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Yeah You Have Natural Hair Swag Now But….

By January 27th, 202143 Comments

Yeah You Have Natural Hair Swag Now But….

by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

Yeah you have natural hair swag now but what about when you were first relaxer free? Did you wear it with confidence? Did you embrace the new you right away or did it take some time to adjust? How did you handle the reactions to your new life as a lovely curly? Did you receive compliments right away and if not, how did that make you feel?

Today I can rock any style and walk with my shoulders square and head high but it wasn’t always this easy. It’s not a vanity thing, it’s a comfort with yourself. At first I didn’t know what to do with my new found freedom. I struggled with the urge to pick up the flat iron. I tried to use the same hair products that were my staples for my relaxed hair which for me, was no bueno. The first time I wore my hair curly, no one said a word to me. I kept waiting on some sort of approval such as a “your hair is so cute” to roll off of someone’s tongue but instead I received uneasy stares and “so now what are you going to do with it?” Talk about making me want to crawl running back to my ex lover – the relaxer!

You know how your relationship with your man is great when there are no trials and tribulations? Those are the easy times right? Well, what about those times when things aren’t so good? Do your ties stand the test of time or does the negative wear on you? I felt like that with my hair. I was excited when all the frayed permed ends were gone but when I didn’t know what to do with my hair, when the chaos of being a neo natural reared its ugly head, I was ready to run!

At what point did you become confident about your hair, no matter what the reaction? When did you find your natural hair swag?
Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.


  • Sydney Brown says:

    Bentonite clay is basically a natural clay that is able to naturally cleanse your hair and leaves it super soft and defined. Check out Nikki's post on it: I highly recommend it!

  • Butiful Buddafly says:

    what is Bentonite clay? I live in South Florida, would it work.

  • Butiful Buddafly says:

    OMG you sound exactly like me. I started with a TWA after doign teh big chop, and I loved my permed just passed my shoulders wrap but now….I am soooo bored with my hair. My afro isnt huge as it should be cause when I first went natural I was at the barbe every two weeks gettign it cut and shaped to perfection. Now, I am at a lost casue I want to perm it and just tired of the dull no hair cut shapely afro!

  • Sydney says:

    "Card carrying member of the PJ club"!!! Love that. Same here! Just about every surface in my room has a hair product, spray bottle or bobby pin on it. 🙂

  • Sydney says:

    Have you tried Bentonite clay? This treatment will soften and define your hair like no other. I love it! My mom has a sure thing recipe if you are interested!

  • Sydney says:

    I think my confidence came after getting my hair done at the Miss Jessie's Salon in NYC (June 2011). I have been natural since 2003 but I had always worn my hair straight. In February 2011 I wanted to start wearing it natural in an attempt at overcoming a growth plateau and giving my hair a heat break. It was not easy! I tried twist outs and braid outs but because of my heat damaged ends I had to wear my hair up in either a pineapple or in a (not fancy) up do. When I visited NYC for work I made a point of splurging on an angle balanced hair cut which chopped off about 2 inches of my ends. The ladies there then did a dry twist out and when I saw my (shorter- gasp) curly, bouncy hair I was in love. When I got home I tried to re-create the look and was able to once for a special occasion. Besides that I just couldn't get it right. I finally gave up and flat ironed after many weeks of frustration. Then with the help of my mom I discovered curlformers and they have changed my life. I now can rock my curls confidently which has lead me to experiment again in the twist out department and I can happily say that I am currently on day 2 of letting my twist air dry and will rock a fluffy twist out tomorrow. I think time helps you to accept your hair and with every success breeds more confidence. I now am unashamed to put 22 twist in my hair on Sunday nights and wear the twists in a low pony until I feel like rocking my hair out. It's truly liberating to wear my hair the way it grows out of my scalp.

  • Jacinta says:

    Have no swag at all. Still trying to understand and style my hair after 5+ years of being natural! Don't know any styles except twists and twist outs. Third dose of henna, hoping for some colour and I'm hoping length would come soon….. 🙁

  • Shia says:

    When I was transitioning, I was all happy. I was doing something I wanted to. Cut to the bc after two years of transitioning. I left the salon nearly in tears and ran to the aisle to find a hat. I swore up and down I was not leaving my hair like this. All of a sudden I wanted weave. I've never had straight weave without braids. So this was a shock to me.

    I wore it tied up for a few days and then said, well it's me. And I don't give a rat's tail what anyone says now. I still get drama from my mom, but it's my hair. MY hair. Not hers.

  • Anonymous says:

    I had swag as soon as I stepped out of the hair salon. I went from long hair to 1-1.5 inches of hair and I was fierce! Now that I am at that awkward stage plus I am now at my baby phase of locks my confidence has decreased but I will never show it…just keep it bottled up inside because I know it will continue to grow…and the swag will be at 100% again.

  • Stanethia Harris says:

    Here is my response to the question… Check out the post on my blog! I'd love for you guys to check it out!

  • Anonymous says:

    I had swag as soon as I did it. And boy was it short. I loved it and thats all that mattered to me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I became confident one day while driving to my friends house. It was 3 years after transitioning and 4 months after putting down the flat iron. It was warm and the windows were down and funk music was playing. Suddenly I just had a moment when I realized my hair was awesome!

  • naptowncurls says:

    I became confident in my natural hair journey when I had some length to work with. Confidence went thru the roof!! When I lost my hair and then buzzed it all off….I received alot of comments how short hair really fit my face and how they loved my natural hair. But, I wasn't feeling it…too many drastics (not a word) going on at one time…hair lost, hair buzzed, hair too short. Nope, wasn't feeling the hair or me. But, now going 3 yrs in, oh I'm so confident and love the stares..and positive comments. I love my hair….

  • Anonymous says:

    Here's what I want to know: where did he get that scarf?!?

  • keishabradford2006 says:

    I first began to transition in april 2010 and I was very insecure about it but I tried not to be. I was worried about my edges being "nappy." I hated the ends of my hair because they were so stringy. I finally chopped in March 2011. I began experimenting with flowers and headbands. My love affair with my hair began. Now I am almost a year completely natural, I love my hair. Man, u can't tell me nothing!! *kanye shrug* I definitely have a swag about me now. I don't care who don't like my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    It has been one year and 11 days since I BC. At first I was wearing wigs to work because I had cut my hair down to a fade and I wasn't confident enough to show it off. But on the weekends when I'm not at work it was big earrings, makeup, and lipstick and I loved it! Then my husband said one day you don't need to wear that thing any more just wear your own hair. So I did. I got the stares and the stink eye but I said too bad get use to it. Now I'm a full fledge, card carrying member of the PJ club.LOL (still on the quest for the perfect hair regimen and line of products that will work wonders for my coils)


  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, the timing of this post…just had a co-worker ask what I was going to do with my hair "now" and commenting rather negatvely on the condition and appearance of it. After 3 years post BC and seeing my hair grow only to break off again, I'm just now getting some length but still experimenting with styles. Was just starting to get some real "swag", feelng proud of my kinky coils and here she go…kinda discouraging but not enough to revert back. Not going back, ever!

  • purplgirl48 says:

    I'm still working my swag. It's been 6 months since my big chop, and 20 months since my last perm. I feel like I need more hair to wear styles with confidence. I think I'm in that awkward stage of to long to be short, and to short to be long.

  • Erica S says:

    I never went through the whole "transitioning" process or the BC, since I have never relaxed my hair. I basically went through a majority of my life straightening my hair and wearing weaves to the point where I never really learned what my natural curls looked like. So basically my "natural" journey started when I just decided I didn't want to wear a weave any more and straightening my hair wasn't cutting it either. I think I finally gained "natural hair swag" as soon as I realized the cute styles I could do and got rid of the fear that my hair is unmanageable unless it's straightened or in a weave.

  • Mauve_Avenger says:

    honestly, i don't think i have any more or less self confidence with my hair than i did when i was relaxed. i love my natural texture, and yeah, there are some days where i wish it would all just fall magically into place (but what woman doesn't, right?) i've always known that my hair was baaaad.

  • k.lynn says:

    i am still in search of my natural hair swag. i have been fully natural for a year and a few months now. definitely have become more comfortable with what i now see in the mirror. patience is key, i know i will not master this overnight

  • Anonymous says:

    I work in a Veteran's Hospital, and the majority of clients are older. The Vietnam Era vets love them some fro'!

  • SharpLady says:

    I just BC'd on November 19, 2011 after 5 months of transitioning and I loved it instantly. I knew it would take confidence to pull off the twa so I was kinda faking it til I made it, you know and now my confidence is out this world! I've rocked it the entire time with no accessories and just learning to love the natural me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hmm….I'll have to say about 6 months post-big chop. was a full-time grad student when I first BC'd and I was uncomfortable so I had the stylist also put my hair in coils (what little bit of hair there was to coil). I liked it b/c it was now a "style" but it was very scalpy. lol A few months later I just started rocking my hair out with no accessories being like "yeah, this is my natural hair, and what?!". lol ~KF519

  • tammy says:

    I BC'd right before a trip to Italy in May '07. I was was going to get my hair braided and decided to save a ton of money by cutting it all off. My husband (bf back then) came with me. As the stylest took the first chunck and cut he just shook his head. Once she was done I had about one inch of hair on my head when I was used to hair half way down my back. The minute I turned and looked in the mirror I was hooked. You couldn't tell me nothing, I knew I was bad! Now that it is long I have no clue what to do with it but I still rock it.

  • Stephanie says:

    I relaxed my hair for years but it was never totally straight and i loved my curls. I went from relaxers to texturizers and then finally last year to natural. Back in the day products for curly hair were few and far between so I was never able to wear my hair they way it wanted to be worn. Fast forward to this year, I had been wearing my curls out when I was home and not working (I am a flight attendant)but always felt too self conscious about wearing my kinky curls out for the mass public to see…what would they think??? One day I was just too tired to go through the process of straightening my hair and just went to work in all my natural glory. The first few times I did this I noticed a change in the "love" I was receiving–there was a definite drop. This bothered me at first and I would alternate between the curls and straightening. But finally I realized that I really didn't care about what other people thought. I love my wild, kinky, curly, big hair, and I've never been a fan of straight hair–who was I going to please "everyone" or "me?" I went with me and I couldn't be more happy with the decision. Side note: maybe it was just me in the beginning because the natural hair gets just as much love (if not more) than the straight hair. I love being able to embrace who I really am with confidence and joy!

  • Michelle Collins says:

    When I shaved my hair off the first time and kept it short, I thought I was a force to be reckoned with. Now that I started to grow it out, I haven't felt as confident.

  • Melodee A says:

    I became confident about my tresses about 2-3 weeks after my BC. The 1st person I saw after I did my BC was my husband and his reaction hurt my feelings. So I went out and bought a wig and wore it for about 2-3 weeks, then it got too damned hot and I said later for this! The following Monday I revealed all my natural curls to the world and received compliments all day! From that point on I had my natural hair swag!

  • curlygirl3883 says:

    Minin – I'm with you. I work in a VERY conservative law firm and I've just started to wear my curls out. I get a lot of "you look so cute's" but I also get the "whats up with the crazy afro hair?" There are very few sisters in the firm (5) and the ones who are here I'd say 3 are natural…but their hair is more kinky and tightly coiled than my tresses. I typically wear a bun 360 days a year so the curly fro is big change. My boss says its cute, but I still find myself in the bathroom every other hour trying to make each curl bounce just right. It's not an easy transition, but hopefully I will get to that point of ultimate confidence I read about.

  • LadyV69 says:

    I've been natural for a little over 2 years, after about 18 months without a relaxer, but for about the first three months after my BC, I was like, "What the hell did I do?" I had no confidence and I felt like people were whispering about my hair behind my back. I had growing pains during those months too as I tried to find the products that worked for my hair as it was dry and looked and felt like Brillo. I got very few compliments on my hair as well, whereas they were overflowing when I wore braids or weaves. So I started feeling some kind of way because people actually preferred fake hair on me than the hair that God gave me. After about 3 months, I realized that people actually paid little attention to me or my hair and that if they didn't like the hair I was born with, screw 'em. I've been good ever since.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a new natural–I had a 10 month transition and big chopped 3 months ago. I LOVE being natural and when my hair is out you can't tell me nothing! lol It was definitely a difficult transition at first, going from long relaxed hair, to short curly hair, and I do have moments of frustration, but I've gotten used to it. True confidence comes from within and going natural teaches you that. Most of the time I receive compliments on my natural hair, and some times I don't. It used to bother me when people (especially women) would just look and not say anything. Now I could care less, because I know it's beautiful. And now that I've gotten the hang of styling it, it's golden. Patience is key and when you exude confidence from within, it shows.

  • Anonymous says:

    I gave my hair a 2 year break from relaxer and was preparing my hair to start relaxing again when a co-worker with a pretty head of natural curls convinced me to go natural. It took me 3 weeks of using eveything I could find in my pantry and purchased in the store (on my hair) before I sheepishly took off my wig and went to work with a bun (I made following instructions I got on youtube). I was very nervous and self conscious but when I walked through the doors I got so many complements that it gave me some confidence to continue (I work in an investment firm in NY, you understand). With encouragment from my curly coworker, I became more and more confident. The swagger came naturally after that as if my mind was thinking "what is there not to be proud of?". I started complementing other naturals I see on the subway and that gave me even more confidence. Since then I feel like I'm among a very, very elite group of women…confident, Black women with the most gorgeous hair on the planet. Not that I think any less of other women.

    One more thing: I would be remissed if I did not give a shout out to Nikki and the CurlyNikki community without which I would not have learned how to care for my hair properly.

    Minin F.

  • Anonymous says:

    Now it is to the point that I don't even think about it too much. When I first went natural (bc'd), I wouldn't admit it but I was kind of insecure and preoccupied with other people's perceptions of my hair both the good and the bad. I was preoccupied with trying to educate people on natural hair, being confident, my swag and all that good stuff.

    Now, 2 years later, I just live my life…the hair thing is not that serious to me anymore… I just wear my hair how I want to wear it, I wear my clothes how I want to wear them, I do what I want to do… it just isn't that serious. But I am definitely natural for life! lol

  • sparkspop says:

    Surprisingly, to myself, "swag" came pretty quickly after my big chop. April 2011 was when i took it all off and my first daughter was getting married three weeks later (What was I thinking!). So, I guess self consciously, i must have felt that I needed to get my stuff together. 'Cause mom of the bride has to look good (and i did) :-D. Any other time may have been completely different.

  • naychirlgurl says:

    I must say that I'm still adjusting; we thin on top in my family, along with graying early (eeee!!!). I transitioned for 10mos and cut the final perm off 2/25/11. My thin spot is thickening, but not as fast as the back and sides of my head :-0. So, I don't get the definition I would like. I love being natural, even with the tribulations I'm having. Some days, I get my swag on, but others, I want to crawl under a rock. "Time and patience, time and patience"…

  • Anonymous says:

    I found mine when I cut it down to about two inches. I was not in search of a man and I had been recently laid off so I wore it with a flower and earrings and called it a day. My mom, my sister (who recently went natural), my 18 year old niece who did the chop shortly after or before me(I think) all supported me and I had no co-workers so it was easy peasy for me. 4C coils ya'll!!!!!

  • T Monique says:

    It was only in the last 4 year that I had swag. Now you cant tell me nothin'! I rarely have a bad hair day. As long as I can put on a headband, flower or cute pair of earrings; them im set. I do see people stare and im often asked if my ponytails are clip-ons or if my hair is a wig. That's one of the biggest compliments of all.

  • Anonymous says:

    When I first BC'd 12 yrs ago, I wore it well and with guarded confidence. I got way more compliments from women than men. I kept it short for a couple yrs then started to let it grow out. It was tough when I got to the awkward phase of length. I must say, I was looking country for a while. Not knowing exactly what to do with it and being too lazy to do the flat iron, rollerset, weave or braid thing caused some serious limits in styling and profiling.

    I regained my confidence when it got long enough to pull back into a bun. At that point, I had enough hair to do some great updos, as well as create a free/loose style if I ever got in the mood.

    I had another boost in confidence (in recent yrs) when I discovered all the great youtube videos and blogs available for providing tips on natural hair care and styling.

  • thy will b done says:

    Due to illness I had started losing some of my hair and with that lost some of my confidence too. When my health improved I thought that I now had a clean slate emotionally as well as physically, and decided God was giving me an opportunity to live a more "natural" life.

    First step to get there was to get rid of the old, so I shaved off all my hair! At first I wore a hat because I had zero swag with my new look! After some confidence, some compliments I decided if I was bold enuf to be bald, being natural was not going to be too bad!

    In the first couple of months of being natural and not knowing the in's and out's of "doing" natural hair FRUSTRATION ENSUED. Then finally after 4 months, I got the swing of it! Knowledge indeed equated some power for me!

    With the positive swing of "knowing my hair" I finally got a lil swag going! Now I proudly go out there and do me…!!!!

  • Mani says:

    I must admit that when I first decided to stop using my flat iron on my natural tresses I was not very enthusiastic about the change. I knew that decreased use of the flat iron would make my hair healthier but I still wanted my hair to be straight. I was really self conscious about my kinky hair at first, no natural hair swag at all. It's been about 6 months since I stop straightening it and almost 2 years since becoming natural. As the month progress I am finding that I am embracing my hair and liking it more and more. I still struggle from time to time with it but I still think this was the best decision I've ever made. Once I get society's image of what I should be out of my head I will be much better!

  • monniej says:

    i transitioned for 3.5yrs and used 2 different gels to "manage" my natural hair. i guess i could say i got my "natural swag" in the last few weeks. just decided i was sick of the gels and started doing twist outs. now my hair is big and kinky, curly and i love it! i'm still trying to resist gelling down my edges, but now i know there's hope for me, because everyday it gets a bit easier to just let me hair do what it do! 🙂

  • Bird says:

    So.. I can admit when I first cut my hair even after a year of transitioning my swag was hella off. Mainly because I wasn't use to the shrinkage and it was so dry. But I tell you when i got my swag back.. the day I did my first braid out on a blowout. I kid you not, you couldn't tell me NOTHING lol. But now (almost 1.5 yrs later) I can do whatever and still feel ok but my most divalicious moments come from my braid outs on a blowout. There's seriously nothing like it 🙂

  • M says:

    It was awkward for me at first too but then I started flat ironing and doing wash n go's n such and I was fine. Now I find myself hitting another rough patch! I like my natural hair but there have been few times I have really felt like I have that hair swag! Still working on it ( 4 years later) 🙂

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