It was in September 2007 (actually, I think it was August 2007) that I got my last relaxer. I’m glad those days are over. No more thin, plastered hair; no more sores in my scalp; no more breakage; no more $100+ salon visits every six weeks; no more being servant to the chemicals.

My hair has been the source of pleasure and, mostly, pain in my life. I’ve babied it, neglected it, fought with it, fought because of it, and—to be candid—hated it more often than loved it.

I’m at peace with it now; God showed me that I’m not my hair. I’m much more than this one attribute. Though my hair is still a part of my identity, it’s not all of who I am.

And I don’t need to conform to other people’s standards of what they think my hair should be or what they think is appropriate. I’m in control of my hair. And should I decide to wear a hat, braids, a curly afro, twist outs, gel-enhanced curls, knots, a wig, or a ponytail—then the decision is mine. No one else’s.

So, you see, losing the relaxer gave me freedom. How I wear my hair is my choice alone.

I’m the captain of my hair.

Happy anniversary to me!