Black Girl Perms. White Girl Perms. All God’s Chillun’ Got Perms.

Black Girl Perms. White Girl Perms. All God’s Chillun’ Got Perms.

I’m a black girl.

Just in case you didn’t notice.

On my tenth birthday, I received the honor of going to the local hair stylist and getting my hair pressed.

Definition of hair “press” – Hair pressing, also called hot coming and flat ironing, is a method of temporarily straightening curly, frizzy, or unruly hair by means of a heated iron or comb.

You couldn’t tell me nothin’.

My hair had “swing”.

And you better believe that I was swinging my head all over the place.

My head almost detached from my neck.

But alas, I’m a July baby and that Texas summer heat meant only one thing.

My straight hair did not stay straight long.

I started sweating and my hair puffed up like I had “poodle” running through my veins.

Fast forward to age 15. I was allowed to finally get my hair “permed”.

Definition of “perm” – the term often used for the process to permanently straighten or relax hair with chemicals.

Now my hair was straight permanently.

The Texas heat couldn’t touch me.

For years, I regularly went to the beauty shop and later braved the chemicals in my kitchen on a bi-monthly basis to keep my hair straight.

But I’m not the only girl changing things up.

“Perm” has another definition too ya know.

Definition of “perm” –  Hair is washed and wrapped on a perm rod and waving lotion is applied with a base. The hair swells, stretches and softens, then molds around the shape of the perm rod.

 White girls do the perm thing too.

blackgirlwhitegirlsq

So let me get this straight.

We’ve got black girls with curls going for straight hair and white girls with straight hair going for the curly look – each of us trying to permanently alter our God-given follicle fabulousity (yes I made that word up) for the fashion forward statement of the day.

And perms have had their hay day in both cases.

Many of girls sporting a darker hue have tampered with Dark and Lovely.

Many girls with a lighter hue have dabbled in a Toni home perm.

In the last 10 years however, I’ve noticed a shift.  Seems to me that in both cases there has been a surge in the opposite direction in terms of popularity of the opposing hair style.

Now we’ve got lots of brown girls walking around with their hair curly, twisted, braided and in it’s “natural” state.

We’ve also got lots of creamy girls walking around with hair hanging down in a straight line.

Either way, there seems to have been a general broad-based cultural acceptance as of late of the natural, God-given state of things that exist above our brains.

But how did either shade of sensational sister come to the conclusion that they should attempt to permanently altar what was so magically coming out in the first place?

So… before you think I’ve lost my mind and marbles to spend a whole post talking about chemically treated hair and the history of the human follicle…

This post actually has nothing to do with the politically correct style for girls of any shade.  It is not a denunciation of chemically treated hair, natural hair, or fake hair of any kind.

But there is a point.

As we wind down the month of March and simultaneously wind down my days of bloggity madness, I’ve been contemplating something.

Why do so many of us seek to permanently alter our natural design to fit someone else’s mold?

Are we not satisfied with ourselves?

Are in constant pursuit of an ideal type of the woman not realizing that we – as we are – are enough?

Well I want to put it out there.

We are enough.

You are enough.

You are enough

Outside and inside.

Here’s what happens when a woman, black or white, gets a “perm”.

The use of chemicals breaks down and reforms the bonds of the hair.  The solution creates a chemical reaction that softens the inner structure of the hair by breaking some of the links within and between the protein chains of the hair. The hair then reforms into whatever shape (curly or shape) it is trained into.

You know what?

Perms for the hair mimic the faking-of-the-funk in real life.

We are constantly looking for solutions to make us something we are not.

We spend time watching others, trying to copy how they look, how they act, or their recipes for supposed success.

We try to reform our outer or inner design by breaking some of the links with our God given power, personality, or potential and trading them for new chains or connections depicted at large by others to be the “thing to do.”

We are in pursuit of the person we already are.

Everything we need to be beautifully and wonderfully awesome…

We are already have.

We just need to learn how to appreciate it.

And love her.

Love you.

During this last month of examining in jest what I can change about my various sources of hair,

I am challenged.

I am challenged with my hair, my eyebrows, and my mustache…

And more importantly, my mind, my personality, and my soul…

… to STOP trying to be something I’m not.

There’s nothing wrong with getting your eyebrows threaded, plucked, waxed, or wacked off for that matter.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with perming, coloring, cutting or even trading your hair out for a bag of somebody else’s.

Bags of hair weave/extensions

And there’s plenty of extra hair to go around.

beautystorehair

See… I told ya.

Now… there’s nothing wrong with becoming a better version of you.

But there is EVERYTHING wrong with seeking any changes outside or inside to validate the perfect creature you already are.

You are enough.

While we should always be in passionate pursuit of the best version of ourselves, we should never get that confused with copying the design of another.

So I challenge you to discover the woman you were created to be to the fullest – your purpose, your power, and every possibility.

I’m challenged to figure out how God made me and to learn to be comfortable in my own skin, my own situation, and my very unique set of circumstances.

I hope you are too.

I’m challenged to be the best I can be but not to sell-out for a cheaper less potent version of myself in the process.

I hope you are too.

I’m challenged to stop taking shortcuts and to live fully outloud the live – this one life – that I get to live.

I hope you are too.

And along the journey, if a few black or white girls…

…slap some chemicals on our hair for the perfect perm

…yank a brow hair for a flawless arch

…or shave a mustache for a clean upper lip…

who really cares.

I say we are all God’s chillun’ and focusing on who He wants us to be is more important anyway.

 

Today’s the last day of March, and I’m still working on the next post in the series. So #marchmadness will go a day or two into April. 🙂

In the meantime, feel free to check out this post on marriage at forthefamily.org

By | 2016-12-05T17:54:15+00:00 March 31st, 2014|Faith, Fun|27 Comments
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27 Comments

  1. Jo March 31, 2014 at 9:08 am - Reply

    I alone am enough????????? I am trying to beleive how that is 1% possible…but very very well written

    • Chrystal March 31, 2014 at 11:15 am - Reply

      Jo… Yes you are. The fact that you are enough doesn’t mean you have it all together. It just means that you are willing to be satisfied with how God made you inside and out. It means that you want to be the BEST version of you but not a version of somebody else.

      We just spend so much time admiring others or trying to get what they have and we don’t take enough time to admire and appreciate ourselves – just how we are.

      No one. And I mean NO ONE. Can do you like you can.

  2. Inga Ross March 31, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    You are so funny! I have struggled for years with my hair and I finally realized recently I was not happy without adding hair and perming my hair. I have finally realized I am beautiful without any help! I am wearing my real hair permed but no weave! This was a big step for me.:) I thank you and your father (who is so awesome) for speaking on the topics no one wants to discuss! We all appreciate it!

  3. Jo March 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    So why is it that i have thoughts alllll day every day ringing in my ears that I aint worth it, Im not as good as millions of others, that every one else is something but not me? How does the beleief process start?

  4. Jo March 31, 2014 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    I wanna get from “head knowledge” to “heart knowledge” if you get me

    • Chrystal April 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      Yes… I get you. Have you received the Reminder’s of God’s Love? Let me know. Those are the verses that I kept with me when I needed to know and be reminded of what God thought about me.

      • Jay April 4, 2014 at 10:22 pm - Reply

        Nooo…what are those?

  5. Murrell March 31, 2014 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    I’m loving it! Laughing and just lov-ing it! This is such a great post for the last day of March because it is so good and so t-r-u-e! I mean, I know I’m loved and blessed by God, but your words make me want to brag about it! I’ll be 40 next week and right now, after a life-time of perms (and yes, I sported the greasy–I mean curly perm back in the 80’s) I’m glad to say I’m o-natural, brown-girl style. I’m glad to say my husband enjoys all of this chocolatey goodness that is all his. I’m glad my 11 year old daughter sees her natural hair is beautiful and my 7 year old son says, “Oh mom, you look good!”. I’m glad to be satisfied with the woman I see in the mirror, kinky hair, moustache smile and all, (did I mention fuzzy chin?) Thank God He’s always working on the woman on the inside! Love & hugs. P.S. When I find a way to post my photo on your blog, I will.

    • Chrystal April 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      Brag girl! Brag!

  6. Traci March 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Good Word! I appreciate what you shared.
    Blessings,
    Traci C

  7. Lucille March 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Amen

  8. joanna April 1, 2014 at 2:28 am - Reply

    I absolutely love your blog! Sometimes it’s so freeing and relieving to realise you’re not alone when it comes to such issues as a woman. I love your writing style and humor. Thankyou from London, UK xx

    • Chrystal April 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Hi Joanna! Nice to “meet” you. Nope you are not alone. I write because I need to know that I’m not alone either! LOL!

  9. carla April 1, 2014 at 5:50 am - Reply

    THANK YOU!!! You spoke the words of my heart.

  10. Candace April 1, 2014 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. I am also a balck girl who lately has been struggling with my weight , I unintentionally began to loose weight i went from wearing a size 7 down to a size 2, which made me feel not so good. Lately there has been a struggle going on inside me regarding my size of being too skinny. Im sonstantly trying to remind myself of God’s word about me that I AM fearfully and wonderfully made, that HE carfeully knit me togather in my mothers womb, that everything he made is good, and also I wont be conformeed to the ways of the world, my thought process will not be molded by the worlds way of thinking, you know the one that says if your black you should have a hips, thighs, and a big butt, but thank God I’m learning to be content in whatever stage/situation Im in, learning to love me and embrace the women God created me to be and yes b/c the weight loss was unexpected I have gone the doctors to get checked out which Im currently waiting to hear the resluts back from , so keep me in your prayers thats it nothing life threatening.

  11. Matilda Harris April 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Love it! I am enough! God is enough in fact He is more than enough!

  12. raquel April 3, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Chrystal I just love how you keep it so real. March Madness has been so funny and uplifting. Thanks!

    • Chrystal April 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it Racquel… Good to hear from you!

  13. kwmechelle May 6, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Currently ADDICTED to this site! I love when I find a blog that preaches/teaches/promotes SOUND truth in an age when the “health, wealth, & prosperity” movement abounds in astounding numbers in our communities. But, when I find a fellow Christian brown chic at the helm of said blog, it makes me do all sorts of backwards flips in my head! Enjoyed this post very much. And kudos to you for pointing out that many ethnicities are aspiring to a form of beauty that runs counter to how The Lord created us. Recognizing the beauty of others and their different hair textures is a beautiful thing. But making that form of beauty something we’re trying to attain, while damaging the form of beauty The Lord has given us, isn’t healthy. And I’m on my own journey to learn more about what The Lord means when He says that I am fearfully & wonderfully made- body image issues and all. Good job with this post!

    • Chrystal May 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Ms. Kishia! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I’m glad you are enjoying the site. Look forward to getting to know you better!

  14. Vera Haskins December 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you for you comments– but the only reason I perm my hair because it’s bushy, thick and hard to manage. A year ago I decided to go natural… and it’s crazy I have tried to find product to calm the storm, but no success and at the same time I don’t want to perm my hair again, because I don’t like the touching up process. I’m happy in my skin, but a little help with the hair.. I am all for it.

    Thank you

  15. Shari Revels July 8, 2015 at 7:44 am - Reply

    This blog has really touched the inner me. I am one of those ” brown girls” mixed with a “creamy girl”. As a woman who is almost 50 years old, i am just coming into myself and realizing it doesnt matter who or what i am as long as i love myself and be faithful to God and myself.

    As a high school teacher of girls from tge entire rainbow, i see this internal struggle daily and will make this blog a suggested reading/writing assignment. I know it will have a great positive impact on many young lives.

    Thank you!

  16. Ashley July 14, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I LOVE THIS! Came for information on perms, and got a really inspiring blog post instead. Thanks girl.

  17. Laurel August 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I love you & I LOVE this post!

  18. mia May 16, 2016 at 4:41 am - Reply

    This was spot on, and FUNNY!! We must believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

  19. […] Read This Post: Black Girl Perms.White Girl Perms. All God’s Chilean Got Perms. […]

  20. Daniella July 25, 2017 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I love this article so much and it’s the only article I found on this that wasn’t anti-white, so I went into it really upset and ready to get my feelings hurt but I was looking for some information on it or at least some opinions and I ended up reading the cutest thing ever. & the people that are saying it wasn’t well written…

    It’s an article, it’s not supposed to be formally written, she’s being funny and talking about loving all people. I think it’s really cute and I love the part where you were talking about your hair getting pressed I loved it

    But I’ve always wanted curly hair just because it looks way better to me, it looks fun and individual, I love it so much and all girls should flaunt it if they have it

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