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Curly Nikki

Natural Hair and Self-Confidence

By January 27th, 202125 Comments

Natural Hair and Self-Confidence

Fake it till you make it…

Adrien’s insightful recommendation hit home for me– ‘…even if you have to fake it a little bit at first… wear your natural hair with confidence.’ I truly believe she hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what I had to do! Like other things in life, you must tell yourself the lie (in this case, your hair is beautiful, when you feel it isn’t due to societal standards), until it becomes the truth!

One moment in particular stands out…

I remember attending a Kappa party my junior year in college. I was new to curly styles and was not yet sure what to do with my hair. So, I washed it, conditioned it, rinsed, applied a drying mousse and *combed* it through my wet hair. Can you imagine?! As it dried, it swelled to monumental proportions. I thought it was kinda cool, but I was still very self-conscious. When I arrived at the party, I rushed to the kitchen and posted up in the corner… there were fewer people in there so I could get my bearings before braving the crowd (it was also where the alcohol was kept, lol).

One of my besties (and fellow Kappa girlfriend) complimented my hair and told me she’d be right back. I felt a little better as I watched her make her way across the room to her boyfriend. She whispered something to him and looked my way. He immediately looked in my direction, shook his head no, puffed out his cheeks and raised both of his hands to his head… I guess imitating and showing his disapproval for my hair. Neither of them (to this day) know that I witnessed that interchange. The music was loud, the room was crowded, and we were all drinking. But I definitely saw it… and it stuck with me. Although it hurt my feelings, something sparked in me and I set out to prove that I could be just as beautiful (or even more beautiful) with my ‘swollen’ hair. At a later date, she expressed her desire to go natural, and also her boyfriend’s total rejection of it. Duh, LOL!

So yeah, I faked the funk, held my head high, and would kick across campus with my headphones blaring, usually some angry Eminem song, Jay Z (Dirt Off Your Shoulder was big then), or Kanye. Pretty soon, the real confidence came in, and not only did I notice, but those around me did too. I’d still get the ‘why won’t you straighten it’ comments, but most were compliments and expressions of solidarity. I had finally made it, and I never looked back.

How do you feel about ‘faking it till you make it? What did it (or will it) take for you to be able to walk out of the house and hold your head high?

25 Comments

  • Unknown says:

    I completely agree with faking it until you make it. I transitioned for about 6 months and recently did the BC before winter break. While I was transitioning my parents and even some friends (my roommate who was natural but went back) kinda made me feel less-than about my hair. A couple of them actually came up to me and said "We just wanted to say we like when you do [twist outs] to your hair cuz the other stuff was a mess and we wanted to say it to your face so we wouldn't say it behind your back". But after I BC you can't tell me anything. I'll randomly be in the car or just walking and just stop and say "Damn I look GREAT!"

  • Anonymous says:

    As woman of color, we should not have to think about "faking" our natural beauty. Do white women "fake' the way they style or wear their hair in it's natural form. Wearing our hair natural is beautiful and we must be self-confident within ourselves and ignore the haters who make the ignorant comments and give the blank stares. Sadly, many in our own communities. Natural hair is a beautiful thing. We must learn to embrace! Look in the mirror beautiful!

  • Unknown says:

    Star, you make an excellent point. I felt like I was hiding behind my weaves & wigs as well. Scared my wig would move or a track would fall, lol! While it is a little nervousness that comes with rocking your natural hair, I do feel like "This is me, accept me as I am!"

  • Erica says:

    I went through a period of mourning after my BC. I was previously known for wearing my hair in diff ways — straight bob, wavy, spiral curls. So suddenly just having my almost-bald-head felt like a shock to the system. I felt the need to wear more dramatic make-up and jewelry to regain my sense of femininity. It wasn't until I started getting compliments from strangers (both genders, all ages, all races) on being brave enough to have short, natural hair that I felt really confident in the choice. Sometimes I still have waves of hair envy of the women who can flip and up-do and pony and curl their hair. But I'm really excited for a few months from now when I will have a killer curly fro.

    – existenceET.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous says:

    After my BC, I must admit, I did feel unattractive. I was expecting my hair to look like "the lady on tv", that was so not the case. I have got to have the kinkiest hair ever (4C) known to mankind…LOL. I didn't realize that once I BC'd I would have to allow my hair time to adjust. 3 months and several products later, I can wear my TWA proudly. I love it. My husband on the other hand likes it "better the other way, but this isn't bad." Give him a few more months and he'll love it too.

  • Anonymous says:

    ^^ sorry typo

    "as confident as I always believed myself to be, going natural caused me to really re-examine……"

  • Anonymous says:

    I can relate to "faking it" so much. When I first went natural in March of 2010, I definitely had to tell myself everyday how fly I was because deep down I was dealing with insecurity about my new look. I really didn't have alot of support and my decision to big chop and I didn't transition at all.

    As confident as I always believed myself to be, caused me to really re-examine how I viewed myself on a subconscious level. I never knew that I had those deep feelings of insecurity.

    Going natural for me has been a great decision for me on so many levels. First, it is better for my hair. Second, it has really helped me to TRULY LOVE myself on a much deeper non-superficial level.

    Now it is to the point where I really don't see what the problem is with natural hair and why it has been so stigmatized, or why it is even a topic of debate in the first place.

    Just because someone else has a problem with their own hair, doesn't mean I need to have a problem with mine. Usually when someone has something negative to say about someone else's hair, that's because they haven't accepted themselves yet or are insecure. Knowing this, I just keep it moving.

    Their problem is not my problem…

  • Anonymous says:

    After months and months of being natural I'm still faking it. I'm usually a very headstrong person and whatever I want or like is not up for discussion. However my family is what I would call CLOSED MINDED. They continually make rude and uncalled for comments. I'm young (19) so they think they are trying to "help" me but really they have they're own agenda. I have not one family member who actually likes or even wants to help me with my hair. (even the ones with locks. they sort of look down on wearing natural hair out) So, I visit CurlyNikki everyday. The pictures, stories and comments help me keep going even when nobody else is in my corner. I finally stated learning what to do with my hair and it's behaving how I would like it. Even in these very humid NY conditions. But still even on my best hair days I fake that confidence around my family everyday. So I agree fake it until you make it.

  • Unknown says:

    I can definitely relate to faking it until you make it because I'm doing it now! (lol) I had my last relaxer in March 2009, and I've been getting inches trimmed along the way. The last couple of inches will be cut next week. (yay!) I have a love/hate relationship with my hair and when my hair isn't on point, I'm not on point. I try to roll with whatever style I have, but it's hard when it doesn't turn out as planned. In public you would never know this of course, but at home I get so frustrated at times I cry. Anyways I'm hoping once all the relaxer is out things will get better…and if any one has any tips, products, or styles for a 3c/4a curly please message me,! My username here is misstiffj.

  • BeautifullyFree says:

    I'm transitioning (6 almost 7 months in) and i'm 1 of those women w/long beyond BSL hair and i plan on doing a lond transition..anyway so far i havent had any bad comments made to me, but the way i feel is its my hair, you either like it or you don't. Its difficult enough to deal with 2 different textures then to have ppl making they're somewhat "jokey joke" comments, so thank goodness i haven't experienced it, i've gotten compliments & sometimes i don't, either way i do have my days where my hair is being difficult & on those days I "Fake it' as best i can anc keep moving! The goal WILL be reached and theres NO turning back 4 me!

  • angelarose says:

    I can see how faking it can be protective because sometimes when other people sense insecurity they press to it and try to weaken you further, you find yourself being defensive and even more insecure.

  • lilblackfan says:

    i guess i faked it until i made it, while transitioning.
    the biggest confidence booster was 1) the fact that i had been wearing a weave for 9-12 months, and was tired of braid up hair with hair that isn't mine on top 2) whenever i wore my fro out, i got hella compliments!

    i'm such a wash and go girl, but every time i step out, my wash and go gets immediate positive recognition.

    lastly, the boo loves that i can rock my fro with confidence. he says any other girl(s) he's dated who were natural ALWAYS wore it straight. he appreciates the fact that i can wear mine out. he likes pulling my curls and watching them bounce back:)

  • Star says:

    Honestly …..I TRULY didn't feel the confidence until I went natural! When I wore weaves/wigs it felt alil weird because I sometimes felt as if I was trying too hard or hiding something.I felt confident with the relaxers minus the weave, but yet when it came to swimming and getting my hair wet like in the rain or sweating my confidence dropped alil because I was always trying to cover my head up. Now that I'm natural those are no longer issues & I just feel better being %100 me! Ya know…men always like to say things like we fool them with our props like relaxers/weaves,makeup,wonder bras,spanks etc.,but when a woman is all natural,what you see is what you get,there's nothing false. I think that's part of the beauty in being natural!

  • modest-goddess says:

    I've found a Goody ouchless hair band can turn a bad hair day into a great hair day so I try to keep one around for hair emergencies.

  • Anonymous says:

    I transitioned for about 3 months after a bad perm. I went to the beautician hoping she would know to only cut where the new growth met the perm…NOT SO.

    She cut me nearly bald. I was P-Od!

    When I got home, I made a conscience decision to be bold and rock this look because walking around bald and doubting yourself didn't seem like that would be cute to me.

    A year later, I rock on with all my unpermed hair.

    I agree-FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT!

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair has always been curly, even with a relaxer. so I really didnt have a transition period. I just washed my hair one day and decision I didn't feel like wrapping it and sitting under the dryer ( I was wearing a short Rhianna-like style at the time) so I put some BABY OIL (ugh)in my hair and went on with my day. Well lets just say everyone wasn't happy about my new do. My mom promised to press my hair in my sleep and my girlfriend asked how long I was gonna "keep my hair like that" I wasn't that impressed with how my hair looked while short but I knew I wasn't going back to a relaxer. I knew that once it grew it out it would be the bomb diggity (excuse my 90's slang). So I faked it. I took up for my TWA even though I wasn't in love with it.

    Now that my hair is longer, about shoulder length when straightened, I love it. The only thing I think about now is how silly my gf must feel when we are in the mall or out to eat and total strangers approach me to tell me how awesome my hair…

  • Queenofthe4s says:

    It took me a few months to get used to my hair, so I hid it under wigs and braids. At one point, I saw a picture of me with the wig and remember thinking that it looked a hot azz mess, so I just started wearing my own hair out for all of that! LOL!

    I think it takes everyone a while to change their own concept of beauty and what looks good on them. Hiding it only prolongs the issue, so I say fake it till you make it!!

    queenofthe4s.blogspot.com

  • ~Decidedly Imperfect~ says:

    Wow! I had a very similar moment shortly after my BC. I was only about two weeks into being fully natural. Although I had alot of hair to work with, I hadn't perfected my styling & was trying tons of things. I was adamant about mastering the wash 'n go & was also experimenting with henna on the day that I was invited to a party a new hot spot. I started on my hair two hours before I had to meet a friend & devoted another 30 minutes to it once I got to her house. It resulted in the world's worst case of frizzy, shrunken fro. To top things off, she looked at me & said "I hope you don't expect me to compliment you because I'm just not into the natural thing!" My confidence was harpooned & I spent the rest of the night on the verge of tears. Once at the party, I ran into a group of naturals who's hair was on point. I bolted to the bathroom to make myself look presentable in their presence. I had no such luck but another good friend of mine was there & gave me a quick pep talk. (She knew it was my first time going out with my new 'do) She told me to fake it for the night & forget the hurtful thing our other friend said. I didn't absorb it immediately but I held myself together long enough to stay at the party for one hour. After that, I went home & cried myself to sleep. It took another pep talk from my mom a week later for me to get what the my friend meant by owning it & then others would feed off my confidence.

    I think it's true that you have to fake it for a while. For me, I did my BC on a whim after transitioning in braids on & off for 13 months. It was a new world to me & I wasn't sure that people would accept me. With time, patience and support of some other curly friends, the confidence came. It's almost like magic that it sets in that you are unique and expressing yourself without really trying. Now, I could care less what people have to say about me or my massive hair. Even when you don't think about it, people see your confidence just in you being a bit different from the images put out today. Embrace it & love you for all that you're worth! By the way, the friend that made that rude comment saw me at an event a few months later & started complimenting me on my hair. Later she messaged me on Facebook saying that she's thought about going natural. I told her that it was one of the best decisions that I'd made despite the rude comments. I even mentioned what she said (without saying her name) & she said that she couldn't believe someone would say something like that you me. Go figure!

  • predestined010 says:

    I defintely took a que from this line… I just gained confidence wearing my natural hair after 4 months after my BC.. everywhere I go people are complimenting me I still say its the total package and if a man cant holla at me with my natural hair then that isnt the man for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm not big on "faking it", its enough to know that I like what I like and I am who I am. I recall a sermon I heard a little while ago where the preacher was speaking on confidence and he said that "if they don't like what you're wearing, then THEY don't have style", and I guess that's the notion I subscribe too BTW it doesn't hurt that my hubby LOVES my natural hair so that's a HUGE confidence boost!!

  • Unknown says:

    i actually had a "moment" not too long ago. i wanted to dye the front of my hair blue black. um….. it turned out electric blue (then turquoise as i tried EVERYTHING to wash it out smh). and i had to take my daughter and her friend to the movies that night for her bday. ugh!! so i put it up in a (blue!) pompador and puff, and worked it! the girls thought it was cute lol! but yeah, on sunday i stayed home from church and fixed it.

  • Tracy says:

    I really was confident when I first left the salon. I ran a few errands and everywhere I went people told me how cute it was. Then it was time to go to work. I chickened out and called in sick. I have what I call 'supersized' features (i.e. eyes, nose, lips, etc.) and the curly fade made them look even more pronounced. The next day before work I went to the only beauty supply I could find open that early and bought the first wig I picked up. I wore that for about a week and would come home and try to get used to my hair in private. After re-upping on the confidence I went to work all natural and got an endless barrage of compliments. My confidence shot through the roof after that but I admit it still ebbs and flows a bit, but for the most part I'm good!

  • Unknown says:

    When I was in high school none of the black girls (unfortunately) liked my newly transitioned natural fro, but I forced myself to be confident and self satisfied with my curly/straight ends afro. Eventually my school peers began to realize how beautiful an afro could be and I think I gained some respect from the fact that I held my head up high and rocked my coily goodness with pride and grace.

  • Latoya says:

    I'm transitioning right now and I'm focusing on being confident. My mom keeps commenting on how she prefers my hair straight. And my hubby just can't help myself. He once said my hair looked like a dried up jheri curl. (I have to admit that was kind of funny.) And last night, he said he wouldn't have dated me when we first met with my hair like it is now. He says I need to lighten up, because he is only joking with me (although I know he really doesn't like my hair). I'm keeping my head up despite it all.

  • NaturaleSistas says:

    We recently BC'ed and it took some time for use to be comfortable with it. But we love our hair and are totally in love with it! we get tones of compliments on our hair, not too sure how many are legit though!

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