I was 8-years-old when I had my hair relaxed for the first time — much to my mom's chagrin. She had dropped me off after school at the hair salon so that I could have my hair pressed and curled for my birthday the next day. I guess the stylist didn't feel like dealing with my thick head of unprocessed hair — I was her last appointment of the day, after all. So, before tackling my strands with a curling iron, she put a mild perm in it to make it more pliable. My mom was pissed. Me? Thrilled....

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