Well… not just the transitioners. But the reason I say this is because a lot of people either on the fence about transitioning or already in the process still feel very unsure about what their natural hair will be like, look like, feel like, etc. If you have spent many years of your life using chemicals to alter your hair texture, it can be very scary to go from straight to curly, kinky, coily and nappy (all wonderful textures IMO!). It is so easy to go back to a relaxer or perm if you feel unattractive, unaccepted, rejected, or unprofessional.
The key is all about getting to the “root” of the issue. I think understanding the history behind WHY we grew up thinking our hair was bad or unmanageable is key to self acceptance in the natural journey forward. For me personally, I have been natural so long that I honestly cannot remember what my permed hair felt like. I went natural right out of HS so I have always ONLY had jobs with my natural hair. Any serious boyfriend/husband (brief stint with marriage, that’s another post) I have had has only known me with natural hair. Even still, there are times when I feel intimidated to be out in public with my fro all huge. It is not easy to be the only person in the room whose hair stands straight up when others’ hair lays down flat. I think it takes guts to walk down the street with your halo of fuzzy froliciousness! Natural is a journey and not a destination.
There will always be new things to learn about your hair. In the process, you learn a lot about yourself. You also learn a lot about the people in your life. I guess the bottom line is you have to be prepared to be different, stand out, get looks and stares from strangers. But that’s ok. It builds confidence, especially if you are a person who is shy and does not like to be the center of attention. Ok, so on to what I really wanted to share with you. This is an article I read by Djehuty Ma’at-Ra of DHerbs.com. It’s pretty cool and addresses African American history, texture, products, hair science, self esteem, consumerism and more. It’s long but I thought it was interesting to read, even after 10 years of being natural. I really think it is a positive piece for those interested in reshaping their thinking and that applies to anyone, no matter how long the journey. I DON’T AGREE WITH EVERYTHING HE SAYS but overall I like the main points. So click here to get to the article. Here are some highlights:
“Basically, without being made conscious of the texture of their hair as being some wicked curse stemming from the fictitious Biblical Ham character, or some mark of sin placed on Africans from God Almighty, or a defect on God’s part while making the African, Africans/African-Americans would not have the hang-ups on their hair (and other facial characteristics and physical anomalies, e.g. dark skin, broad nose, thick and protruding lips, large posterior or butt) that many of them have today which has led to the exploitation of such sentiment with the creation of a hair care industry that reaps hundreds of millions of dollars that don’t see any of that money returning to the communities where most Black women live in the form of beauty school scholarships and inner city beauty pageants.”
“African hair is manageable depending upon our diet, how we feel about ourselves (including our hair) or self-image, and our thinking or thoughts. This is something I have discovered through personal experience.”
“Black people (and every other race of people, for that matter) – ACCEPT YOUR OWN and BE YOURSELF! God made you perfect just the way you are. All you have to do is just take care of (maintain) what you have.”