The switch to natural hair
I honestly don’t remember when i really started with my natural hair. I can’t figure out when I stopped perming, straightening, my hair. It could be 2015 or 2016, but like I said I am not sure. I know that it has been a while now, but although I stopped using chemicals in my hair it’s not until last year that I truly transitioned to full natural hair. When you are a mixed girl who has been straightening her hair since she was a young child, the idea of anything else is very scary.
“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be- Maya Angelou”.
I originally made the leap before my hair was really unhealthy. I just needed to do something about it, but it eventually became more.
How colored girls are raised – hair stigma
As a mixed girl I have what the black community call “good hair” but nevertheless it is still “black hair”. What started as a mere way to try to save my dying hair became more about finding a piece of myself. When I first stopped straightening my hair it scared me because it was all I knew. The process had always been the same. New roots come in we go to the hair salon for a perm (straighter). It was more or less like clockwork, quarterly. Sometimes it burns and it’s a long process, but from young we, colored girls, are thought that this is normal. Now you see more girls with their natural hair out, but back then you would never look in a magazine to see a girl with curly hair or natural hair.
Beginning phase with lots of heat damage
Transitioning to natural hair
When I first transitioned back to my natural hair it was a disaster. As insane I it sounds I had no idea where to start with the original, natural hair, that came out of my scalp. My whole life I was thought it was no good and now I was on my own in this journey. Because of that although I didn’t perm my hair, I still washed, set, and blow dried at the hair salon every two weeks. I mean it was healthier because it had no chemical and after all wasn’t it what I wanted! In the meanwhile with no idea I wasn’t still burning my hair but I will find out shortly.
I decided to do a bold move out of no where, cut my hair really short and didn’t flat iron it. I went home with an afro that day because I didn’t know what to do with my hair and neither did my hair stylist. My husband closed the door on me when I showed up home. I was down because I felt ugly; I’ve always had long silky hair that was mine. Society always told me that has it was, should be, and the only way for me to be attractive.
I won’t lie, even after watching YouTube videos I felt lost and couldn’t take it. So, I went back to the usual and back to the hair salon. My husband was happy, my mom, and society. I felt confident again, but something didn’t feel right. This is when my real transition began, late 2016; I think.
Change of heart
I think what changed my mind finally was something deeper. It felt like I had to prove myself and society wrong. Why is it that as women we cannot feel comfortable in the skin we were born in. How could anyone tell me I wasn’t beautiful because my hair was different. The crazy part is that natural hair is not different! Natural hair is what God, the universe, created us with and it’s what grows out of our head. I needed to learn to embrace myself just the way I was, just the was I am.
A learning curve
I won’t lie, I still feel less confident then when I have straight hair but I am embracing the journey. Taking care of my natural coils, natural hair, it’s a lot of work but it’s okay. Every week I learn something different and I just experiment. Through this hair journey, I am not only learning to take care of my hair, but my soul. If I can find peace standing against the status quo and learn to be confident just the way I was created then I can overcome anything.
It is time not only for colored girls, but for all girls learn to love themselves for who we are. Make up and straight hair are okay, but they shouldn’t define us. We need to teach girl that you don’t need to be like Kyle Jenner to be beautiful; she isn’t even herself. Women such as Nathalie Emmanuel from Game of Thrones teach us that you can be yourself and shine in the world. So my hair journey isn’t so much about hair, but about self discovery and self love. I hope we can teach the next generations of girls to be who they are. That they are beautiful as is. Do you have a similar story? Share with me.