…by Gilanda Boreland, The Nappy Journalist
With much jubilee, “I’m going to grow out my hair” I announced.
- “What’s your hair going to look like?”
- “I don’t think you’re going to keep it up”
- “Natural hair isn’t for you”
- “I can’t believe you cut off all your good hair”
- “You’re brave”
- “You’re going to have to press it out”
In my teens, I invested many hours on my relaxed hair to get perfect curls. To achieve this, I slept in soft curlers, or used the curling iron, whatever it took to get it just right. Spirals were my favourite choice of curls. I had even wished to be born with curly hair. Why God? Why couldn’t you have given me pretty curly spirals? – Little did I know!
Ignorance certainly isn’t bliss, it just keeps you uninformed and far from the truth. I was probably 5 or 6 years old when my thick unruly hair was first relaxed and continued to be chemically straightened for the next 30 years. As I got older, curling my hair became less important and straightening my hair became essential. My hair was long, thick and straight and so it was the way people were used to seeing it.
The less than favourable responses weren’t disheartening at all. Mainly because I was now equipped with knowledge about natural hair – unlike my naysayers!
How does that saying go? Oh yes…knowledge is power!
How did people react to your decision to go natural?