By Terez Howard of www.naturalicioushair.com
I will never ever go natural… and I will certainly never get locs.
That’s what I told my future self. Well, future self is eating crow. I am happily natural and ecstatic with my locs. But this post isn’t about me. It’s really about what a young teenager recently told me.
She expressed dissatisfaction with her relaxed hair, broken off from too many chemicals, direct heat and drying products. “Well, you don’t have to do that anymore,” I told her. “I will never go natural, Terez” was her abrupt, matter-of-fact response.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why a woman hates her hair but refuses to do anything about it. But don’t let me get started on that rant.
No more than two weeks later, she asked me to guess what she was doing. “Going natural!” she exclaimed. What changed her mind? Another girl her age made the decision to go natural, and she decided to join her.
How to have a successful transition
I am all about having a buddy during your natural hair journey. The only ladies I had that were wearing natural hair like mine were the ones I encountered online. In my town, I had absolutely no other naturals to talk with about my fears, bad hair days, length goals and styling options. I was a blog-stalking, forum-watching natural, kept afloat in my journey only by the photos and stories I could read on the Internet.
If you find a friend to go natural with you, please keep the following in mind:
1. Natural hair varies. Just because you found a natural sister does not mean you will be hair twins. It’s extremely likely your curls and coils will not be like your friend’s. Don’t be disheartened when your friend’s hair does things that you cannot force yours to do. Embrace what you have.
2. Share products. If you and your friends are interested in similar hair care products, share one another’s products. This way, as you discover what your natural hair likes and doesn’t like, you can sample products at a fraction of the cost.
3. Take photos of one another’s journeys. With your fellow transitioner, take photos of how your hair changes and grows as well as the styles you try. As you progress in your journey, you can start a blog or a scrapbook along with your friend.
4. You have to want it yourself. Don’t go natural just because your friend is doing it. You will not stay natural if that’s your real reason for doing it.
I look forward to watching my two young friends go natural. I know that at their age, I would never have had the confidence to wear my natural hair. Gaining that confidence is essential to becoming content with the all-natural you.
So, tell me. Would you rather go natural with a friend or on your own?
Like many, I went natural by accident. In high school I can now admit I was embarrassed by my kinky texture (some would call if 4c). Without enough funds to buy human hair, and to re-do my micro braids – I had to go to school with a ‘fro. Believe me, I tried playing sick – but it didn’t work.
To my surprise, I unveiled my kinnks, and world did not end. I ignored the “You are brave to go natural” comments and embraced books like Nappily Ever After and India Arie’s first CD filled with self acceptance. In 2000, you didn’t have the natural hair online support like youtube and other great resources of today.
After twelve years of being natural, I still get emotional seeing women embracing their kinnks. Filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa debuted a op-Doc
Are you like me, always disappointed when you watch a a makeover show? They seem to never have the ability to incorporate natural hair into a new doo.
NOT THIS TIME! Tiffany aka New York of Flavor of Love has had an amazing natural makeover…
Chevin Shares: I almost didn’t recognize her…
the personality change and everything is amazing…
her hair has softened her… don’t you think?
Ms. Simone ordered a Kinnks Tee and we got to electronic talking! I quickly learned about her hustle selling jewelry on Naturally.Elemental! I got a few pairs myself, I’ll have to post my pics!She sounds like a kool mom too cause she’s sending her son to Japan! Anyway, please give a warm Kinnks welcome to Ms. Simone!! She shares her story of her BC below…
Monday, June 14, 1993, 9:15 am: “Ma, can you watch Jay for an hour. I have an errand to run.”
Ten minutes later I was standing the main workroom of the local beauty college explaining that I had one inch of new grow and I needed the 10 inches of relaxed hair shaved off. I needed the best student in the class to do it. I handed the girl my $10.00 and smiled.
“I want my head shaved please. I want nothing on my head when she’s done but the one inch of new growth.”
After a hushed consultation in the back of the room and the instructor looking over her glasses at me to see if she could determine if I was intoxicated, a student was found, I was seated and apparently, I was the impromptu lesson for the day.