April 24, 2014

Omisade is Naturally Glam and Gray

Omisade writes: 

As an "OG", Original Goddess, naturalista, I will celebrate 19 years natural this upcoming summer. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a social justice dragon slayer.

I gave birth at 25 and 41---the first time as a single woman and the second time as a married woman who now finds herself single again. My eldest son is a senior at Howard University and my baby boy just started kindergarten this past school year. I have, in fact, 2 “baby daddies” who bust every stereotype known to man about Black men who don’t love, protect and cherish their children. They show up for my children and me in the most powerfully respectful and loving ways. They show up choosing to recognize that what didn't work for “us” in a romantic partnered way, was still fated before our arrival this lifetime to produce two of the most amazing human beings we know and therefore dictate an “all in” mentality.

Read On!>>>

I have worn my hair in a close Cesar, in a curly taper, 2 sets of locs, big juicy fro, twist outs---you name it. I will say that for me, the recent increase in sisters "going" natural and how that increase or surge has resulted in a billion industry of natural hair care product and niche markets is some times a mixed bag. It is exciting to see sisters embrace their natural hair and to see many folks---men and women to step out and create their own businesses to cater to this booming community.

Having a market is very much a part of our ancestry, no? I have always known sisters who were natural and when I decided to stop relaxing my hair in the 90s, there were no Youtube channels or vloggers providing me with tips, defining my hair type (not that I care one bit about that) or a bagillion (that is a real number you know) products for me to chose from. What existed then was a community of conscious folks with locs, TWAs, twist, bantu knots,etc. who were always in the same political and spiritual circles with me. They gave me tips and they also knew that my journey was my own to navigate. From the moment I walk out of the beauty shop and walk into the barber shop, I continued to meet folks I would call "navigators" who helped me along the way. When I first decided to loc my hair, the best advice I received was that all that is in me will manifest on my head and it deserves to be loved and cared for---every single loc. I remember first learning how to wrap my head in a traditional Gele in the airport on my way to Cuba by a natural sister from Alabama. The connection was spontaneous, it was sweet and there was something very pure and simple about that exchange We were not mainstream and we didn't want to be.

Where I live in NC, there was one, and I mean ONE brother in Greensboro who had the loc'd nation on LOCK (pun intended). When he started to bottle and sell his products in 1995, he set the curve pre-Carol's Daughter in NC. Now you have a deluge of websites, vloggers, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and blogs all dedicated to natural hair. I love it and sometimes it feels a little overwhelming. I am not always in the mood to discuss my natural regimen or rituals with neophyte naturalistas while standing in line a the bank only to hear, "well, you have good hair, so my hair won't do that". In my opinion, if it is on your head---kinky, straight, wavy or coarse, it is ALL good because it is all you!

We are making so many strides, we still have further to go and I thank God and my ancestors everyday that we get to live into a new state of self-love, cultural consciousness and healing starting with ourselves and then with our communities.

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