The Best of Both Worlds

I am not African American but people think I am. Why? Because of my skin color and my hair.  I am Dominican and if anyone knows of Dominicans, they know that we have some of everything in us. That mostly being, Taino Indian, African, and European.  Therefore, there are light skinned Dominicans and mostly dark skinned Dominicans.  But one of the main things that distinguishes us from other Hispanics would definitely be our “bad hair.”  “Bad hair” is considered to be thick, nappy hair.

The trend in Dominican Republic is definitely getting a relaxer and keeping your hair straight every week, even with all the heat down in the Caribbean.  I started getting relaxer when I was about 4 years old and I didn’t stop until early this year.  My mother started putting relaxer in my hair because my hair was too nappy and thick to manage.  I would literally run away from any type of comb.  I guess it just made my mom’s life easier and to everyone else, it made my hair look nicer.

Honestly, I did not care how nice it made my hair.  It was too much of a pain to deal with.  Why? Because it took about 6 hours just to do my hair.  The wonderful cycle of “beautiful hair” was putting the relaxer, washing it out, putting rollers in and staying in the hair dryer for an hour and a half and then blow drying it.  And getting “beautiful hair” wasn’t necessarily peachy. I have had relaxer burn through my scalp before and it is not pretty.

I do not think any of my family really understands how strong the chemical in relaxer is, and until I watched Chris Rock’s documentary, “Good Hair”, I had a similar mentality.  Now I am actually happy with my decision of not using relaxer.  Although I am not using relaxer, I am still using another product that is not as strong as relaxer, and allows my natural hair to soften its texture and easier to straighten.  I can have both, naturally curly hair and I can also straighten it. I guess you can say, I have the best of both worlds.

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