Thursday, January 24, 2013
Why I Went Natural
In 2010, my freshman year of college, and even a little before then in HS, I always kinda wanted texture to my hair to make it look girly and less strict I guess, but it was hardly even a thought. I probably wondered about it maybe 3 times a year lol. And then during spring semester of my freshman year, I went to this salon to get my hair blown out for my birthday. It was about 5-6 months since my last relaxer so I was nervous about how straight she's be able to get it (who wants puffy hair on their bday). So I warned her my hair was extremely nappy so it might be difficult to get straight, and she was like, "your hair is fine! And your new growth is very manageable." So long story short, she did an EXCEPTIONAL job on my hair. While she was doing it she mentioned a few times that I should think about going natural and I was like, "ehh... maybe.. But I really don't want short hair.." And she opened me up to so many options! She told me I didn't have to cut my hair short, I could grow out my relaxer and cut it off as my natural hair gets longer and I was sold once she turned me around to the mirror and I seen how soft and straight my hair was. My thought process at the moment was that, I can grow out my relaxer and just wear my natural hair straight, or in that curly bun I always wanted.
That was the first time I actually really considered going natural but still, it was just a thought. I was REALLY sold on the idea a few weeks later after watching an episode of Tyra. The episode was about this one woman who had relaxed hair but was thinking about going natural but she couldn't decide whether its worth it or not to make such a big change. So Tyra got together a panel of black woman, half of them relaxed and half natural, and they both began giving their reasons why she should either stay relaxed or go natural. As I watched I was astounded by the discussion going on. I was in no way biased because even though I was contemplating going natural, I was still very uninformed and loved straight hair, but the reasons the relaxed women had for her to stay relaxed were so weak compared to the natural women's reasons. The relaxed women told her, natural is not professional, it's too time consuming, it's not neat, and other excuses that really seemed superficial to me. The natural panel hit so many better points in my opinion like, going natural is better for the health of your scalp, and you have so much more versatility. Two people in the audience who co wrote a book about the history of black women with their hair, stood up and briefly explained the correlation between relaxers, and slavery and that may have been the ultimate point that secured my decision. It just clicked in my mind that I really don't NEED a relaxer. What makes so many women with curly hair feel that it looks best straight? Who did we look to in the first place to want to emulate straight hair styles many many years ago when we started straightening our hair? And why are we so against our curly hair, that we would rather burn our scalp every few months to keep it straight?
These are some of the thoughts that kept me so determined to wear my hair natural. It definitely wasn't a one day process. I still flat ironed my hair for many many months because even though I knew I wanted natural hair I still thought I looked best with straight hair. The more my natural hair grew out the more I embraced curly styles but I only ever did styles I was comfortable with. That's the only way you can truly enjoy your hair, if you do things YOU like and change only when YOU feel comfortable.
I never once regretted my transition to natural because I never felt forced into any phase of it. I did what I wanted and enjoyed every part!