ESSENCE: “Curly Commentary” Kandi Burruss Tells Her Hair Story
I was born and raised in Atlanta and growing up everyone wore over-the-top hairstyles and went to all the hair shows. Actually, three of the Bronner brothers lived in my neighborhood. When I was in middle school, I used to put crimps on one side and press out the other side. Then, at one point I had one side stacked short and the back of my hair was long. I had all kind of looks. I got my first relaxer when I was in the 6th grade and I begged my mom to let me cut my hair when I got to 7th grade. She finally gave in and after that it was on! I was trying everything. In high school, I used to dye my own hair with peroxide. I had really thick hair and no matter what I did to it, it would be fine.
When I got into the music business, of course we changed our hair all the time. I cut all of my hair off again in 2001 and while it was growing back, I started wearing twists. I’ll never forget one day I was walking down the street and this guy told me, “You look like you should be on the cover of ESSENCE!” After a while I started letting it grow out and I had a big, wavy ‘fro. Then I decided to press it and put some color in it after my daughter was born in 2002. My hair was past my shoulders and so thick and nice. But then, while I was working, I started pressing it again. I even had a stylist burn off a big chunk of my hair. I reached back and put my hand in my hair and said, “Okay, where’s my hair?” He had sizzled it right off. Each time after that when I would get my hair done, I would see pieces that were gone.
Despite a few bad experiences, I still love changing my hair up constantly. I get tired of the same old-same old. I’m wearing it bright red now because I was bored having regular girl hair. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been thinking about chopping it all off again. I’ve cut all my hair off before and let it grow back, so I’m not worried about it. Now that I’m in my 30’s, my hair is not as thick as it used to be. I don’t have a relaxer and have been wearing weaves to keep my own hair away from the heat so it can stay healthy. I love the versatility and convenience of weaves. Right now, I’m really into my Heat Free Hair. I’ve had my eye on a curly look for quite some time, so I finally did it, and love it.