October 4, 2013

How Far Have You Come in Your Natural Hair Journey?

by Chai of Back to Curly

Do you ever give yourself a pat on the back in light of how far you’ve come in your natural journey? Truthfully, some may sneer and balk at the idea of a natural femme spending several hours dotting on her tresses, taking the extra care to detangle, twist & style…but this simple act, over time adds up to such a greater accomplishment. Thinking back to when I was younger, growing up with a mother who brushed, combed and greased my hair regularly… I rarely if ever saw a grown woman care for her natural hair. This perhaps wasn’t the norm back in the early 80’s, but it was such a rarity that another person had to convince me it was true.

Read On>>>


The dolls I carried around as a child were similar to me in likeness…but to a fault. Thanks to PJ sparkles I understood that in order to be/feel pretty, I had to dress in pink, rock a pink bow cocked to one side and grow long silky black hair.

And I did. Until I dared for something more and sought change where even my own mum felt uncomfortable in exploring. It starts off slow…and progressively, the anticipation grows when you realize that natural hair does not have to be banned from anyone’s life. It does not have to be shammed for what it is, what it can nurture and grow into as we get older. There is in fact life after pigtails and ribbons adorned in perfect symmetry.

And while I sometimes wish these lessons were taught to me at an earlier age…it’s more than fine to explore and learn these lessons today. I’m thankful, grateful and encouraged each day that the natural hair community gets stronger, bolder and thrives! This is not about showing pride per say…but more so acknowledging a job well done. I started from bare bones…no support system. A mother and father who, rather than understand, relegated my decisions to fits of crazy. Close friends nicknamed me Chia Pet, laughed behind my back and often to my face saying…”you’re too old to be wearing your hair that way.”

When you’ve come to hear it all, ironically you don’t care at all…anymore. Perseverance is a strong alliance in this journey and without it I’d be lost. When I mention to other newly naturals that my first Big Chop was over 10 years ago, rarely do I mention the void that existed back then. It’s where I was…how it all started. And yet, often this is how the most inspiring, sustainable journeys begin. From nothing but inspiration & determination we’re able to witness a growing movement so strong, I’m often taken aback at how far we’ve all come in this journey. As a collective, it’s humbling to see how much we’re willing to learn daily, weekly in order to care for our tresses…to help persevere that knowledge for our now future generations.

Of course this is more than just about hair. It’s about respect, and saying I acknowledge all that you do in order to persist in this journey each day. It’s also, more than anything… encouragement, so rather than look at how far you’ve yet to go, instead be thankful and appreciate all that you’ve already accomplished.

14 Weigh in!:

LaMaraVilla said...

lawd that's some pretty hair in that picture. As for the article, tl;dr.

Anonymous said...

14 weeks since my last relaxer is how far I have come....and I dont plan on ever big chopping, its 2011 you no longer have to cut your hair off to go natural!

NancyM said...

Nice story. I'm transitioning (over 10 months so far). I'm amazed that I've made it this far in my journey. I never thought I'd make before I started, but the journey continues to be worth it. It really helps that the lovely ladies on this site and other sites share their advice and tips so freely. I don't think I would have made it otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I've been natural for well over a decade and I remember when there wasn't nearly as much information available as there is now. Stylists were of little to no help and in fact they looked at you crazy if you (a woman with Afro-textured hair) asked about going natural or if you asked about any style other than a TWA. Taking the time to really learn how my hair works -- and I personally believe you HAVE to spend some quality time natural to really learn -- has been the best decision I've ever made for my hair and one of the best decisions I've ever made for my wallet, personal style, and self-image. Today's naturals are VERY fortunate to have all this information available at their fingertips! Tomorrow's naturals even more so!

Anonymous said...

Girl give me that hair!!! :) Its beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Your Hair. Is Amazing. I Mean. WHAT! #hairlove
I hope I get to where you are some day : )
thanks for the insight!

leesicam said...

Lately, my hair has felt like a scouring pad so I'm going to get a hair cut. Barely out of the TWA stage but scruffy ends are a hot mess.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say as a fellow 80's baby... I loved my PJ Sparkles doll too! LOL

Anonymous said...

Surely the model in this photo is wearing extensions. It does not look like real hair.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post!

Tab said...

Anonymous at 8:50, stop being a hater. What is the name of that head. I need more pictures of her.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to bust your bubble Tab, but Anonymous at 8:50 is right. If you click on the picture to go to the original link and then click the button for "next post", the last comment confirms she's wearing extensions. Too bad though. Her hair is beautiful just the same.

Carla said...

Extensions or not, I love the hair!

Anonymous said...

I went to high school with this girl, its not her hair. But she does have beautiful hair underneath it. Not to mention KILLER STYLE!

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