Welcome to Curl Conversations. A concept I’ve been brainstorming for quite a while. It’s new which means I can only get better. Hope you enjoy this new weekly convo.
Topic: Do What you Want to do with your own hair!!!
Natural hair is in. Just wanted to get that out there in case you’ve been stuck under a rock for the last 5-6 years. I couldn’t be more happier that women are embracing what grows naturally and organically out of their scalp. Many people attribute the natural hair phenomenon to different things. I personally believe that Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ documentary started the conversation on what’s considered good hair and the image many people have in regards to calling one’s hair ‘Good Hair’. I know for me, it had me questioning the concept of good hair and why I hadn’t chosen to return natural.
If you’re like me, it wasn’t something that I had a choice or a say in the matter. When I was 14 or so, I got my first perm (shout out to Just For Me) and loved it. I didn’t know there was this option of leaving my hair in its natural state. I went to a predominantly Caucasian high school and thought straight hair was the way to be. I didn’t think anything was bad or unnatural about straight hair.
In college, I continued the trend but with my sister being able to do weave, sew-ins were introduced into my hair during this time. I loved them (still do). It was a way to get up and get out of the house quickly without having to spend 30 mins on my hair. I did start wearing curly weaves. Okay, maybe not curly but wavy. Still, I began to realize that I like curls in my hair.
It wasn’t until after college when I watched Good Hair that I began to wonder how my hair was without all the products and chemicals. I debated for a while but made the decision to start transitioning back natural. I figured if I didn’t like it, I could always perm it. So to me, it was a win-win situation.
It was around this time that social media began to erupt with Instagram and Vine (RIP). I saw where I wasn’t the only one returning natural and it was in that moment where I could appreciate social media and the community it gave me during my process. I transitioned for a little over a year and now, 4 years later, I couldn’t have made a better decision.
Notice I said ‘I’. I made the decision to go natural. I made the decision to transition and not big chop. I looked over what would be beneficial for me and my life and made the decision to do what the hell I wanted to do with my hair.
I’ve noticed that in the last year or so, people have made this hair phenom into a battle or war against natural vs relaxed. I don’t know where it came from but it’s immature. If you want to continue to wear your hair in its relaxed state, if your able to keep your hair healthy and relaxed, then keep doing that. Don’t be timid to relax your hair cause all your friends are going natural and they think your hair is damaged and will fall out of you don’t go natural. I know several people that are relaxed and have just as thick hair as those that are natural. Do what makes you happy. Natural hair isn’t easy work if anyone told you that. I spend more time on my natural hair than when it was relaxed. Do what makes you happy and comfortable.
Rant #2: when you decide to go natural, you decide how you want to go natural. You can either big chop or slowly transition (cutting off an inch or so of relaxed hair for every inch of natural hair that grows). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, ‘why didn’t you just big chop? You know it grows faster?’ Oh really??? And what cosmetology school did you graduate from? That’s what I thought. You can give me advice based on what you did, but don’t give me demands and questioning my hair choices. What works for you may not work for everyone. I’ve seen these Instagram born Cosmetologists that know everything about natural hair and I’m wondering when did Social Media start giving out degrees??? When you decide to go natural, my advice for you would be to see a professional that specializes in natural hair. They can give you advice based on your hair and the condition that’s it’s in. I reached out to someone and she has been the only one that’s touched my hair besides myself during the whole transition process.
Going natural can or can’t be a good decision. However, only you can make that decision. Do what you want to do with your hair and don’t let anyone else tell you something different.
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences