Do you remember when you first transitioned? Was it difficult to decide to go natural? I was not the type to perm my hair as soon as I saw new growth. I remember waiting at least eight weeks or more to touch up my hair, but I remember how I didn’t like to see new growth. It looked ugly. I also remember my scalp hurting when my hair had a fair amount of growth. It was very tender and I rushed to get it permed so my hair would not break off because of the two extreme textures in my hair.
I also dreaded spending endless hours at the hair salon, as well as sitting under hot hair dryers, not to mention the high cost of maintaining hairstyles and the false pretense of being accepted by society due to having long, straight hair. It became exhausting. When I look back, I really felt like a slave to beauty and my appearance. I struggled with the idea of wearing my hair natural, mostly worrying about what others would think about me.
The first time I went natural was not by choice. My sister cut all of my hair into a very, very low afro or now termed, “TWA” due to hair breakage. I cried and cried as I saw chunks of my hair drop to the floor. Somehow, after the horrific experience was over, I did like my hair cut. I put on some cute earrings and wore some sharp outfits which gave me the appearance of a fashion model.
As time passed, I began to wear braids which became my signature style for years. I noticed every time I took my braids out, my hair had tremendous length. I tried weaves and wigs but really felt these options were not comfortable and preferred wearing braids.
As with chemical processing, I began to grow tired of sitting long hours braiding my hair. I also had problems at some braiding salons. I was just tired of spending money which could be used for other expenses as well as not being satisfied with the stylist’s work.
Going natural was not a forced decision, but a gradual one. I would change my hair frequently between many different styles until I eventually came to terms with my decision. It was a choice I made long before I saw anyone wearing their hair natural. I chose to wear my natural hair because I truly loved the texture and appearance of my 4C hair. It was finally healthy and thick and I was finally free!
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I was free from opinions of others, free from extra expenses, and free from spending endless hours primping. It is the best decision I made and I never regretted my decision.
So if you’re on the fence whether to go natural, no one can make that choice for you, but you. Don’t do it because you see everyone else wearing their hair natural. Your personal experience is real and your own. It has to feel right for you and “Only you.”
Wearing natural hair is not a fad, trend, fashion statement or political statement. We have had painful journey due to our past history. But, let’s not carry the pain any longer. It’s just hair and another option, period. We no longer accept the influences dictated and spoon fed to us by the media of the standards of beauty. It’s time that the stereotypes, judgments, hype, explanations and opinionated views be discarded. It’s time to step into authentic beauty and just be.
Please feel free to leave your hair journey experience in the comment section below.
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