Several months ago, I wrote a blog about hair I titled “Isn’t it All Good Hair?” At the time, I was simply musing about how intrinsically we connect who we are with our hair. At the time I made a comment about how I was contemplating going natural after having seen Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair.” For those of you who may be unclear about what I mean by going “natural,” I simply mean that I no longer use chemicals to straighten or modify my hair from its God given state.
People go natural for many reasons. Some make the decision as part of a journey to connect more with one’s cultural background. Others do it as part of a healthier hair regimen. At the beginning of my journey, I fell into the latter category. I felt my hair was beginning to thin and wasn’t as healthy as it could have been. After several months of cleverly disguising my curly locks meeting the chemically straightened locks I was still clinging to, I finally decided to do the “big chop.” I cut all of the remaining chemically straightened hair. I was horrified. The first three days after I cut it, I felt completely naked. It was as though people could see my insides. It was scary.
M loved and still loves the look. He said he never could understand why I didn’t leave it curly anyway. I could go into a long individual post about the whole “European influence” of wanting straight, silky hair but I won’t. What I will say is that this journey has made me question things about myself that I never have before. On a particularly bad hair day I bemoaned to M about how I didn’t think I was going to be able to go chemical free much longer. He looked at me, rolled his eyes and said ” what a life.” I knew what he meant. We had many discussions about how my fear of messing up that prized silky chemical laden hair really prevented me from having some free moments in life. Instead of reveling in the warm raindrops of summer, I was running to avoid the drops. Instead of letting the waters of the Caribbean, Arabian Sea, and the Gulf wash over my body, I tried to float with my head out of the water. It’s funny now to think back to some of these moments but they are also very sad because I realize these are the lessons I’m casting upon to my daughter–the baggage of not being happy with what God us. One day recently, I wondered if our constant need to change our physical ourselves is like saying quietly that God didn’t know what he was doing when he made us. Afterall, he gave us these wonderful locks of hair ranging from bone straight to thick waves.
Shout outs to reader Truth who suggested Kinky Curly and Carol’s Daughter products to me. Ironically enough, I have tried both of these and had forgotten you had even suggested them. I love love love Kinky Curly products. Kinky Curly is now in Target. It’s a hot commodity here and stays sold out. The CD curl milk is okay. I really need to go back and give it another try now that I know how to really apply the products the way I need to.
I’ve posted a pic of the resulting big chop. The journey continues. Until the next blog my lovelies!
I like your natural hair texture, you’re juste as pretty as “before”.
Thanks so much! I hope all is well with you.
yes it is thanks for asking
hmmm, the Carol’s Daughter is good! But, a bit pricey. i do appreciate its commitment to natural ingredients, though. But, there are some other things to buy, i just have to think about it awhile.
i don’t use them personally, but my daughter does.
And, she has never put chems on her hair: but she has put heat! (ugg).
Yes, to the ‘trying to change what God gave us’
but, even passed the hair to aging creams, body modifications and artificial enhancements, sometimes including makeup.
But, since i am not visual, maybe you feel i am going a bit overboard on this one.
Enjoy your hair, though!
Jan I agree about the body modifications and artificial enhancements and to a certain extent I agree about the make up etc. I’m not a a makeup girl (as you can see from all my previous photos). I don’t think you’re going overboard at all. You are correct about CD being pricey. I got a hair set and out of the set of five, I only use two products on a regular basis.
The shorter hair really becomes you. If I ever desire to get married, I hope that my husband’s thinking would be like “M”‘s.
I admit, it took years for people to convince me to get my hair cut. I struggled wondering if I would look more like my brother than a woman,but it was either that or I would have had no choice as all of my damaged hair would have fell out.
Recently, I read an article in the EBONY magazine about Halle Berry. She got her long locks cut, because she said that she feels better with shorter hair. My hair have grown back,but I had no regrets getting it cut and I’m thinking about getting my hair cut again. I feel older and droopy with the longer hair that I already have.
My sister also got her hair cut. I admit, I couldn’t see her having it. I thought that she would look masculine with it,but when she came back, she looked like a different person. She had her hair cut close-cropped and dyed like Dennis Rodman( though with a more natural looking color than his). My sister has always gotten a lot of attention from guys no matter how she looked. With her cut, it seems that she’s gotten more of it.
As a teen and early adulthood, I admired Halle and Toni Braxton( the pre one that is) for what they did to their hair. I hated going to my father’s mom house because she was into long hair/lighter skin jazz. I felt sooo miserable around her that I vowed that if I had kids like this, I wouldn’t come around her( I’ve forgiven her since then) because of it. I wanted them to feel good about themselves no matter what they look like.
My neighbor lost her long locks due to chemotherapy. After having long hair for years and losing it to cancer, she decided to keep her short hair. Her hair is quick to grow back,but she, like you, is in love with it. Now if you ask me, she’s 58,but she looks far younger than her 30 year old daughter in law with longer hair.
Thanks for the compliment and the comments. It’s funny you should mention going over to your Dad’s mom house because of the attitude she had toward lighter skin and long hair. I just had a conversation with my mother and sister last night about not projecting their “straight hair is best” crap on my daughter. No matter what she chooses for her hair later in life, I want her to feel confident in it and not have to go through this journey I and so many others have gone through. If I had to do it all over again, I would have never permed her hair.
all these comments are so interesting to read thanks for sharing.
It’s easy for society to treat such issues as part of life (as I’ve heard too often heard in my life_),but just because someone chooses to be that way doesn’t mean that I have to do the same. My grandmother talked about my cousin’s weight( oh yeah, prob #3). She basically made fun of her. That’s funny, when she was a young’en she raved about her light skin, her long ” good” hair,but now she’s big..she’s terrible. As a thick woman and I was offended by it.
I have no kids of my own,but I have 3 nephews. Even with boys, I wouldn’t want her to do that with them and I told her that I didn’t want the three of them growing up anorexic and anti-Black. So far so good with them,but I try to do everything in my power to instill a sense of pride in them. I once struggled with my heritage. Like you,I want them to love what god made them to be.
I love your natural hair. It looks great on you. I wore my hair natural for around 3 or 4 years.. As my hair grew I wore it more in the 2 strand twist. But I have very thick hair…and I am very tender headed….so as my hair grew long it became unmanageable for me. So I decided to relax my hair…it had grown around 13 inches…the longest it has ever been. I miss my natural hair…and wish I had never relaxed it. But now there is so much information on YouTube regarding natural hair..and different styles. I wish I had thought to check that resource years ago. Anyway, I recently cut my hair very short…hubby loves it. But I told him …my next step will probably be to grow this out and go natural. There is a girl I follow on Youtube.for makeup tips ” coloredbeautiful ” that cut her hair and went natural a few months ago. I am not sure of you texture of hair…but when I wore mines natural..I found that pure shea butter helped to soften mines. Best of Luck.
I just descovered your blog and I have to tell you that I love it. As a young lady that is in a interracial relationship with a man from India (He’s from New Delhi) and myself being African American, I understand the challenges that comes along with being in love with someone from a whole another culture. We are getting married next year and I’m going to continue to read this blog to get a lot of wisdom and advice from you. Also I love your natural hair…. It’s very nice… I wear my hair relaxed, but one day I am going to have to courage to just go natural.
I love this blog my problem is I only got a re-touch twice a year but I haven’t in about a year! Im too afraid to do the ” big chop ” my hair is still too long to chop still! is that the conundrum us women wanting to go natural face? Its so hard…
I don’t know about other women but for me it was like stripping me naked and parading me around in front of people. Eek! It’s as though we’re taking the “ease” of doing hair the societal way away and coming to terms with some parts of ourselves we weren’t really too keen on to begin with. From an early age, we’re taught our kinks, curls and coils are too much to deal with and that straightening it (through hot combing or relaxer) makes it “look better.” Taking that ideal away as an adult is scary stuff..but I promise you, it’s also rewarding.