i am planning a post on my undying love for the 49ers, but got sidetracked while websurfing…bcz isnt that what the internet is for? lol. anyway i was perusing newly natural under the products sections and started reading the comments. ever notice how the comments are often the most interesting part of a post? really tells you who is reading the article. while reading these comments, i felt a strong sense of nostalgia come over me. reading posts saying “i cant get my hair to do what i want” or “my curls are too tight, i want loose curls!” reminded me of when i first went natural. however, when i did, there were no wonderful websites like Black Girl With Long Hair or Nappturality. So…basically i didn’t know what the HELL i was doing! lol. i mean clueless. i let my perm grow out and was surprised to find out i didn’t have hair like Rachel True or Jada Pinkett. Umm, my curls aren’t cute and tameable! WTF? But I didn’t give up…mostly because of the reason i went natural in the first place…a bad breakup had me angry at the world. I felt like i had been treated unfairly and want to project that anger to everyone! And to me, going natural and wearing my fro was Angela-Davis scare-the-white-people perfect. So i didnt know anything abt twists or bantu knots. my hair looked as angry as i felt and i loved it. then i decided to do the big chop. i had already fully transitioned, but i was still angry so i stopped wearing makeup, kept a permanent scowl and went for the fade. As my hair grew, my anger receded and i actually started to get curious on styling my hair.
what was interesting is that although i didnt know what i was doing, i knew that there was more to the hair thing than the actual hair. i would try to style it, but it never quite looked right to my eyes. i went to a salon once or twice to pay $100 for the saddest two strand twists i’d ever seen in my life 😦 Finally i realized it wasnt just the hair, it was me! i had been trained by society on what looked good on my own head, and i could not appreciate what i had. my hair was BEAUTIFUL but i couldnt get past the 3c look. my hair is 4c all the way, maybe a tiny bit 4b in the front. it did not flow in long locks down my back like i had expected. just because i got rid of my perm didnt mean my hair would miraculously turn into the hair i saw on tv. But i began to see artists like Angie Stone with afros, and then erykah badu came (who knew that was a wig?!) and it began to be cool to be natural. i could see women with hair like mine ROCKING IT and it became ok that i had short kinky hair. i started to counsel myself about my hair: don’t replace one daydream with another. I didnt want to have Erykah Badu hair, i wanted MY HAIR! it was all about finding the love for my own hair and appreciating it in any state…poofy, straight, frizzy, silky…it’s all mine and it is gorgeous. Just the way it grows from my head, the way God made it is gorgeous. Once i started to really believe that, in real life, i felt truly free and more in love with my hair than with any man. when i met my husband, i had braids and i told him to not get used to them because i am NAPPY AND HAPPY! loving my kinky hair went a long way towards helping me love myself and i think it is an important step for any natural. Black hair is a topic that can launch a thousand articles, but i just wanted to drop this one for you real quick…it is now 10:16 and i must force myself to go to bed! but i am planning many more hair posts, including products as i am totally a product junkie.
here is the comment i left on newly natural:
i have been natural since 2001 and am still learning abt my hair all the time. 1st embrace your hair and its quirks…humidity? dryness? tight curls? work it! first, most of us wanted 3c/4a/tracee ellis ross hair, and not everyone has that. if your hair dsnt have that loose curl naturally, you can create it with a twist out or braid out. no money for products? a spray bottle of water, some shea butter and you can have beautiful twistouts. want length w/out flat-ironing? stretch out the hair. wear it in a bun, or try bantu knots…when you take the hair dwn you’ll have some length. it wont be perfectly straight, but if you are going natural, you will have to give up the straightness of the perm. you can go to the salon for a blowout/flatiron for that same look, but if you live in a humid area, that wont work!!!! now there are some brazilian products that will keep the hair straight, but even white girls are telling me how the effect last for 3-4 wks, and they cldnt get their curls back. you run the risk of a.) damaging your hair and b.) losing your curl action until your hair reverts back and sometimes it never does.
it took me a while, but i have figured out how to make my hair achieve all the looks you see in the media, without artificially changing my hair texture. ladies it is possible! but its not just about changing your hair, its about changing YOUR MIND. you can have beautiful hair, but you have to change what YOU think is beautiful, or it will still look ugly to you.