by Chelsea of Curly and Young

So you’ve made your decision to go natural, now what? If you’re like many young women I know, you will be met with some resistance. I often find that much of the resistance comes from within the family, more specifically the parents, and even more specific than that, the mothers. I’m speaking from first hand experience. My mother hated that I wanted to go natural and she actually forbade me from cutting my hair. Needless to say, I did it anyway, but let the record show that I am on a different continent from her, and this is the reason why I am alive to write this post today!

The problem lies in the fact that most of us live with our parents, and thus we are subjected to their rules. As young women, we are often at the mercy of our parents who will not indulge us in our hair escapades– they try to limit our bathroom time, they refuse to, or are reluctant to invest in natural products, and they may insult the styles we wear. So how do we cope with parents who refuse to just give it up!?

Here are a few tips that you can try:

  • Never waiver! The moment you show your parents that you’re second guessing your decision they will spot that loophole and use it against you. Stay strong.
  • Become a human mirror. You know the old adage; sticks and stones? When people say hurtful things, learn to deflect them. Their comments do not define you or the beauty of your hair… you do! When people tell me things, I keep it moving, and add a swing to my step to show them that their comments meant nothing to me. They are trying to solicit a response from you and if you do not give them one, they will eventually get bored and stop.
  • Try to show your family the beauty of natural hair. Whenever I mentioned going natural, the first thing people asked me was if I planned to wear an afro, and if not, then what? Sadly, people are ignorant about the versatility of natural hair. So experiment, try new things,- wear it up, down and out, and show them that straight hair is not the only type of hair that can be beautiful.
  • Be aware of your hair and its propriety for an occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE BIG HAIR, but not everyone does, case in point, your parents. Remember, you are still trying to gain their approval, so until then, try to compromise with them when it comes to your hairstyles and formal outings. My compromise is wearing loose styles for church. My aunt does not like to see my hair in twists, as she does not deem them appropriate for church. I noticed that once I made the compromise, the little squabbles over my hair dissipated. You could try to do the same.
  • Try talking to your parents. As young adults, it is normal for us to be anti-authoritarians, but remember that this is one battle you cannot afford to lose. Talking to your parents can work for two reasons; they will realize that you are serious about your decision and that it is not just some fashion trend that you will grow old of, and they may be better able to understand your decision, as them lashing out may be the result of their confusion.

So there you have it ladies. Try implementing a few of these suggestions and see what happens. Remember that although the comments of your parents may be hurtful, they do still love you, and chances are they will come around. However, if they don’t, you are still beautiful and you do not need your parents to tell you that.

**Remember in all that you do be respectful. I will not be responsible for your parents killing you for rudeness**