Today marks my 1 year NaturalVersary! I’m so happy I decided to take this journey back to my roots!
One small piece of advice I’d like to share with those considering transitioning (long term like myself, or short term) or doing the Big Chop, is that along with the change occurring ON your head, be aware that there also needs to be a change that occurs IN your head!
By that I mean that we have to recognize that we have been conditioned, to a certain extent, to believe that there is only one standard of beauty; if you fit into it, you’re gold, otherwise, you have to make a change to fit in (like Hottie, on the left). For most women of African descent, we have tried to fit the standard by relaxing our kinks and curls. Many of us have been relaxing for so long, that we had no idea what our natural hair looked and felt like, nor how to care for it in it’s natural state. We’ve coveted that straight look; so much so that despite how bad the relaxed heads look, we continue to relax without seeking other alternatives. The mental beauty barrier, is arguably the most important barrier has to be broken!
I decided to transition in an attempt to assist with my mental transformation. To begin to see my hair, in what I would describe at the time, in a less polished manner. Polished meant straight hair and sleek edges! Anyone with, at the very least 4a/b dense hair, knows that in order to have the ‘sleek’ look, one must invest time, effort, and a lot of product!! I had to understand and accept that naturally, the hair around the nape of my neck and front edges is so curly that even a light gel won’t stop my hair from curling up; I had to be alright with that. I had to accept that those fuzzies that my mother pointed out in disgust when I needed a touch-up, were actually beautiful coils that I had previously forced into straight submission. For me, the seed of disgust for my hair was planted at a young age. It took a while to love my hair and that love was amplified when I finally cut off my relaxed ends, 1 year ago today!
Whatever hangups you have about your self, I suggest some reflection on Marcus Garvey’s quote:
Take the kinks out of your mind, not your hair!
I love the freedom that natural hair provides and encourage anyone who’s interested to do some self reflection and decide whether natural hair really is something worth exploring. Natural hair IS for everyone lucky enough to be born with it! There IS absolutely a learning curve, but it’s worth it to behold the crown you were born to wear!