Two years ago, I made the decision to go natural. Nothing momentous happened, I just got tired of using chemicals on my hair and I felt it would be nice to grow my natural hair. It was a difficult decision for me, but to a large extent, it was also an easy one.
I had noticed the natural hair revolution which had been taking place for several years and even though I liked the idea, I knew that there was no way I was going to go natural myself. My childhood memories of screaming myself hoarse while I was held firmly between two thighs as the neighbourhood woman who wove the children’s hair, pulled at my scalp without mercy…let’s just say those memories are ever fresh.
So I always associated natural hair with immense pain. No way I was going there. But I did. Because I was so ready and it just seemed like I could NOT do otherwise. So I set out to find out all I could about working with my natural hair. I wanted to know how I could keep the hair God gave me and not suffer so much pain.
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Finally, in November 2015, I did the big chop. Since then I’ve had people stop me and stare at my hair. And yes, some even try to touch it which is totally a breach of protocol but whatever. Once question I’ve been asked so many times is, How do you cope with your hair?
How do I cope with my natural hair?
It is a good question and there are times when I want to tear the hair out. Strangely, I noticed that my penchant for taking the scissors to my hair is dead and gone. I never have the urge to cut my hair. I really, truly love my hair. Yes, I get exasperated sometimes, but it’s like a dear child who sometimes gets naughty. So I don’t know if I’m coping, I just know that I’m comfortable.
And perhaps that is the crux of the matter. I am comfortable. It was almost as though by going natural, I lost the need to impress people. I became really comfortable with who I am. It’s ‘take me as I am or leave me.’ I can wash and go and really not care if the person next to me thinks I’m not quite okay. Someone once asked me to try and find some time to make my hair. I simply laughed, shrugged and moved on. I love my natural hair.
But natural hair isn’t for everyone
At least that’s what some people would like us to believe. However, it is not something you let yourself get pressured into. You do not cut off your hair and go natural simply because everyone around you is doing it. It is a personal decision. It is something that has to feel right for you.
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If you have decided to go natural or you are thinking about it, hang around. This week we will be talking about natural hair. We don’t know everything, but we do know a lot and what we don’t, we’ll get the experts to weigh in. We’re going to share natural hair care tips, styles, protective styles, hacks…anything and everything that we can. No matter how long you have been a naturalista (of it you’re still considering it), there will be something for you. And if you have some secrets, you can share them too.
Feel free to send in your questions as well to firstname.lastname@example.org.