Hey Ladies,

My name is RacquelTiara and I have been natural since May of 2007. That was the last time I had a relaxer but it wasn’t until December of that year that I chopped it off and went full fledged into my natural state. I know it’s really cliche, but the moments in that bathroom were so freeing for me, I felt like it was time for me to start living my life as myself. In hindsight, I know that I was just living the life of an individual who was hiding from herself.
I was 18 when I decided that I would go natural. It was many years before that I knew I wanted to wear my natural hair, but I was scared to death of what the result would be. Is my head shaped too funny? How would I style it? Would it FINALLY grow?! In my mind, the time was never right and even that December, I didn’t know for sure the time was right to cut it off. I knew I wanted a change and felt that keeping my hair the same would be a hindrance– I knew this because it was an embarrassment for me ever since I could remember. I know that hair is supposed to be a girl’s crowning glory, but for me it was a crown of shame. I was pretty much bald until I was about 4 years old and it seemed as if I grew hair right before I started school, but not really…..for me, it just wasn’t enough. Every other girl had long ponytails sprouting from her head with pretty twists. It just wasn’t happening for me because my twists were over before they started. I heard other people talking about, my “friends”, their friends, and mostly I heard it from my older sister. She was 8 years older than me but she reminded me in ALL her free time that I was “bald-headed”. Even when she was actually busy, I think she made time to torture me. I was walking with a dark cloud over my head and that dark cloud was my hair. It grew in the back, but the sides were a joke. The front had length but the middle was stubborn. And my dear mother, she took great care of it and made me feel beautiful but the world (and my big sister)beat me down. My hair was my black girl pain.

But the older I got the more I realized that I could free myself. I saw beautiful women on television and in magazines with big natural, nappy, kinky curly hair, and I knew I would get it one day. None of these women were in my world; I never saw them in the grocery store or at the park, but still I knew it was something I could attain. And sure enough I have. I have good days and bad ones. I twist and miss. I think about a weave every now and again, I think about chopping it all off again. But this joy that my hair gives me it incomparable. Although, there is still one minor problem… IT WON’T GROW! I have seen people natural for less than 2 years and have major length, but my hair won’t do me that favor. I have tried so many products and because they won’t work, I headband it up. But there is a part of me that desires to have a a head full of hair. Even all around, not noticeably shorter on the right side. I want it all: the length, the right amount of kink, the thickness, I deserve that for once in my life to have hair that I feel good about and looks really good.

So while I still feel free because it’s mine and I look cute with it, I still want my cake and I want to eat it too (who wouldn’t?). I deserve to have my very own crowning glory.

Are there any other natural girls who can help me work out the kinks? Anybody else that can relate?