Natural Hair: A Trend or a Lifestyle Change?

11:02:00 PM 2 Comments A+ a-

When I see other naturals or those transitioning, I can't help but wonder why. Why are they going natural? Did they have some traumatic hair experience that made them forever swear off the relaxers, or are they doing it because it's the "in" thing to do. 

I tell people upfront: this journey is not for the faint of heart. We are programmed from a young age to think that straight is right and kinky is wrong. Look at society's misconceptions about skin color. When all you've known are relaxers for 20+ years, you have to have it made up in your mind that you are going to strip yourself of your security blanket (i.e., straight hair) and let your hair just be.

We as African-American women are somewhat vain. We will spend hundreds just to look good and be complimented by others. But what about self-validation? what about doing something for the betterment of our bodies as a whole and not for others? After all, it is YOUR body. So when it comes to our hair, we need to really have it made up in our minds that we are ready to be stripped bare.

I recall reading an email from a friend who told me that there would come a point in the early part of my transition when I would just want to give up. Take the easy route and pick up relaxer kit. She was so right. She also told me that letting my hair grow out would cause all kinds of chemical imbalances, confused glances from strangers, harsh remarks from family and friends and a plethora of other negative actions towards me. She left me with one piece of advice: do it for yourself. 

Know why you are going natural. If you are doing it because everyone else is, then this experience will be in vain. You won't walk away more confident and happy about the internal changes you are trying to make to your body. It truly is a lifestyle change. I am nowhere near the end of my journey but I am gradually making the shift to living a natural lifestyle, and for me, it starts with my hair. 

Why did you decide to go natural?


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August 12, 2010 4:44 PM delete

My stylist actually suggested I go natural b/c I loved to color my hair often and in light colors. Once I saw all the possibilities, I was sold.

August 19, 2010 7:50 PM delete

Great post!

I went natural seven years ago, however I wore more hair straight( flat ironed) up until April 2010. I was working out and tired of my hair sweating out. Since I transitioned I have learned so much about me. I embrace my natural curls and enjoy looking different from evreyone else. As you stated I am on a journey as well discovering and loving me for me.