By: Rebecca Haynes from DanceOnTheSkylines

Teen naturals. We lurk, we post, and we are all around you. We enviously read the reviews of our older counter parts, gazing longingly at the pricey products they can afford that we, on our junior high/high-school/college budgets, cannot. We try desperately to find products that work for our own natural strands, without angering our mothers for spending so much money solely on our hair. We follow tutorials, sometimes with great success, and other times with disappointment and frustration.

I’ll tell you, from 3 years of experience, at the age of 17-it’s hard out here fo’ a teen natural. A lot of us have NO school mates who share our hair issues, considering most opt for a relaxer or take a weaved up approach to avoid the truth of the kinky locks that emerge from their roots every few weeks. We have to face the critique of teachers, peers, parents, and strangers as we rock our controversial curly ‘dos. Many of us come from families that have no idea how to take care of our “type” of hair and would simply suggest we just slap in the tried and true creamy crack. We know why we went (or in some cases, stayed) natural. I’m sure that, for the majority of us, it was not a fad, it was a life decision. Or, at least it was for me.

There are times I think about relaxing again. The times my progress is nuked by SSK’s and raggedy ends, the times that a product that worked fine last week wants to act a fool this time around, and the times I spend hours on my hair only to come up with less than great results. We’re not very different from adult naturals, to be honest, but we lack something that most of our elders have-a foundation.

Where do we start, when most of us were raised on Pink Oil and Vaseline? How do we even begin to figure out our regimens, when we have so little finances to experiment, and so few ‘teen natural’ examples to follow? How do we find a support system? My suggestion would be in each other. I think that all the scattered teen naturals who floats along the forum pulses should come together in order to support each other. I learn a lot from the people who have been natural for 6+ years, but I also want to hear about people MY age who have just b/c’ed and how exactly they’re dealing with it.

Sooner or later, time will come for me to take on the role of an adult. I’ll be supporting myself, and my (slight) hair fetish with my own dough, but for now I’m just a senior in high school with a hectic schedule, scrambling to apply to colleges, and simply want someone MY AGE to relate to. Don’t get me wrong, 21yr+’s. You guys have been a wealth of knowledge, but birds of a feather stick together, and right now my fellow birds are under drinking age. So what do you say, fellow teens? Want to start our own little community?