teeny weeny afro) to twists to locs. I eventually grew bored and chopped off my brastrap-grazing strands. Three months later, I grew restless again and installed kinky twists. A month after that I sported a kinky weave. Four months later, a straight one. The summer after, a looser curl was intricately sewn to my strands and I’ve stuck with that look ever since. I loved the versatility of weaves. Plus, my real mane was growing like wildfire. The protective style, in addition to my hairstylist’s gentle touch, optimized its growth. But I loved natural hair just as much. My adoration of others’ kinks and curls, and years of rocking my own were proof, right?
Wrong. After two years of chronic weaving, I realized that denial is a bitch. I used every excuse in the book. I was giving my naps a “break.” I was letting them “grow out.” I was just enjoying “changing it up.” I was secure enough with my “Blackness” to rock a weave. I didn’t need an afro to be a testament to my Black pride. But when I faced the fact that just the thought of going weave-less damn near gave me a panic attack, it became apparent that I’d become just as addicted to weaves as I was to the “creamy crack.”