Sapphire Blu fashion. addiction. rehab.

1Sep/102

hair chatter: the decision to go natural.

My journey of being a natural girl began almost four years ago, long before 'Good Hair' and five second before everyone seemed to be jumping on the natural girl bandwagon. I recall wanting to go natural in college, yet my dad, whom I adore, made a comment about a girl's hair being 'nappy.' I quickly changed my mind. I always admired the strength and courage of those who had already taken the steps, but I was afraid. I wasn't sure how my peers would view the idea, but my dad had confirmed he didn't like it and at that time, his opinion outweighed my own.

Fast forward a few years, I went from being a southern belle to a big city girl. I recall getting a relaxer at a new salon and a few months later the hair that once graced my shoulders was cut into a bob just below my ears. I hated it! There's nothing worse than loving your tresses and being forced to do a big chop. The chemicals had pretty much eaten my hair alive. I was devastated, though it wasn't enough for me to stop getting relaxers. The idea of going natural always crossed my mind, yet I would toy with so many questions one would think I was trying to crack the code to an unsolved mystery. I always wondered "what would my dad think?" Surely it would have only taken two seconds to ask, but instead I opted to ponder. There was also of the fear of leaving my comfort zone of bone straight hair to kinky curly.

I seemed to be having a game of tug of war going on in my head about something as simple as hair. I suppose natural won after my roommate asked if I had any hair left as most of it seemed to be on the floor. Thankfully I have thick hair and I hadn't really noticed, but it was that very moment that I decided I was going natural. There was no plan of action, but I knew I didn't want to be bald, I was tired of being advised my hair was damaged every couple of months and the painful perm sores was enough for me to toss my questions out the window and move on with something I've wanted to do for years. I never shaved all my hair off like Sinead O'Conner because I would imagine myself with a bald head, loving it for a few weeks and then laying in the floor crying about a terrible mistake I had made. I will admit that was so melodramatic over hair that you can either grow back or purchase by making a quick trip to the local beauty supply store, but it often crossed my mind.

The first few months were very challenging: you want your hair to do one thing, yet it starts to do what it wants. Did I mention I started this process closer to Spring/Summer, which was not the best idea, but when is the right time for such a change? I would keep my hair cut in deep layers, though it was almost impossible to transition peacefully in the summer due to the heat and humidity. The first summer was frustrating as I didn't know what to expect so I ended up with braids. By the time I had taken the braids out I noticed my hair was starting to grow, looking healthy and I was on my way to chemical free hair. I think my excitement and motivation to keep pressing forward with going natural was being able to say, "I have not had a relaxer in so many months," and having those who relaxed their hair as if their life depended on it encourage you by saying they would NEVER go natural. It took about a year and a half to two years to grow my relaxer out as I always insisted on getting a trim vs. cutting the relaxer out completely. The greatest reward was setting an actual goal and refusing to back down no matter how difficult this may have seemed and probably one of the best things I have done for myself.

image

Share