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Curly Nikki

‘I Was Natural Before it Was In’…

By January 27th, 2021110 Comments

'I Was Natural Before it Was In'...
Chelsea writes:

As a transitioner, I’m constantly hearing that I should examine my “true” reasons for going natural. We’re told that if we do it for the wrong reasons, then we’ll quickly become disappointed and head back to the relaxer. But what are the right reasons? It pains me when I hear seasoned naturals make comments like, “I was natural before it was in”, as if their reasons were more genuine. I will be honest when I say that after seeing many curlies in the media, I realized curly hair could be beautiful and I too wanted what they had. This greatly influenced my decision to go natural.

My question to you ladies is if we weren’t in the natural hair revolution would you have really had the courage to go natural?

Did the media play a role in your decision to transition?

Do you see natural hair as a fad, or is it here to stay?

110 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Me personally i never liked perming and always wanted to stop, i only continued so i could keep outside opinions happy. in all honesty without having this new movement i probably would have kept it natural…with a weave. This new "natural hair movement" gave me confidence and inspired me to be myself in every possible way. I think that to be all high and mighty about doing something first is wrong you should feel proud to have inspired someone else to be happy with who they are and what they have.

  • Vaness says:

    I'm a 50 year old woman who has been natural for years and years and years. When I was a little girl, my Mom would press and curl my hair for "special occasions", even though I would rebel. Any other day of the week I was allowed to wear my hair in its natural state. I asked her if I and my hair weren't pretty and special enough the way we were, but Mother felt that she knew best 😉 She eventually relented and allowed me to care for my own hair when I was 13 years old. She shared with me the "tricks" that her mom and other women down south used to "deal with" their natural hair in all that heat and humidity. She and my Grandmother taught me to make natural conditioners and to do rag roller sets, which I still use to this day.

    I do believe that everyone has a right to wear their hair in whatever style they choose. As a teacher in an elementary school setting, I see the beauty and intelligence in all of my students–without regard to what is or isn't on their heads.I really don't advocate an "us against them" attitude when it comes to hair, skin, clothes or any other physical attributes. I'm glad that my school district, community, and society are, little by little, getting on board.

  • Anonymous says:

    i was orginally natural until i went into middle school and i got made fun of by other girls. yeah my hair was longer than theirs but at the time i just wanted to fit in with all the straight haired girls. so i begged for a perm. but i didnt know how to do my hair correctly let alone permed hair correctly. when my hair started breaking off and spliting i honestly thought it was because i didnt know how to do it right.so before i started high school i BC'd and never went back. so i changed because i was going back to what i was use too. im 29 years old and have to say ive only been permed 3 years out of my life. so i honestly dont know any other way. and at those times naturals werent around. I dont know how many times i was the only natural on teams, in classrooms and in schools. so i used sewn ins and braids to fit in. now things are just more widespread because of internet and media groups.

  • paintgurl40 says:

    My decision to go natural was due to various reasons:
    1. My hair had grown to jaw length (after 10 long years!) and although it was bone straight and shiny, it was LIFELESS! My beautician would curl it and it would go flat by the end of the day.
    2.My beautician announced to me that she was moving back to Louisiana and she would refer me to some younger stylists. Well I was introduced to them and suddenly I didn't want to go through that song and dance again. The spending my entire off day at the salon, the scalp burns, the bad advice and attitudes…
    3. I watched "Foxy Brown" and "Cleopatra Jones"
    and just started admiring/wanting their afros.
    Now 5 years later…
    1. My hair is longer than it's ever been with a relaxer.
    2. It feels good to not waste so much time, money and energy at the beauty salon.
    3. During this hair journey, I fell in love with myself and my culture all over again.
    4. I don't see myself relaxing my hair ever again.

  • Maria says:

    Most of my Latina friends (they range from 2a-4b) are all natural. My DD's friends are almost all natural. I just didn't see the point of relaxers anymore. I always admired natural hair, just didn't know how to transition successfully. I don't pay attention to the media. Heck I didn't know nor did I care that natural hair was "IN" I just wanted to do what was right for my own hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been natural for 23 years. So while I understand how "seasoned" naturals can come off as negative, its important to look at the other side as well. When ppl assume you just became natural its like uh I dont rent this home I own it. There is a sense of pride and just like if you have a PhD you want to be addressed as Dr. I do hate to just come across "trenders" who are just following and want to be your hair buddy but next month they have a perm. Its annoying no doubt but what is a doctor w/o any patients/patience? I remind myself that there is a larger movement for women to be ok/proud w/ who they are and for older women to set a good example for young ladies despite the media. If its werent for all the transitions we would not have the improvement of products and access that definately didnt have growing up. So like life in general we should kinda pay respect for those who came before us and have respect for those who come after.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think this new natural vs old natural is a bit of blogger hype and drama mostly. HOWEVER, do motives matter? Yes to a certain extent.I personally think it's ok to be honest and say ,"hey this is a new hairSTYLE I'd like to try." It seems anathema for people to admit that! What irks me is when people go natural, go hard at first, get on the this is god given reclaiming my beauty blah blah blah and THEN when the hair strands get rough they are back to relax etc. For those women, natural was a style choice, they didn't like it and went back and that's OK, but acting like you were all revolution riva when it was just a style choice makes you look like a damn fool.

    Know YOUR reasons for your choices. You really don't need to justify them to anyone! Just be careful of sounding the trumpet when you should be playing the flute.

    I've been natural off and on for a bazillion years because I enjoy natural hairSTYLES and I'm not a fan of straight hair. I used to get relaxed then use a crimping iron to put texture back into my hair. No, there were no sites back then but there were a few books. Mostly, I'm just content to wear my hair the way it grows out of my scalp- frizzy, coily, bushy, curly and textured the way I like my hair to look. It was never a revolution for me.

    I enjoy the many styles presented out there with the growth of natural hair in the media, but, because my motives were and are entirely selfish it matters not whether its fad for some.
    I will say I'm always always happy to see black women taking care of their REAL hair and I do hope people continue to take more pride in their hair and health in general. Chemicals that burn holes in your scalp are not the business.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm 10 months into my transition. I started toying with the idea when learning to care for my daughter's hair. I had NO clue what to do with her very thick natural hair because I've almost always had some kind of chemical in mine and I found it sad that as a mother, I didn't know what to do with my own child's hair (I shamefully came THIS close to relaxing it, thankfully I found sites like this first!). I learned so much from visiting sites like this that it eventually gave me the courage to try to transition myself.
    So I applaud those natural pioneers who didn't have all these resources and I think in a way many of them just want that recognition that they had it tougher. Without them my daughter's hair would still be looking jacked up, lol.

  • Anonymous says:

    I would be curly/natural no matter what. The main reason I am natural is because I am to lazy to not be natural. It is just so much easier to take care of my hair. I no longer have to take hours blow drying, flat ironing and wrapping my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    It always amuses me when people talk about going natural as a "fad" or for fashion reasons. I went natural without even knowing it. I was a broke high school graduate heading to college spending every cent on books and tuition..no money for salon visits. As for cutting off my damaged permed ends? yeaaah..I took some shears and cut off little by little every month thinking the breakage must be because of all the stress from college. I had no idea it was because my natural hair was meeting my permed hair and that area was prone to breakage.
    For me it wasn't a choice..it was a necessity.

  • StephanieB says:

    I went natural 6 years ago and I only knew two people that were natural…my sister and a co-worker. Also, we didn't even discuss natural hair b/c they only wore their hair in afros. I eventually decided to go natural b/c I HATED getting my hair relaxed, I wasn't good at styling my relaxed hair, and I hated spending the money at the salon. So, I went natural and wore my hair in an afro until a year ago. I never thought that I could get my hair to do anything other than afro until a stranger complimented my afro and then asked me if I ever try other styles like twist-outs. I told her that I wasn't good at styling my hair and she told me how easy it was and she advised that I do a search on YouTube on how to do it. I followed her advice and the rest is history. I rarely wear my afro now. I just wish I'd seen all the resources earlier. So, the media or knowledge about any kind of revolution had no effect on my decision to go natural.

  • Anonymous says:

    The "natural hair revolution" is a consequence of the internet. It has allowed people to "slve a problem". The "problem" was that many of use were not educated on techniques, ingredients, and I was tought that my hair was just "impossible to be taken care of". The relaxer was offered to me as the only possible solution. I did try many times before but I was lost, and I wouldn't be natural today without the internet, especially because I have no african or indian long haired grandmas that could pass the information 🙂

    I believe in about 5 years the world will suddenyl see many long haired naturals on the streets and people will wonder "what happened?". Seeing natural long haired "afro" blond women on the main catwalks this year for the very first time is a signal of a cultural exchange that is happening, and the most exciting thing is that it's not coming from the market but it will influence the market for sure.

  • Hypsin says:

    My question to you ladies is if we weren't in the natural hair revolution would you have really had the courage to go natural?
    A:
    I didn't know there was a revolution so yes I would.

    Did the media play a role in your decision to transition?
    A:
    No it didn't influence my decision I just hate scabs on my scalp and having hair dressers tell me "your scalps to sensitive and your hair is very resistant" Unfortunately, my breakage was about the same as pre-relaxer. But the media did play a roll in working with my hair, specifically it was the internet. Before I would cover it with weaves and extensions, because it would break at the nap even when natural.

    Do you see natural hair as a fad, or is it here to stay?
    A:
    Honestly, yes it is a fad but with a no. "Why" you ask, hair is one of the most consistent fashion statements one can make physically to there body and hair styles have always changed over time so it inevitable that it will change. The excitement for it will reach a peak and then start swaying toward something new. But luckily this fad will help place it under a common occurrence which in turn will become considered part of the norm, when this happens then it will not be considered such a hairy issue in certain instances. This is all assuming it doesn't get treated like the 60's-70's afro and be seen as dated or a them against us sub movement like vegans against everyone else. This will then put it as subculture not fully accepted by mainstream.

  • Nikki says:

    I've been natural most of my life. However, I think the internet (and other media) is a beautiful, powerful thing, because women who before would've never considered wearing 'their' hair now do. It may be a trend, yes, but what a wonderful trend it is, as it opens the minds of women (and their men;)) to the fact that beauty can be natural:)

  • Anonymous says:

    I think if not for the "curly hair movement" I don't think I would've gone natural simply because there are tons of products on the market now for hair like mine. Before, the options were really limited. When I first went natural I was so scared I was gonna be stuck with braids forever, greasing my scalp or using that pink lotion stuff (that never worked in my hair).

  • Reketta says:

    I do not know if a "revolution" is what we are experiencing. There is a vast amount of information spreading on the web about taking care of natural hair, but revouluion…not so much. I BC'ed in Aug and although I live in the "natural tolerant city" of Atlanta, I still get sideway looks and smart remarks from relaxed Divas. I also do not necessarily think we are a cohesive group fighting for a particular goal. We are all individuals coming from different walks of life who just happen to be natural.

  • Renise B says:

    the media did not play a role in going natural. I had been completely bored with my hair for about a year. I kept cutting more and more off to entertain myself. I got a sew in b/c i was tired of short hair. A few days later, my best friend told me she was thinking of going natural. i started researching and fell in love with the textures and massive hair. I took my sew in out few wks later and chopped. It's been almost 2 years.

    I do think the media has had an influence as it has an influence on most things related to fashion. I'm sure some pple will go back to relaxers but that was happening before it was popular anyway. But as other's have said, why does it matter? All over hair blogs/sites pple are alway saying that others should mind their business and let them do what they want with their hair whenever they want to. How is this any different? Why jump on someone b/c the chose to go natural recently as opposed to 10 yrs ago? Why do you care? It's not your hair!

  • Namun says:

    My mom was my main inspiration for going natural. She had stopped relaxing a few years before I started to grow out my relaxer. Then my niece was born, and seeing her curly, crazy hair inspired me even more. I think that the media and the "natural hair revolution" has helped and encouraged me by providing resources and (I have to admit) I love seeing curly haired people on tv.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have always tried to be a rebel. If everybody was doing it this way, I wanted to do it a totally different way. I went natural in 1998 or it could have been late 1997. I don't even really remember when I cut all my hair off. Yeah, I was natural when it wasn't cool, but does that make me special…..no! I am not going to judge anybody or look down upon someone for going natural, that's not for me to do. I think it's great that there is so much information available to help women of color with their natural textures. I was still using grease until 2008. I didn't like it and my hair didn't like it, but that's what I knew. It wasn't until a newly natural women told me about Curl Mart and YouTube. If ever or whenever any person wants to go natural just enjoy the journey!

    Brandy B.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can truly say I was natural before it was "in".

    No media influence – I didn't get a relaxer until my last year in high school and I would go months without getting "touch-ups" so I was like what's the point b/c I liked my texture; with the full support/encouragement of my hair stylist went relaxer free.

    Natural hair for some is a fad and for others it's here to stay – a lifestyle, it's who they are.

  • Carla says:

    Though I never had a relaxer, my hair was still pressed and flat ironed on a regular basis. I only went "natural" when I swam. In 2002, I was tired of wearing my hair straight and dealing with the heat damage so I decided to "go natural". I knew I looked better with my curly hair than straight. Because my hair was damaged, I had to transition as if it was relaxed, but I never looked back.

    I didnt really care what other people were doing to their hair at the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    maybe the day will come and we will simply say to a natural woman…I really like your hair.

    no need to explain nothing.

    keep hope alive…for that day.

  • books says:

    Humm thoes are some intersting questions. I decided to go natural when i was 18 back in 2000. I transitioned for a year and then bc. I went natural for a combination of reason. My cousin who i always looked up up, but only saw every 3-5 year went natural and I really admired that. I also started college and began questioning my identity and definitions of beauty (thanks liberal arts college curriculum). I knew i wanted to be in control of my person and i hated that people defined beautiful back women as only women w/ long hair. I had friend once tell me I would be pretty if i got some weave (while I was in high school). I however had no idea how to take care of my hair. My family and friends were unsupportive. I was also going through a phase where I dyed my hair a new color every week ( oh to be 19 again) I knew I didn't want to relax my hair again. It would go against all my new found principals but I wasn't prepared to deal with my hair. I ended up dreading my hair as a compromise. With my intense and hectic school schedule, and just didn't have time for hair and deads really worked for me. After 9 years of having dreads I decided to let them go, and wear my hair out again. I don't think it matters when you go natural. It all about self realization. I love that there is a whole community out there for me. There was no information 2000 about natural hair. Now i know what I did wrong and how to properly care for my hair. I say yes to the revolution. With out information and only principals it's hard to stand by your beliefs. So i thank everyone for sharing their stories and knowledge <3 <3

  • Efe says:

    If the 'natural hair revolution' didn't take place I would have still gone natural. The last relaxer I had burned me something fierce! I'd be stupid to do it again.

    The media didn't play a role in my decision to transition– The bad perm (as well as common sense) did. I will say that I always loved Lauryn Hill. Her hair gave me some notion of what my hair could/would look like.

    To me, natural hair is not a fad. I BC'd because of damage but now it about so much more than that. It's a way of life. Going natural has resulted in me wanthing to live a more natural, healthy life.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am one of those women who points out the fact that I was natural before it was "in". For one reason, people are always asking how long I have been natural so when I say 7/8 years, I always add the other part to my answer. I also point out how the women who are deciding now to go natural now (for whatever reason) have it much better than I did. When I went natural, and big chopped into a "fade" – I got so many crazy looks and negative comments, especially from family & "friends". After a year of growing my hair out, I went back to the perm (for 6 months) because I let negative comments get to me. I didn't have the strength to go at the natural hair thing alone & these online networks weren't as big then as they are now. When I big chopped the 2nd time I wore braids & wigs to avoid what I had gone through before. Now, just a few years later it seems like everybody loves my hair & there are so many people who are natural and who are going natural. Some of my friends/family who are now natural are the same ones who commented & reacted negatively to my natural hair. I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like mentioning the fact that I was natural before it was in, it's like my badge of honor for what I went through at that time. The ladies who are newly natural are lucky to have so many around you who are going through the same journey & so many resources for hair care products 🙂

  • Renee says:

    I went natural because I wanted to be able to do my own hair. I also wanted my hair to be longer and healthier. Once I realized that being natural was the best choice for me, I started my transition and never looked back. The media is always going to latch onto things that they think are going to be hot and spin it until people get sick of hearing about it. Even if being natural becomes unpopular later, I'm still going to be natural because that's what works best for me.

  • MommieDearest says:

    I've been natural for almost 8 years, and had been toying with the idea of going natural for 5 years before I finally did it. I stopped relaxing because I was tired of my hair going through the vicious cycle of "grow 2 years, then break off, repair damage; grow 2 years, then break off, repair damage…" And I got tired of giving the salon so much of my money and so many HOURS of my time. So, I guess I would qualify as a natural "veteran" who didn't just jump on the "natural bandwagon" thinking it's "trendy." But you know what? If a sister went natural because she thinks it's the "in" thing to do right now, who cares? I sure don't. Any time a black woman decides to give up the creamy crack, for whatever reason, it's a good thing. And if it takes a "revolution" for some sisters to get to that place where they feel comfortable enough to let the relaxer go, then great! More power to them. I'm more than happy to have them join me in the land of the free. It's all love, and it's all good.

  • LBell says:

    I'm sorry that people are perceiving those of us who were natural before it was "in" as looking down on them. When I say it, it's not a superiority or an authenticity thing…it's just a fact. And I wasn't really thinking about other people when I went natural 15 years ago this month…I was just sick and tired of wasting my time on relaxed hair and the process of relaxing. I don't remember seeing any real significant presence of an online "natural hair community" until 2000…so that was 5 years of me basically being out in the ether along with my other black female friends and relatives who went natural after me.

    At this point I truly do not care what others do with their hair. And of course natural hair is going to be a fad for some…but guess what? It doesn't have to be really deep for everyone. Now I admit I get annoyed when people don't give their own natural hair a chance to be great…when they just cave in to others' pressure…but again, it's not my hair and what they do doesn't affect me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I lied, the print media played a major role in my transition. I read Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who've Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Became Too Ruff before my transition as well. It gave me the tools that made me believe I could take care of my natural hair. I don't know if I would have taken the plunge as early without it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't know when "the natural hair revolution" started, but I haven't had a relaxer (or straightened regularly) since 1999. Perhaps I'm pre-revolution 🙂

    If the media played a role in my transition it was very small. The only representation of the big natural hair I thought I'd have was from 1970s. The closest thing I recall from the 80s/90s were Freddie on a Different World and the Mowry twins on Sister, Sister. I liked Freddie's wild hair, but I didn't think mine would look like hers. But maybe growing up watching her kind of gave me permission.

    I do see it as a fad for some people. For others it's here to stay. I really don't care one way or the other about those who are following a fad and being trendy. I do think it's nice that natural hair became a fad though, because it has been so denigrated in the past. I hope that the trend is the first step in making it a non-issue in the future. Like yeah, some women will move on to straight hair with the next trend; but maybe their natural hair period will prevent them from talking smack and passing on hair issues to someone else.

  • Anonymous says:

    Going natural was actually kind of an accident for me. I had braids in for a long time, and when I took them down I had a lot of breakage…I had quite a bit of new growth so I said hmm I wonder what would happen if I didn't get any more relaxers…so I didn't. I think the fact that my sister was natural gave me the courage to do the same. I never really paid any attention to all the natural women in the media before I was natural. I don't think it matters if a woman goes natural after seeing many others do it. I think the important thing is that more and more women are getting the courage to show off the hair they were born with.

  • Chantel says:

    Honestly all this talk about the "eurocentric standards of beauty",brainwashing by the media, and other stuff I read on blogs like this one had nothing to do with me deciding to stop relaxing my hair. At the time where I lived the only natural women I saw were either old women with short cropped twa's or men/women with locs. I didn't see the whole reason behind "why" I "had" to keep relaxing my hair (not that it was unhealthy or anything) I just wanted to know what my hair that grew out of my head actually looked like. I wasn't looking to be as enlightened as I am now but I am and my decision is here to stay. No one in my family can give me a definite reason on why I should relax my hair other than because "I just should, its what we all do". Now answer this will it make me taller, make me curvier, make me healthier, smarter…(silence) exactly. I realized that I have a choice and wearing my hair as in with no chemical alterations to my texture is exactly how I choose to rock it, for me this aint no FAD.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have only been natural for 3 months after transitioning for 8 months. The reason why I went natural was because I was tired of the relaxer and bone straight hair. One day, I had asked my beautician how can she make my hair to look full. She told me told me that the only was to go natural. The media had no play in my decision to go natural.

  • Kellye says:

    I have had 2 friends who went natural ask me to join them in their journey SEVERAl years ago. I thought about it and decided that it was a personal journey. I didn't realize there was a natural hair movement until I decided I wanted my hair to stop breaking off and not growing passed my shoulders and sort of arbitrarily decided to stop relaxing. I also had just recently lost my job and couldn't afford to go the salon all the time and I was doing perms at home. Then I found sites like CurlyNikki….

    I've been frustrated at times over this last year (last perm was 10/16/2009). But overall, I'm happy with my decision and my hair. I've seen co-workers complain about how their hair is damaged from chemicals and one just had to get her hair cut b/c of a self perm. It makes me glad to be my natural self.

  • naturallyu says:

    I was natural for the majority of my life. I turned to a relaxer in my senior year of high school because I felt that it would somehow be better. I transitioned back to natural hair after seeing how much damage I had with a relaxer. Not due to a fad but simply because I wanted hair on my head. My hair was gradually thinning out and now it has returned in thickness. It just so happens that the same time I was transitioning was the same time that the world was experiencing a "natural revolution". Either way I am happy.

  • Anonymous says:

    i had been sooo tired of getting relaxers for a long time and was ready for a change. watching those on youtube who had gone natural and having them share their tips and tricks finally brought to the surface a thought that i had been having for a long time: that there is no ONE definition of beauty, and also the cookie-cutter trends in hair and beauty do not define who i am as a person.

    THAT is why i chose to go natural. the movement helped, to be sure. but it only pushed me to finally do what i had BEEN wanting to do. doing something solely because other people are doing it will NEVER be a good enough reason for me to try it. just ask my friends! lol

  • Unknown says:

    When I did my big chop, one of my classmates that's natural called me out, asking why did I do it? She wasn't happy I became fully natural after 6 months transition. I would think we would encourage each other, build confidence not destroy them.

  • Anonymous says:

    Current transitioner. Well in the begining i tried to convince my self that i needed to love the real me and all that. I was going through a self esteem crisis at the time. Now that i think about it i went natural because my permed hair has been really damaged it had in 6 years never grown longer than the back of my neck. My hair was getting thinner with ever relaxer and it was just horrible. So i became natural because i wanted long healthy hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't know if I would have gone natural if close friends hadn't done so ( I big chopped last week!!). I saw their results and that made me really look at how tired I was of relaxing my hair. The media had nothing to do with it. Honestly, I would look at models with the natural hair and think somehow or another, it was a weave. This is not a fad for me, although I will agree there is a "Revolution" taking place. This is the happiest I have been with my hair. No wig, weave or relaxed cut has given me this feeling. I'm at PEACE……

  • Anonymous says:

    My View

    "I was natural before it was in"

    Said by bitter naturals who have been natural for 10+ years and feel sour towards new naturals who walk around with a 5 month old TWA talking about how great natural hair is and doling out tips to anyone who will listen. Basically those to whom natural is old news who feel they laid the ground work that the sucklings are reaping the benefits from. It's almost like fans of an artist, the old fans resent the new because they feel they were there first. Just human nature. Funny how it is never the lifelong naturals who get on new naturals backs but the ones who were once new naturals themselves.

    "If we weren't in the natural hair revolution would you have really had the courage to go natural?"

    Revolution, where? Oh that revolution in natural hair that is only happening in small quarters of the internet? The one that seems a bigger deal than it is because we go looking for it? The one that is still subject to the problems of normal society with the good hair/bad hair issues and the infighting? There is no real revolution when I step away from the keyboard, I am left with just little old me. I never sought to be empowered to go natural by others. I think the internet makes it seem like everyone and her mother is doing a big chop, wearing a fierce fro or copping a TWA. It's a myth.

    When I walk out of my door I barely see a natural per year. People talk about Brooklyn being a hotbed of naturals but I don't live in Brooklyn or Atlanta or any other natural hive.

    Did the media play a role in your decision to transition?

    No way! If I had looked at the media and been influenced by them I would have thought only mixed chicks with ringlets and ramen noodles go natural and the rest of us be damned. The media could care less about natural hair, we live in western society, they want square pegs to force themselves to fit round holes and homogeny for all.

    If anyone made it easier to go natural it was the Qhemet's and Oyins of the world who dared to be different and address black women's hair needs beyond enticing labels with clever marketing smoke and mirrors which revealed nothing but boo boo in a bottle and doo doo in a jar that claimed to make our hair grow and prayed on our insecurities as women who believed it couldn't.

    Do you see natural hair as a fad, or is it here to stay?

    It's not a fad unless you want it to be and it's not a lifestyle unless you want it to be, just like any other hair choice. People who say it's a fad often cannot fathom why anyone would choose to wear their hair as it is or are seeing people go natural only to see them return to relaxers months later. These people would probably have been the types to change their hair anyway whether it was from a Halle Berry Crop to APL or jet black to red highlights.

    The question should be, why do you need to know other people's position, to validate and affirm your own? I don't. If Girl A chooses to relax then that is her choice to make. We are not a tribe, we are individuals. The sooner some naturals realise that, the smoother their journeys will go. In the end it is just you in front of the mirror not anyone else.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    CurlyChronicles, I look forward to it 😉

  • Liz C. says:

    I tried to go natural 3 years ago and ended up getting a relaxer not because of pressure either societal or peer, but because I didn't know how to deal with the hair that I hadn't seen since I was about 8 yrs old. I went natural finally because I found the resources to help me understand my hair and what it needs. I also don't think that it is "fashionable" to be natural, I think it is just that right now women who are natural seem a little "different," and who doesn't like a shiny new toy? This too shall pass. I wish I had known about pH and protein and moisture, even when I had a relaxer; it would have saved me a much frustration and bewilderment, when my pretty, shiny, thick, hair would shrivel up and snap off every 9 months almost like clockwork. Now that I am natural, I am happy with it's health and I don't think I will go back, but I will never say never. If I do, it will be because I want to, not because of fashion. Relaxer is not evil. Relaxer is relaxer. Poor handling and training is what makes relaxer bad. Sure, some peoples' hair HATES relaxer, just like some peoples' bodies HATE shellfish or anything that causes them an adverse reaction, but nothing inanimate is inherently bad. We as black women have so much baggage when it comes to our skin, hair, lips, butts etc. that we sometimes demonize irrationally. Especially if we think it is something or someone trying to change who we are. The only one who can change you is you. And the only person who has the power to make you feel "less than" is you. Sure, some days it will be harder than others to believe, but if you 'do you' the rest will take care of itself and if it doesn't then after a while it will become unimportant. Peace.

  • Anonymous says:

    I live in a very small town where long, relaxed hair is still the norm. I didn't even know there was a natural hair revolution until after I made the decision to transition and started researching transitioning hairstyles. With that being said, I'm excited that there is a natural hair revolution. It gives me an opportunity that I would not otherwise have: the chance to talk with other like minded women; to get and give encouragement; etc. I pray that this "revolution" reaches my part of south.

  • Anonymous says:

    If it weren't for all of media I wouldn't have known that going natural was even an option for me. After suffering chemical burns and even hair loss, I would still give my hair the same damaging treatment because I didn't know that there was any other way. I'm glad I found the CN site because I knew nothing about how to treat my curly hair as it's growing in. Thnks!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Because my hair is much healthier than it ever was with a relaxer and it keeps growing, I will be a natural for good. In my case it's just a choice between more hair or less hair. I'm choosing more.

  • Anonymous says:

    I went natural because I wanted my hair to be healthy! PERIOD. I have always admired women who had curly hair and I have always thought the only way I would get it is if I used heat (curling iron, etc.) so now that I know I can achieve my desired look without heat I plan to be natural for the rest of my life.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural for 8 years and one of my siblings has been natural for about 11 years. Media had nothing to do with why we went natural, we were just tired of the sad state that our hair was in while using perms. We talk to each other a lot about our hair and different styles and going back to "permed hair" is definitely NOT a desire of ours. We truly enjoy our natural tresses.
    Allnatural1 (Michelle in TX)

  • RebirthOfAQueen says:

    I feel like women around the world are going back natural because of something in their souls. They see women embrace their beauty in themselves and in their own hair and are inspired by that and want to do the same. With that being said I do strongly feel like the Revolution is being commercialized by the media before we truly understand what the whole revolution is. See this is more than our hair, it is way bigger than that. Embracing our natural state is only the first step.

  • SPIRITUAL AWAKENING says:

    Thats interesting! I started transitioning about a year ago because relaxers were not helping my hair grow back after I had hair loss from a medicine I was taking. At that time I didn't even know I was transitioning, I just decided not to relax my hair again and let it grow out. After researching that there was a correct way to do it (cutting off the relaxed ends) I decided to do the BC after about 6 months of transitioning. I was tired of trying to style the two textures for work and didn't know anything about all the different styles, so yes I would've did it regardless, I'm determined and its a lifestyle choice for me. There are people who are doing it for a fad but they will soon return back once they get bored or don't receive the results they want, but as for me and my household we will remain NATURAL!

  • Jeannette says:

    When naturals talk about being natural before the revolution, I think they mean that they have been natural before people started talking about it. So it's not a big deal to me.

    Yes, I would have gone natural before this, 'Natural Revolution.' Actually, I did go natural before it anyway.
    NO, the Media DID NOT and DOES NOT play any part in my decision. I just had enough with chemicals damaging my hair so I said enough and went natural. It was as simple as that.
    Because Natural hair has always been here, I feel that it will always stay.

  • NaturalMommyinGA says:

    I went natural because my hair was constantly being damaged from relaxers. Once I decided to transition and started looking online I was surprised by all the blogs and sites dedicated to natural hair. As some others have mentioned it maybe a "fad" for some, but this is a lifetime change for me (NO MORE CREAMY CRACK..LOL). I don't feel like there is only certain reasons for going natural, but it should be for your own personal preference.

  • Maima says:

    I decided to go natural because relaxers damaged my soft,thick natural hair..My hair was soo thin and kept shedding at a very fast rate.In freshman year of college up until 2 months ago I would daydream of the texture of my hair when I was 14,and how easy it was to style and take care of..I just wanted to get that back..I cut my hair pixie short 2 months ago so I would get used to short hair when I actually do the big,big chop..so I still have relaxed ends which I will eventually cut..But to be honest the natural hair buzz did encourage me to take the natural route and you know what I don't regret it because at the end of the day, I did it for me 🙂

  • Bionca Davis says:

    The media did not play a role at all in my decision. I already loved big hair when I had relaxed hair. I loved getting shirley temple curls, because I think my head is made for big hair. Ha! When i went natural, I didn't actually know that I was…going natural. I just knew, I was tired of getting my scalp burned and I was tired of paying for a relaxer every 6 or so weeks. I stopped getting relaxers in 2006. I didn't actually figure what to start doing with my natural hair until I came across this website.

  • modest-goddess says:

    I first considered going natural afer reading "Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who've Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Became Too Ruff" back in 2005. I wasn't ready to do it then but I did decide to cut off my long relaxed hair for a short straight Halle Berry style. I quickly decided that short straight hair was too much work and grew my hair out with a texturizer. After a year of texturized hair I decided to try going natural. I don't think I found the the natural hair online community until after I big chopped in 2008.

  • CandiceB says:

    I was tired of letting relaxed hair rule my lifestyle and I LOVE the beauty in natural hair and the styles! LOVE IT! If it is a trend I don't care because I am extremely happy to see so many young girls embracing it! Whether they keep it or not I love that they are willing to try and make it work for them. The willingness to give themselves the opportuinty to at least see what their natural hair texture is… i think it is one of the better trends if that is what it is for anyone (lol). I am just glad that we are seeing it more and more. Do we really need to over analyze and create these divisions between the "old naturals" and the "newbies"? Can't we all just get along?;-)Either way I know I am in it for the long haul and can't wait to be fully relaxer free!

  • Anonymous says:

    I didn't even know there was a natural hair revolution.
    The media did not play a role in my decision to transition.
    I think for some people its a fad, but for me it's not and it doesn't bother me that some people may do it because its the "in" thing to do. Natural hair is beautiful!

  • Julissa says:

    When I decided to go natural I didn’t even know there was a community of beautiful natural hair ladies out there. I decided to go natural on 10/2007 and didn’t find out about this community until 01/2009 when my husband suggested I go on youtube and see if I could find any videos on how to style/take care of my hair. My decision was because I learned, after 30 years, that relaxers were really not a good thing for me. It’s amazing how we never think twice about things we’ve been used to doing since we were little kids, this is the case with me and relaxers. I never thought about how damaging and bad they could be, I just did it because that was what everybody else did. So my decision to go natural had nothing to do with other people doing it, or because it was “in style” at the time of my decision.
    And I have to thank youtube, and blogs like this one (which is really the only one I read daily) for all the information provided to all of us naturals. If it weren’t for these two I’d be braiding and wearing weaves all the time and who knows, perhaps I might have gone bad to the creamy crack.

  • Sol says:

    to be honest, i only started to research natural hair and got into looking at sites, in july, before that i really didn't think that there was a community this strong. I decided to reduce my relacers and last year when my hairs was being permed i decided to not relax my hair anymore and just braid it untill it was a lentgh that made me happy so icould cut the relaxed bits. it wasn't untill july when i started to look at sites that realised that i had been transitioning. my decion to go natural was out of curiosity, i've always played about with my hair and having my hair natural to play with, seemed like the only other step to take.

    media played no role

    i enjoy my hair like this so much, i don't see myself straightening it like before for a while, i can't even bring myself to blow dry my hair with a pick

  • Anonymous says:

    I can relate to what anonymous says about the natural state versus the straight hair for Corporate America but those stereotypes will always be there, whether "nappy White ppl are unhappy" or bone straight to make them feel better, they will ALWAYS be intimidated by the intelligent, sophisticated, blunt black woman!

  • GGmadeit says:

    I would have done it anyway. My body was reacting to the chemicals in such a negative way that I had to take benedryl to get my hair done. SOMETHING had to give..now my best friend did it before me by quite a few years; so although I had inspiration all around. I kept taking pills to look pretty. How sad is that!! My stylist insisted for years that I didn't need a perm…you couldn't tell me nothing. To this very day..14 months later I am still amazed at what comes out of my scalp…so I said all this to say..it wasn't due to a fad or anything else…I was forced my nature. I will say I am not pleased with the back and forth. Everyone is unique and rock what they like. Yes influencing images are everywhere..but that doesn't make my decision wrong and someone else's right.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with the majority here, WHO cares if someone did it b4 the revolution…of course media plays a role in many trends, *flashback* to the Jherri Curl ewwwww.
    I have always regretted getting a relaxer, but just never had the information or support to revert back to my curls. Now that the "revolution" is here, I have places like here that I can come and get tips on being "creamy crack" free the HEALTHY way!!
    Like someone above stated, if a obese person lost weight for vanity reasons for health reasons would it be any less good for their body?
    To each their own!

  • NaijaDreamie says:

    LOL@SweetT Yes girl, God has that on lock!!!!

  • roseofsharron says:

    Personally, I didn't get a relaxer until my senior year in high school when I begged and pleaded for one because my hair was always "puffy" because I played sports. After my first relaxer my long full hair was suddenly shoulder length and required a lot more attention. Every time after that, when I went to get a relaxer, I would get anxiety that my hair was going to fall out! Anyone else go through that??

    I would only get relaxed every 6 to 8 months. I would go to my Dominican stylist for a blow out and she always told me "no relaxer mommi, just go natural". Then one day it hit me! She was right, why am I forcing my hair to be something its not? So I made the decision to embrace my natural hair! I have sooo many great remedies that I've learned from this site as well as many that I've learned on my own and its been such a great experience. I am looking forward to having daughters some day so I can pass all my tips down to them and have GENERATION HAIR CARE, embracing the texture each individual was blessed with. I digress…

    So, my Answers are:
    Question 1: Yes, I still would have. I was not influence by the natural hair revolution, although it did give me an added sense that it would be more accepted- not that i care about that though!
    Question 2: No.
    Question 3: I think its here to stay for a large % of us and I think its possible that it will be treated as a fad/trend by others. I had some that started on the "going natural journey" the same time as me and they have gone back to relaxers or lasted the summer when its "okay" to have big wild hair.

    Personally, for me.. its here to stay! Sites like this encourage other women to embrace our God given beauty. www.sharronsguide.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous says:

    I would consider myself a veteran natural (11+yrs). It wasn't popular then. My family thought I had "got on drugs" and my pastor thought "I wasn't living right!" LOL! As recently as 2003, I was called Eric Ba-Don't and Jill Not.

    I dislike the natural "trend" and am glad that it is in. However, for those of us who wore it before the trend and will keep the natural when the cute curly girls on the Gap and Target commercials are gone, we fear that it will be back to the drawing board with negative comments and stereotypes. Especially for those of us in Corporate America. Will we be expected to straighten our hair once this revolution is over? It's not a reason to be mean to the trendy natural sister, but maybe that sheds some light on the animus.

    BTW: I went natural b/c I was sick of trying to get my hair to do things that it was not meant to do and trying to look like something it was not meant to look like. I divorced the relaxer and ultimately straight hair altogether.

  • Tawanna D. says:

    I went natural 3 years ago, and I honestly did not know that there was a "natural community". Chris Rock had not put out "Good Hair". And natural hair products were not being advertised in Essence magazine, or popping up as a "new line" in traditional hair brands.
    I did not have damage from relaxers, I just got tired of spending money and hours in a salon. I also kept changing salons because I would fall out with the stylist. (LOL). So one day I saw a Corrine Bailey Rae video, loved her hair, and started researching natural hair. Four months later I BC'd. I think I went natural before it was "IN". And I do think that for some of us, its here to stay. But unfortunately, I think it is just a fad for a lot of people. Hair, like fashion, goes in cycles and we've been down this road before. Before you know it, there will be a new "IN" hairstyle and people will be jumping on that because HEY, you can always go back to natural. But I can only speak for me in saying that it is here to stay for me. And I am happy to have inspired 4 people that I know of to wear their hair natural.

    HOWEVER! Let me be completely honest when I say that I do sometimes state that I went natural before it was "IN". (Although I just barely made it, I mean 3 years isn't that long ago, lol.) But I do that when someone ticks me off by saying, "Oh so you tryin to go natural too, huh?" Like I'm jumping on some bandwagon or something. THEN, I'm like, "Im not TRYING to go natual, I AM natural and have been natural for 3 years now…, THANKS! (Sorry, I just had a flashback)

  • Redeemed says:

    Answers to questions:

    My question to you ladies is if we weren't in the natural hair revolution would you have really had the courage to go natural?

    Me:Yes because my reason wasn't to do with the revolution but the overall health of my hair.

    Did the media play a role in your decision to transition?

    Me:No,my sole reason was my hair was getting thinner from all the perming and my heat appliances and i wasn't a happy bunny! 🙁

    Do you see natural hair as a fad, or is it here to stay?

    Me:I believe for some it will be a fad as there's always those who follow fashion.*SMH* Overall i believe it is here to stay as the internet has a big role to play in people lives and how they care for their hair.Therefore that enables them to make such a bold choice and to stick to it.

    Just to add it would be nice if people answered the questions instead of being nasty to each other. :S

    From London 🙂

  • E says:

    I don't understand why there have to be so many people who seem to want to shut you up or diminish the beauty of your hair by saying that they've been natural for a long time. That's your insecurity that you feel compelled to boost your ego by diminishing someone else's. Maybe I don't have exactly what you have, but at least I did it first! Who cares who did what first? To those people, I say: You have your hair and I have mine. Maybe seeing other natural-haired women did encourage someone's decision to go natural. So what? Hair is apparently one of those expressive things that creates a buzz, good AND bad. Look at all the crap you have to say. And you're already natural!

  • Anonymous says:

    lol maybe I live under a rock but I didn't even know natural was in. Almost everyone I know is NOT natural and if they are they are because they had no choice and either have locs or wear wigs… I am currently transitioning and decided to do so after having breakage and doing some research. I thought my only option was a big chop… clearly not. so here I am. I live in toronto and it isn't "in" here. lol to my fellow transitioners there is no wrong reason for transitioning.. 4 months and counting

  • Arias Ariana says:

    The first time I went natural, it was a complete accident. I was 15 and was only getting perms about twice a year and when I started cross country it didn't make sense to get my hair done just to sweat it out again. I cut my hair chin length and wore it curly until I was 20 when I fell back into a relaxer. Now I'm transitioning again and I have to say. It was easier the first time. Probably because I never noticed what was happening. Nor did I realize I was natural until college when people kept asking me. Oblivious…that's me. I never notice a thing about myself or others until someone points it out.

  • Sabrina R Perkins says:

    I went natural because I moved from a humid climate to an extremely dry one and felt my relaxed hair couldn't handle it. Seeing curlies in the media wouldn't have made a difference for me becuase I didn't know what my natural hair texture was so other naturals didn't faze me.

  • Teela says:

    I will say that the media did influence my decision to go natural, but it wasn't seeing other natural women that made me do it. It was the music video for the song "Best I Ever Had" by Drake. The video was full of these olive skinned women tossing their long straight black hair around and it kind of made me mad. I don't know why, but I just felt insulted by it. I had always had trouble with my hair before that; I was always burning my self with an iron, or having bad experiences with hair dresser, so I was over it all. The next day I had all of my relaxed hair cut off and I haven't looked back yet. P.S. Like a week after that I started to notice permed vs natural hair all over the media.

  • Anonymous says:

    I had been thinking about going back to natural for over 5yrs now. The media had nothing to do with my decision, it was more a desire to grow healthier hair again. I had been playing with the idea for years but finally decided to go for it when my friend told me that she too was doing it (I'm not sure of her reasons…)

    Funny, I never really even noticed the naturalistas around me, I'm pretty self-absorved when I'm on the streets, I just go about minding my biz…but after I started transitioning, and reading about hair, it's like a light was switched on inside my head and I'm hyper-aware of all the natural girls/guys around me and on TV.

    ~Belleaenca~

  • Anonymous says:

    Meant to say, It makes me SAD to hear that."

  • Blaquestarr says:

    My story is the same as MsCrystal. I've been "natural" all my life (or at least chemical free), but I never wore my hair out curly or in an afro. It was either pressed, in braids, or cornrowed.
    When I moved to NYC, I had a hard time finding a beautician I trusted, plus my hair was breaking. I woke up one morning wanting to have curly hair and upset that when I wet my hair it retained the semi straight press. Since late 2008, I've refused to use heat on my hair, giving it free reign to do what it does. But I have to admit, I would not have the courage to truly experiment had it not been for the natural community in NY. Any given day I can see another naturally curly beauty letting her hair freely grow, and I know I'm not alone.

  • Anonymous says:

    Although I went natural ten years ago, I really didnt realize that some naturals who decided to stop perming in more recent yrs have felt animus from "veterans". It makes me said to hear that. It's strange because being natural still feels so new to me (one of the many reasons that I like it). LOL There is always something new that I am discovering about my hair and it does not feel like its been a decade. I still get excited about the prospect of a new product showing me something new about my hair, an encounter with another natural to discuss products and styling, an encounter with someone who relaxes about what is new in the relaxer world. It's all good and it is a lot of fun. I am sooo ecstatic that we have soooo many options – natural, relaxed, texlaxed, etc. It's ALL so wonderful that we have so much available to us. I remember a time when my relatives MADE products to wash and style hair with. THere was NOTHING on the market for us! LOL Now, people cant make stuff fast enough for us. My how times change.

  • Anonymous says:

    Damage was my reason. I was planning to go 'natural' at age 50 but due to severe damage, I had my wake up call.

  • Anonymous says:

    *side-eye* This post is all to common. Now y'all know sometimes folks gotta act like they "invented" something or have that "I did it first, give me some attention" types. My response to one of those folks would be … "Well congratulations! I'm sorry but there are no consolation prizes remaining. Now please step aside as I continue along my healthy hair journey…smooches."

  • RoddyG says:

    Well, I can't really say if I was natural before it was "In" or not… I know it wasn't as widespread when I made the transition, but in all honesty it doesn't matter to me. I was inspired by a friend and unfortunately by other friends who told me I had "Good Hair" to go natural… whatever that means. I suppose it helped give me a little more assurance to take the plunge. Ultimately, I was unsatisifed with my hair permed… I never saw much length from it because it broke off all the time. I HATED perms and the upkeep that goes with them and the BURNS to my scalp.

    Those were my big reasons, but whatever the reason be it fad or what have you, shouldn't we just be excited by the fact that women are embracing their curls and that in doing so we are seeing more research and products to help perpetuate a curly-acceptance?! I'm just glad that B&B and Luster's Pink Lotion aren't my only options for hair care any more. And I applaud anyone who choses to make the plunge and believe that there is a great benefit to making the transition, despite the motivation. But I do agree, if you're not thinking long-term when you make the decision to transition, you won't last long. "Creamy Crack" (as my friend calls it) will be calling your name.

    Natural is not for the sister looking for a new hair style for the next 6 months or year… it'll take much longer than that for you to even uncover your true kinks and curls.

    Maybe for some hair is a statement of who you are, black heritage and all that. Fortuantely, I don't place my identity in any one aspect of my physical make-up, my identity is in Christ. Everything else is just a wonderful and unique reflection of his fingerprints in my make-up. So I just want to get to know those things better, including my "natural" hair.

  • Dani says:

    It really irritates me to hear seasoned naturals claim superiority the same way it irks me when my relaxed friends insist on justifying their reasons they choose to relax every time natural hair comes up. I don’t really care either way; this is about me. Does it matter if an obese woman gets off the couch to lose weight because she wants to look great naked or if it’s because she wants to lead a more active lifestyle? Whichever reason gets her off the couch and closer to her goal, well more power to her. Reasons do not matter. If there is something you really are determined to do it’s going to happen.
    The first time I went natural (2002) was because I hated the smell, the time, the attention, and maintenance that went into relaxers. I flopped because I could find the help I needed to care for my hair. This now my second transition and it’s so much better than the first. I never went natural to be “in”. I did it because my then stylist left me high and dry the day before I went out of town on a very important trip. I really needed to look and feel my best. Instead I was almost in tears at the thought of having to do my own hair. After all the drama surrounding that event I was done with stylists. I was done with having to bend and manipulate my schedule around someone else. I was tired of my self confidence resting in someone else’s hands, or when Sally’s opened. I was a grown woman and yet I had to rely on someone else to take care of me. Right then and there I decided I was taking my control back.
    The media has really helped me out this time. I can easily find information, and there are now naturals featured all over the media to give me that positive reinforcement I need. Do I think this is a fad? Perhaps for some. But they also said that Facebook and bottle water was a passing fad …

  • Anonymous says:

    I went natural 15 years ago simply because I wanted fuller looking hair. My relaxed hair always looked too thin and wimpy. My stylist suggested fewer relaxers, meaning twice a year "touch-ups" and wearing a twistout for a fuller/curlier look. After a year of the twice a year retouch with twisting, I decided to keep doing the twistouts without chemically retouching the new growth. The rest is history. Best decision I ever made. I had no idea there was an active online natural hair community until about a year ago. Man! I wished I'd had CurlyNikki, NaturallyCurly.com, hair fotkis and YouTube back then, the process would've been a lot easier. I used to clip out magazine photos of other curlies and keep them in a binder for inspiration.

  • mood_indigo says:

    I transitioned because I was tired of getting relaxers when there were so many new tools out there that could give me hair that was just as straight without the chemical. My decision to wear my curls came later in my transition process. I do think that it is here to stay simply because there are many more options now than there were 10 years ago.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ive been natural my entire life, but stopped pressing my hair after highschool. I chose to stop using heat because maintaining a press was too difficult once I started long distance running. This was 13 years ago. No one around me was wearing nappy hair and I had a learning curve to overcome to get beyond wearing an afro puff every day. The media played no role, if anything it kept me wanting to get the "halle berry" cut.

  • The Retro Natural says:

    When I cut off the damaged hair and went natural in 2003 I was still in college and there was no natural hair trend and I didn't really have anyone who had gone through the process..so no it didn't really have anything to do with media or it being the new 'do. I just flat out had damaged hair 🙂 hot mess hair, if you will. I actually planned to straighten it – I just planned to do it with healthy hair. I noticed my hair looked and felt better when I wasn't straightening it. So I kept it up. I'm happy to see it blowing up though…more fun stuff that's easily obtainable for me! 🙂

    There's no one "true" reason to go back to wearing your hair natural, whatever the reason is, that's it! And if it's a trend for someone, so what? Why do you care? Do you say the same about someone's fashion sense? You shouldn't!

    I guess technically, yeah, I was natural before it was actually considered "in". But so what… if I wanted to keep it all to myself and be all special, I wouldn't have created a youtube channel to share some of what I've learned. I believe in lifting up my friends and I consider anyone who wants natural hair my amiga! It's all about education!

    hmm..this sparked something in me, expect an article, Nikki!

  • Anonymous says:

    Well, I was natural before it was "in" I don't see why saying that is a bad thing, no one around me was natural when i made my decision, it's just truth. Just like my cousin wore skinny jeans [and got picked on for it] back in middle school before it was in and everyone was wearin flaired jeans…doesnt make us better or worse, it just is what it is…

    But to answer the question, Yes I would have and I did go natural before the revolution, so no my decision wasn't influenced by media…it sort of had the opposite effect, all the straight hair and weaves I saw made me want to do something different.

    And I hope this isn't just a fad and people will stick it out for the long haul, but it is a matter of your reasoning in going natural, if we have too many people doing it just because it's "in" and hopping on the band wagon, they're bound to fall of and it will be a trend, because it's not easy, it does take a real commitment and those who arent expecting that will be disappointed my hope is that this is opening the door for a real change and not just a case of jersey dresses and gaucho pants.

  • Anonymous says:

    How can being yourself be a fad? When someone asks me how long have I been natural, I tell them I've been relaxer-free for 6 months. It puts the emphasis on not having chemicals in my hair, rather than focusing on the why I choose to wear my natural coils.- Vicsharbest

  • Anonymous says:

    this was a topic on BGLH a couple of months ago. i, too have been a witness to veteran/lifelong naturals with a sense of entitlement over newly naturals. i'm not saying it's prevalent, but it exists. i mentioned this on the blog in the comments section and it was largely overlooked and tossed aside as untrue. i think it's something to be aware of, however. naturals a lot of time negate the experiences of others to tell their own story, as if it's somehow better or more important and it gets in the way of having open and honest dialogue.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was actually prompted to go natural by a co-worker. She complimented me on the waves in my hair and asked why I didn't wear my hair like that all the time? I told her that this was my new growth and having wavier, curly hair would require me to go natural. She looked at me blankly like "And?" I thought about it and said "Hmmm, what IS stopping me from going natural? " I mean I had become fascinated recently with the texture of my hair as the relaxer grew out and always found myself always touching with the tighter, defined curls in amazement. My hair was usually pulled back because it didn’t “behave” the way I wanted to when straight. I always felt like I was fighting against nature. Also, I have a lot of damage from relaxers including thinning edges. Finally, I never could justify paying so much money to sit in a shop all damn day only for the stylist to do the OPPOSITE of what I asked for. It was a "natural" decision for me and I was so fortunate that I did it at a time when there are so many resources like curlynikki available.

  • Anonymous says:

    I went natural simply because I always wanted to see how I would look in a low fade. When I cut my hair, I didn't cut it to be natural. But, I stayed natural and love it.

  • Kimmy says:

    I went just because I wanted to see if my hair was healthier in it's natural state. That's it! Going through the process I learned that I was the cause of my weak, damaged hair. If you went natural 10 years ago versus my 1 year ago, guess what……we're still both natural.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is my story: lol
    I absolutely always hated getting relaxers. It was as if it was a chore. I got them every 3 months and still could not stand it.I would literally shake and tremble from the pain and as long as the relaxer was in, I couldn't open my eyes (probably a mind thing, lol). I would make excuses to my sister (who always did my hair) about why i didn't want a relaxer and how I would get it the next time she would do my hair. Which left her with an attitude because she had to tussle with my hair to get it to "act right". This would start arguments between us. So here it is January 06 and I needed my hair done and my sister refused to do it unless I get a relaxer (how she would always get me to get a relaxer). So we are in there arguing and I finally yelled "THIS IS IT, AFTER TODAY NO MORE PERMS AND I'M SERIOUS". She agreed to handle my hair without a relaxer from then on. :). I'm not sure if it was a trend at that time or not. All I know is I hated the process of getting relaxers and I could not deal with it anymore. At first I thought it was just becoming a fad, but women every where are learning about there hair and they are loving it. My courage to do it has definitely encouraged many around me who have and are transitioning and I love it. LizzyBaby

  • Anonymous says:

    The reason I went natural is because my hair could NOT handle a perm, and I was tired of having it break off all the time. At that point, I was unaware of any natural hair 'movement' and I rarely saw women with natural hair. The media didn't influence me going natural, but now that more naturals are in the spotlight it has given me some style ideas and hair goals/idols, haha. I think it's kind of silly to 'brag' about being natural before everyone else, as if it's even all that serious. Everyone has their own reasons, whether it be for health, finances, for their children, or just to be fashionable. I definitely believe natural hair is here to stay– just look at many of the ladies on this site! Most of us love our hair now and have no intentions of going back to chemicals- I know I never will!

  • Anonymous says:

    I BC June 1, 2010. It has been wonderful and this website is just what I needed. My hair was thinning at the top and my cousin was a natural. She gave me some hints as what to do and got me started. It was the best decision of my life. It wasn't until after that that I noticed the commericals of other naturals and the women in my area (DC). I will NEVER go back to a perm/relaxer. I just can't do it. My hair is healthy, it's shiny and it's telling me everyday.."thank you, thank you, thank you"

  • Natural-ness (LV) says:

    When I went natural, there were not many people who were natural. I went natural because I've always hated the relaxing process. I hated going to beauty salons, I hated the scabs on my scalp, I hated the long waits at salons, I hated running from the rain and was more than tired of spending my money on expensive relaxers.

    @Raniesaj, what a wonderful thing to do for your daughter! I love to hear stories like yours.

  • Anonymous says:

    Didn't realize there was a revolution here either, not until after I'd already gone natural. It still irks me when people talk about doing anything before whatever it is was in. I hear that a lot about being green, and I always respond, "Surely you don't think it's a bad thing for more people to be environmentally conscious?" I mean really – who cares what the reason is?

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    To tell you the truth, I needed to see others embrace it before I started my transition. Without seeing them or full-fledged hair websites, I would probably (and sadly) continue relaxing, despite not wanting to.

    For some, it may be trendy. But, for me, it was a health, financial, and personal decision.

  • MsNellabella says:

    Seeing my best friend transition gave me the courage to go natural. My hair was thinning out from relaxers and dominican blow outs. When I saw hair coming out at the roots, I knew it was time for a change.

    If I followed the media and the status quo, I would still be styling my hair to fit european standards.

  • Raniesaj says:

    I can honestly say that I did not know we were in a "Natural Revolution" when I made the decision to go natural. My decision was based on how I wanted my daughter to view herself and the level of self-confidence I wanted her to have. My daughter was born with no hair and it did not even start to grow until she was four years old. Needless to say, she didn't think of herself as beautiful because she thought that only girls with long hair were pretty. In my attempt to convince her otherwise, she politely, but correctly pointed out that I had long pretty hair, so how could I know. LOL!! Smart little girl. So to prove to her that beauty is not just in your hair, but in who you are, I cut all mine off so she could see that mommy is beautiful without hair, just as she is. She LOVED it!! And it served its purpose not only to encourage and motivate her, but it also gave me a jolt of self-confidence I never expected. Yeah, I had view the CN website a few time before I actually did, but only as a means to learn what to do afterwards. I didn't really begin to embrace myself until after all my hair was gone. I never thought that this was what everyone else is doing, so I may as well try it too. It was more about being a role model for my daughter. I wanted to be the standard with which she based her view of beauty and not the media. And as long as I have a say, she, nor I will ever succumb to industry standards of beauty. I am not against relaxer, weaves, or anything else women use to enhance their beauty, but I wanted my daughter to understand that those things are just that-enhancements, not the standard!! Be Blessed!! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a recent natural, beginning my transition in December of 09 and big-chopping just last month.

    I have also tried being natural twice in the past – in 1999 as well as in 2003.

    Both times I knew nothing of the "transition" period and would just chop with less than an inch of hair on my head. After about a year and a half, I would be literally stumped – with no clue as to what to do with my natural hair and would then revert back to a relaxer.

    I think the only difference now than in the past are the many, many resources. I love that I can log on to youtube and visit so many naturalistas with all different hair types and hair styles.

    I dont take offense ever, because I could also sit back and say "Well I tried being natural when it wasn't a fad", but what's the reason for the negativity?

    I think that we, as black women have always been in a war with ourselves and each other for decades. Whether it came to the shade of our skin, or the length of our hair, or trying to figure out whether or not the person is wearing a weave, etc.

    I find it enlightening that because of this new "revolution" we finally have our unity.

    And it saddens me that this topic keeps coming up over and over on every natural blog.

    I honestly believe that the people that did transition "back in the day" and kept up with it should feel honored that we have them to look up to.

    We should embrace all of our natural sisters, especially the younger ladies that have the courage to go through such an experience while in junior high and high school. Especially when in the media we have all the beautiful Beyonce's and Kim Kardashian's with bone-straight hair.

    It is a relief for me to now see a variety of gorgeous black women walking around.

    We need to get out of this "fight" mentality.

    Why do we have to keep fighting each other and finding reasons to separate our community??

    Why cant we just be happy for each other, whether we have 4a,4b 4c or 4k hair?

    Does it make a difference to you? At the end of the day when you get home, you have to live with you. So why should we even care about everyone else's negative opinion?

    My final point is that yes the media has definitely played a role in my decision to become natural for a 3rd time. But I won't be a slave to the older naturals because I'm the one that has to hold my head up high when I'm the only natural in a room. I still have to carry my hair with me every where I go, so whether or not my decision to go natural was based on jack or jill, I am the one living through my experience. And I wont let anyone take that away from me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I went natural in 2000 after realizing that many older women who had been relaxing for years had lost mucho hair. I dont want to be a bald old lady- if I'm blessed with many years of life. I also wanted to see and learn how to care for my hair in its natural state. Dont think I'll ever go back. I remember when I BC'd (after slowly transitioning) and did a rollerset for the first time on my natural hair. My hair seemed like it had LIFE. Hard to explain, but my hair always seemed limp ( and well, lifeless) when I was relaxed. I havent used heat on it in the past yr and am totally loving the new interest in our hair from cosmetic companies!!! Wont ever go back!

  • Anonymous says:

    I was approached by a "seasoned" natural and she took it upon herself to inform me that she was natural before this new hair revolution. I was immediately turned off by her negativity and almost "I'm better than you" attitude. So I agree with the author. Who cares if you were pre or post natural movement as long as you are happy with your hair.

    I went completely natural on 7/10 and transitioned since 2008. To be honest I didn't even know that was what I was doing. I wanted my hair to be full and thick and relaxers were thinning it out.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural for 12 years (I but off my perm when I got to college), my sister has been natural for ~8.
    There weren't any YouTube videos or forums at that time.
    That said – I love what's happening now. It was difficult to bounce hair ideas around when there were very few people around. I've taken good care of my hair but I love the group learning and teaching that's going on right now.

    It might not "stick" with every single person who decides to go natural, but I think it's more important that our young girls know that they have a choice. And that they see others with hair like theirs.
    Straight hair shouldn't be the "norm."

    ~j
    www.simpletruths.typepad.com

  • Anonymous says:

    Well, I must say that going natural for me was a medical decision. In the mid 90's my scalp became infected due to chemicals and tight braiding. I went to the doc and he prescribed some creams, shampoo and meds and told me to never put chemicals in my head again. Hence the all natural look for me. I must also say that appreciating my natural hair did not happen for me until this past year after learning how to properly take care and maintain my hair (Latrice). Through this site and a few others, Latrice and I are still trying to know each other better and making some progress. So in all honesty, I don't think I had a choice.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank God for the natural revolution! If we weren't in the natural revolution I was going to have to come up with something. The relaxers were burning my head something terrible – I could not let a comb near my head/hair for about one week after receiving a relaxer. It seemed like as soon as my head felt better it was time to do it all over again! 🙁 Something had to give – my head was on fire with scalp burns n all. I thought about it for two years and finally decided to go ahead with my thought to be natural.

  • SweetT says:

    I went natural because I was 23 & had no clue what my natural texture was. That's it. I am constantly amazed at people's sense of entitlement to comment on another person's hair choices. Or to act as if they trademarked natural hair. No sweetie, God has that on lock

  • kitka82 says:

    I decided to go natural before I even knew about a "revolution." I just decided to stop relaxing my hair, because it was getting expensive, and my hair kept breaking (due to poor maintenance). I didn't know a lot of people with natural hair. A week after my BC, a co-worker told me to check out YouTube for hair care tips. I don't even remember how I found out about CurlyNikki or naturallycurly.com… it's all a blur, but I'm glad for these resources!

    To me, it matters not what the reason is. Hair is hair. If I want it kinky, that's my biz. If I want it straight, it's up to me. People who are quick to point fingers and judge others need to examine themselves first. For me, going natural has been a good decision. I've learned to care for my hair as well as my daughter's.

  • MsCrystal says:

    Interesting question. I think that the media does play a major role today to encourage many of us to go natural. It allows us to see those who in the spotlight be (if I may say) "accepted" of their natural hair texture, which sometimes has an effect on our desires…which resembles how media assists with cultivating our thoughts and lives.

    As for me, I've been "chemical free" all of my life but never wore any natural styles until 2008. I started wearing natural hair styles because my below bra strap pressed hair had broken off (because me and the beautician didn't know that just because my hair was tight, kinky, and curly, it couldn't take a lot of heat). I knew if I gave it some heat breaks it could be healthier. Also, when I saw a lot of women my age wearing their hair natural, I was thinking, "Well, dang, I've had my "natural" all of my life, and I still ain't rocked a twist out!!!!" I had to jump on that!

    As far as having a self revelation, ummmm…, I don't think I really did…just the fact that I wanted healthier hair. But since wearing natural styles, I have done significant research about natural hair in the media & advertisements and find the correlation interesting.

    On the other hand, my mom, who has been chemical free all of her life but always wears a pressed look, thinks that it is a fad. I think it's a generation gap. If we become more concerned with body and hair health, then I think it will be more than a fad.

  • socialitedreams says:

    I was doing it regardless, didn't even know that there WAS this huge of a natural community until I was already going to the salon for the chop after transitioning 10 months. I just knew that I was tired of painful relaxers and bored with my hair as it was. So my "reasons" were for healthy pretty big hair and that is happening with it natural, so I know I won't revert. I personally realllly don't care for straight hair anyway, so it's not like I was a straight addict who became one with my curls. My mom had my hair relaxed and it just WAS until I said bump that.

    I can see where they are coming from because people do like to jump on fads/trends, but I wouldn't put anyone down who just suddenly wants to go natural because everyone else is.

    Vonnie
    http://www.socialitedreams.com/

  • Anonymous says:

    to be honest with you. If so many ppl hadn't have gone natural, the thought of transitioning would have never crossed my mind.

    I wanted to go natural in 2006 because a lot of women were doing it with success. And after two failed attempts at transitioning (in 2006 and 2007) I finally decided to transition in 2008 and BC in late 2009. I am glad that I did.

  • Anonymous says:

    The media was not a factor in my decision to go natural. I chose to go natural for the same reasons a lot of women did–damage from relaxers. My mother was my primary influence although she made the decision becuase she has a thyroid condition and her hair was thinning. As far as being a fad, I think that depends on the person. For me it's a lifelong decision, I will never relax again. For others, it may just be the new IT hairstyle, like the Rhianna cut was awhile back. just my opinion KCC09

  • Poetikmuze says:

    i will admit if it weren't for the curly sisters that came before me i probably wouldn't have the courage to rock it. i would still be saying "my head's too big, my face too round, my hair isn't long enough… and so on". my sisters (on curlynikki especially) have shown me how beautiful curly, kinky, wavy hair can be. more importantly how wonderful i will feel with a head full of healthy hair. besides the health benefits of going natural, i simply got tired of being a slave to these beauty salons. my cousin and i were were just talking about this. i will not pay another $50 and walk out of a salon and 30 min later i'm looking like Woodstock. never again. besides, patience, finding a good routine, and continued inspiration from you beautiful curlies will help me find the joy i once had when my mother was doing my hair every two weeks as a child…

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