Kushite Prince had a beautiful post on natural Black beauty and loving your natural self. Thank you, KP! (Please check out his video on beauty & self- acceptance and his wonderful youtube channel!) It reminded me that I’ve been back natural for 10 years! I can remember telling my bald, male hairstylist that it’d be the last time I came to see him unless he wanted to help me transition. Y’all.. the look and commentary in the conversation that followed validated my points to why I believed I was ready. I listed the pros and cons, giving it a long, hard thought for several months before I actually stopped relaxing. My main reasons were:
1 I kinda hate salons. He was pretty great with timing his appointments, but I hated using one of my two off day afternoons sitting in a salon.
2 Natural hair allows me to be lazy af! Of course I still have to do it, but I can do it at home. In my pajamas. No touch ups or salon visits needed. And it takes much less work for me to maintain and enjoy. And when I keep it shaved, that’s a quick 30 minute barbershop visit. #winning!
3 In college, one of my design teachers said something that stuck with me: listen to the fabric; it’ll show you which way it wants to go. Every four-six weeks, my new growth reminded me which way it wanted to go.
4 I was bored. My hair seemed to be getting thin and boring-er. It looked like every other Black girls’ permed hair. I was over it. I’d ran out of style ideas. I wore it down most of the time, sometimes with flat twists in the front or fashion clips. And then I started using my crimping iron more frequently to give it a fuller, braid-out look 👈🏾 That was telling.
5 This was before the social media and youtube influx and influence of natural hair tutorials and trends, so I actually had to ask around and talk to a referred stylist to help me transition. She was very helpful and encouraging and suggested two-strand twists with added hair. Once I got this style from someone I felt had my best interest at heart and answered all my questions without making me feel dumb, I knew I’d made the right decision. Plus, the twists were fun and funky and much different from the straight hair I’d known most of my adolescence and adulthood.
6 I like my money. Caring for my natural hair has saved me A LOT of money, time and discomfort.
7 Natural is healthy. Perming is unnatural, hence why stylists wear gloves and use applicators instead of their bare fingers. Hence the smells and hellacious burning. Some women’s hair follicles don’t come back from it, y’all!
I just wanted to share my story after 10 years in this thing. It’s sad that as a Black woman, growing and showing the hair that naturally grows from your head is still considered a revolutionary act. A nuisance. Unprofessional and unruly. I’ve met women who don’t think their naps are pretty, who feel ugly until they install that quick weave or touch up that new growth. I’ve been asked by sisters how I get my hair like this, in its natural afro state or twist out. I hope my words inspire someone to make that move.. or at least see the beauty in these photos—lovely images of self-reflection!
What does your mane say about you? How long have you been natural? What’s your main why?
Have you ever “relapsed” or been discouraged enough to think of going back?
All images found via image search; no copyright infringement intended.