a natural hair appreciation post

 

nat12Kushite 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!

 

nat8

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.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “a natural hair appreciation post

  1. I’ve been natural for almost 4 years now and I love it! At first it started as an experiment to see what my natural hair was like but it turned into an act of revolution. To fight white beauty standards and to stand in all this black glory! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course! Thanks for reading. It’s only ugly and unprofessional because natural hair is one thing they cannot take from us, one thing they cannot mimic without looking like clowns.

      Like

  2. Growing up, we were encouraged, at first, to wear Afros and then we were encouraged to get relaxers and so I went there. I had a hair stylist that had everyone, including other beauticians screaming about how beautiful my long, flowing tresses were. Then I moved to Minnesota and that ended that. Those people there knew nothing about Black hair care and my hair was torn asunder. I had to cut all of my hair off and start over. Now, I am about to attempt the natural look again and see how that goes, but I still flinch at going natural because of all the conditioning I had when I was growing up to get that hair ‘relaxed’.

    Those who go natural and seem to be quite fine with it, I envy because I am always second guessing my decisions over my hair. I hate whites. Sorry, but I just had to go there because I am quite sure they are behind the reasons why we have such a love/hate relationship with our hair. The same applies with those of us who have such beautiful Black skin, but who feel the need to use skin bleaching creams. We have got to get it together some kind of way and love who we are because we are most beautiful in our natural state. Why we go for what our haters throw our way, I don’t understand because they are busily trying to copy our look; both in hair and skin tone. SIGH!

    Thanks for this Kelley! It can never be discussed enough because millions of us Black women are at odds with everything about us thanks to what we are constantly bombarded with by THEIR media; movies, magazines, models, the whole nine yards with regards to what defines beauty. We need to stop looking to them to give us THEIR definition of beauty. They don’t even know or if they assume they do, they have determined that our beauty only looks good on them hence why they are busy tanning and attempting to ‘dread’ their hair and getting braids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The self-loathing is definitely deeply rooted. And now I’m seeing the promotion of interracial dating/marriage and creating mixed children who may have looser curls.. but what good is that when your mom (or dad) hates themselves-their darker skin and/or natural hair?
      We’ve been taught that we’re ugly and our natural hair is difficult. Not true! From a young age, I was told perming made it more “manageable”! You just have to learn your natural hair, be patient and use the right products. We can never be white, even with bleached skin and straight hair. And we really should not strive to be. We should just try to be the most comfortable we can be with ourselves.

      Thanks for your honest comment, Shelby. It is definitely an ongoing process to love ourselves just as we were made.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats Kelley! I’ve been natural for about eight years and I haven’t once wanted to go back. I did it initially because I wanted my girls to love their own hair, which I think they do. Neither of them have ever had a relaxer, in fact, my youngest felt bad for her friend because friend has never seen her own “real” hair. Anywho, in trying to teach them self-love, I learned to love myself ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesssssssss! It’d be a little off if you had a straight weave down to your crack while encouraging your daughters to love their natural selves. Because kids often do as we do, not as we say, right?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Amazing post! I’ve made a conscious effort to wear my natural hair out for 5 years now. I went natural mainly to become comfortable with not depending on wearing weaves and to commit to self-love. I’d say I do relapse occasionally by wearing wigs or braids mainly when i’m searching for a different style. I think it’s important when I do choose to wear straight wigs to be aware of the political message it gives off regarding standards of beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love dis! Been natural most of my adult life, from boy short (my fav) to braids and twist outs. I hated that press & curl as a kid and relaxers later felt like a lie. Plus, I hated spending chunks of Saturday at the salon. Much prefer Netflix and Naps! LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been natural for over 15 years (I used books to inform my transition back) and my daughter has been natural her whole life. I started with the shaved head and now have locs. I have only gone back to the shaved head, but I think I’m sticking with locs from now on.

    My daughter can’t imagine having a perm and has no desire for one, esp after seeing Chris Rock’s documentary about how they work.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First of all, those queens are amazing!!!! I have been natural for 3 years now. I went natural cause I hated saloons much!!! and I got tired of weaves. I relaxed my hair once and it got burnt 😭. I said never again and being natural has made me learn how to love myself. Lovely post ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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