The other day I was explaining to someone that I have been natural on and off for over ten years. I have been rocking natural since before it was a “trend” or a “movement”. The woman I was talking to asked me, “So, are you here to stay?” Excitedly I declared, “YES!”. We proceeded to chat about how we could never go back to perm. I say this now, but 3 years ago, this was not the case. So, what changed in the way I felt about my natural hair?
First off, I developed a new attitude. The new buzz phrase in the natural hair community is “Natural Hair, Don’t Care.” To rock natural hair with confidence, you really have to develop a certain sass or swag about your hair. Now, I’m not talking about becoming phony or bourgeois, but when people see you, they need to see a woman who is not ashamed of the big puff atop her head. The naysayers about my hair suddenly became irrelevant in terms of the way I styled my hair (even family members). Either you were for me or against me. If you were against my hair, then I quickly changed the topic. My choice to go natural was not up for discussion. In the past, I let folks get to me, but not anymore.
Second, there are more resources now than ever before. From blogs to Youtube to online communities like the Love Your Naps Facebook Group, you are never without support in your decision.
Lastly, I learned how to adapt to the way my natural hair behaves instead of trying to make fit into the permed look I was used to. I also learned how adjust my schedule to my texture. Styling and manipulating afro-textured hair everyday in the same manner as relaxed hair is just not an option. You will either be late for your appointment or be tempted to use damaging hair practices to whip the hair into shape. Instead, I learned to plan out my styles for the week.
So, do I ever want to go back? Sometimes. I mostly dream of going back on bad hair days. But then, I remind myself that I had bad hair days even when I was relaxed. Other times, I think of going back when I just want to blend in and assimilate. I don’t always like the attention that comes with natural hair. But then, I wake up and realize that, “HELLO! Our very presence as Black people commands attention. So, get over it.” Stand up and be confident in who you are.
Tell us, do you ever want to go back to relaxer? What keeps you natural? Please use the comment section below or join us on Facebook.