What to do When You Don’t Have Support in Your Natural Hair Journey

by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

When I came back to Seattle after spending a semester in college in NYC, I had a new attitude, some bamboo earrings, knee-high boots, and a blown out afro that had an ego of it’s own. I was “finding” myself and adopting a NY state of mind where any and everything go. Unfortunately, my NY state of mind wasn’t widely accepted by my uncle in Seattle who was quick to assure me that my newly found independence and self expression was a social faux paux in his simple question to me that fateful evening when he took one look at my afro and asked, “are you on drugs?”.

I laughed it off to save face and abruptly went to the mirror for the first time feeling slightly self-conscious. One stupid comment was all it took to bite away at my self-esteem and my identity. How many of you have had similar experiences with transitioning your hair from chemical to natural without the support of your family or peers? Becoming a naturalista is trendy online when you can log on to CurlyNikki, New Naturalista, attend a Loving Your Hair workshop and drop by Fro Fashion Week. But when those communities fade away and your fellow naturalistas aren’t in your day to day life, when does reality set in that you are a rebel in a corporate environment where your co-workers ask to touch your hair, or you don’t get that job because you’re hair looks “disheveled”, or you can’t get a date because you don’t “fit in” to the desirable description of what a good looking woman is?

When you’re feeling isolated along this journey here are a few great things you can do to boost your self-esteem and speak love and beauty into your hair and into your spirit.

  • Join a meetup of naturalists! I recently joined Seattle’s Kinks, Curls and Cocktails meetup engaging with new friends from all cities, backgrounds, careers and ages. Now I have a group of natural women that empower me and make me feel great to be natural in a city that hasn’t completely adopted the “lifestyle”. Search for a meetup in your area or create one yourself. Chances are there is someone in your city wishing they had the same type of support network.
  • Do a photoshoot! Now is the perfect time to get vain, throw on some heels, a nice dress and do a couple of headshots with you looking your best and most glamorous self. Yes, it’s a little self serving but after a few glamour shots with your gorgeous hair, post your picture on twitter and facebook and sit back as the compliments roll in. An awesome self-esteem booster! (Hey, it works for me)
  • Experiment with hair styles! I keep a collection of images and photos of natural hairstyles that I love and save them to try out when I’m bored with my hair. I always get compliments on my hair after trying out a new style, a great self-esteem booster and a great way to fall in love with your hair all over again.

Do you ever feel like becoming natural was a mistake? What do you do to feel confident in your “look”?

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks’s beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen and connect with her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OBVMedia