It’s a subject that I dealt with when I first became natural in May 2014. A subject that I rarely see natural girls talk about. A shameful feeling that I’m ready share. My Natural Hair Blues!
Coming from a history of 10 years in the corporate world, I was taught that there was no place for kinks and coils, especially in the “printing” industry which is largely white male dominated. As Althea Prince states in her book, “The Politics of Black Women’s Hair: “In the wider community, the Black woman’s natural hair falls low on the scale of beauty. I think it’s awful that society has nurtured this “Buckwheat” belief about short, kinky hair for years, and we bought into it! Shame on us. Unfortunately, this is the way that I was truly feeling when I first began my journey.
Living in Southern California doesn’t help. There aren’t many “natural girls” around for inspiration, in fact, many of the black woman I knew had weaves, their natural locs tucked up underneath.
I was dealing with these feelings intermittently, and very subconsciously. Not knowing my natural hair and how it worked also kept my confidence and self-esteem very low.
It showed its ugly head one day, and I was forced to deal with it. My husband surprised me for our 25th anniversary, bringing me to a high-end, luxurious Spa resort for a week. My hair was in twists. I was excited to be there, but immediately felt completely inadequate with my hair twisted. I actually felt “ugly”. I even cried at dinner that evening. My husband did everything he could to make me feel better.
I guess it was my first time out of my comfort zone. My first time not with my friends and those who loved me, and didn’t judge me because of what my hair looked like. Not that people were judging me, but my confidence just wasn’t there.
I continued to style my hair as I would at home, sporting a twist out and natural updos that week. The revelation took place when I realized that all but one of the other black women at the resort were all natural girls, wearing TWA’s (Teeny Weeny Afros), curls, and twist! I began to feel more confident, and haven’t looked back since!!
Things I love about being natural:
My hair is so versatile, mold-able like clay
Twists dry over night
My hair is long and thick (despite the 75% shrinkage)
Styles are endless
Twist outs are lasting longer
My hair is growing like a weed
My 4/b hair doesn’t tangle at all
I am an inspiration to other natural girls
My hair is living and breathing in its natural state
I’m feeling more confident, and beautiful
How did you feel about yourself when you first went natural?