Step 1: Be carefree
Be young, carefree, and forgetful. Play with your friends at the playground, let the beads on the end of your braids click together while you run around.
Step 2: Grow up with natural hair
Get old enough to do your own hair. Now you’re eager and ready to tackle it by yourself without an adult. Be proud, and wear your hair any which way you want. You’ll love it.
Step 3: Look around
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, look around and see everybody who doesn’t look like you. You have curly, free, and different hair. Television shows, social media posts, and advertisements don’t show your hair. Everybody around you has straight hair, and they can put their hair in a style instantly.
Step 4: Begin the self-hate
Question your hair. Stretch it, pull it, try to rip it out. Look in the mirror and start crying because you hate your hair. Question your worth, blame your genetics, and cry even harder. Begin to straighten your hair. Try to make your hair look as straight and thin as possible. Burn it, if you have to.
Step 5: Maintain your straightened hair
Keep up with your new hair. Do not get it wet, do not touch it. Put it in a braid at night, keep going. Straighten your hair daily, no matter what.
Step 6: Go above and beyond
At this stage, straighteners do not work anymore. Your hair must be fried, and you must be tired of frying it every morning. User a relaxer — the strongest one you can find. Mix the toxic chemicals together, slab it on, work it through the strands, put a shower cap on, and wait. Wait until it burns.
Step 7: Panic
Panic when you realize you left the relaxer on too long. Stare at the clumps of hair in your tub and freak out. Scramble to find something that will help the hair loss. Coconut oil, olive oil, anything that seems good for your hair, will not be of any use now.
Step 8: Hide your hair
Now that you only have a few inches of hair left, you need to hide it. Hide it until you realize how important your hair is to you. Now that you realize that, you will begin to love it and see how beautiful it is. This is your turning point.
Step 9: Use the internet
Search what you should do, what you should use, to get your hair back. What is the healthiest thing for your hair? Ask every single question that you may have about your hair. How do you take care of it? What is your hair type?
Step 10: Buy hair products
Based on your research, what do you need for your hair? Your hair texture, porosity, all of it. Stick to the basics until you know exactly what you’re doing. Grab a new shampoo, conditioner, cream, oil, bonnet, etc. Buy products that are good for your specific hair texture and stick to those for a while.
Step 11: Experiment
Figure out what combinations of products work for you. Take note of the methods, tools, and hairstyles that work for your hair. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your hair and your newly found love of it. Your hair is meant to be observed, and it is meant to be known by you.
Step 12: Look back
How long has it been since you stopped hating your hair? How long has it been since you learned how to love and accept it? When was the last time you were clueless about your own hair? Take a moment to reflect on yourself a while ago, then take a moment to reflect on yourself now. Two completely different people, and different relationships with their hair.
Appreciate where you have come, and what you have learned from this experience.