I’m so excited to be one of the participants in Sister Toldja‘s genius day of positivity and celebration of Black girls, aptly coined, Happy Black Girl Day.
Keepin’ the celebration going, I wanna talk about something that a lot of Black women are doing lately, which is something that warms my heart. What, you ask? We’re lovin’ our locks! Yep, that’s right. We’re lovin’ and embracin’ and rockin’ our natural hair! I want to share with you a personal narrative about how I decided to embrace one (of the many) thing(s) that makes us Black women beautiful…our hair! This edition of Happy Black Girl day just happens to come during the same time I’m celebrating my own personal journey with natural hair.
“CRACK IS WHACK!”…
Two years ago this month, I decided to break up my addiction to crack…the creamy crack, that is! I did it in an effort to take better care of my hair and to explore my natural hair texture for the first time since I was 6 years old. I was met with some resistance from family and friends, but my mind was made up: I wanted healthier hair and I was sure that my 6-8 week crack addiction was not going to get me there.
Being the planner that I am, I watched hours of YouTube videos, read tons of hair blogs, and visited a few forums before I decided to go natural, because I was NOT about to walk around with my head looking jacked. I didn’t know how I was going to tame what I was always told was “unruly” and “nappy” kinks and coils, but armed with knowledge from the very supportive natural hair community, I was going to give it a try. I asked my mom what my hair looked like once upon a time as a kid and studied childhood photos like it was my job. My curiosity about what was up under my relaxer was killing me. Though my curiosity was eating me, I wasn’t brave enough to go through with the “BC” (the “big chop”), so I decided to transition my way through…
“LONG HAIR, DON’T CARE”…
…Fast forward to February 2010, after 11 months of transitioning and after a particularly frustrating and unfruitful styling session, I decided to cut off the remainder of my relaxed ends – really on a whim. It was a 11pm when I declared boldly to my roommate that I was finally going to chop. She looked at me like I was crazy and asked if I was sure about this. When I said yes, she let me borrow her leopard print hair shears, volunteered to oversee the operation and to be the resident photographer. Two hours later, I emerged with my ‘fro free of relaxed ends and a ziplock bag full of the hair I chopped off. I was both happy and nervous at the same time. Many times throughout my transitioning phase, I had visualized what my hair would look like fully natural in cute twists, a twist out, or a diva-licious ‘fro. But after the chop, I had NO idea what to do with the kinks and coils I had been getting myself acquainted with for the last 11 months. So, since it was the dead of winter, I hid my ‘fro under beanies for class and experimented with styles at night. When I finally debuted by ‘fro, I received so many compliments!
“NATURAL HAIR EVANGELIST”…
Two years after my initial decision to stop relaxing my hair, I can honestly say that I don’t regret it. In fact, I regret not going natural sooner! Not only is my hair noticeably healthier and longer, it’s versatile, too! One day I can wear it straight and the next in a ‘fro reminiscent of Angela Davis. Ever since I’ve experienced the awesomeness that is natural hair, I have been what I call a “Natural Hair Evangelist,” of sorts. Everywhere I go, I’ve been sharing with my sistahs about how versatile, manageable, and healthy natural hair is and I’ve been encouraging others who are considering going natural to take the plunge.
LOVE YOUR LOCKS!
I must admit, I never experienced the horrors that other Black women experienced with relaxers. My hair never broke off, I rarely if ever had scabs after an application, and I was never broke from spending money I didn’t have in salons because I did my own hair. Still, my decision to embrace my natural hair was an effort to not only satisfy my curiosity, but to also discover who I was in all my natural glory. Going natural wasn’t just a superficial decision. It was my conscious effort to accept who I was as God made me. So, to all my girls out there who are natural, who are “going natural,” and who are entertaining the idea of going natural, I salute you. It’s great to see so many of us rockin’ and lovin’ our beautiful locks.
“YOU CAN THANK ME NOW” [LOL]…
Ok, so, I don’t want to get all warm and fuzzy with you without dishing about where I get my advice, information, and inspiration from. After all, if I’m going to do some justice to Happy Black Girl Day, I have got to show ya’ll some love. For those of you who are looking for more natural hair resources…allow me to put you on…:
Curly Nikki… to read some great product reviews and interviews “On The Couch” with natural haired celebrities
Natural Sunshine… to join a supportive natural hair community/social-network
KimmayTube/Luv Naturals… for some awesome scientific information about natural hair and a BANGIN’ leave-in conditioner recipe.
Oyin Handmade… for some wonderful hair products (that smell leave your hair smelling great, too!)
Hair Crush… to show you that our hair CAN grow long, naturally and to drool over this girl’s luscious locks.
How are you celebrating Happy Black Girl Day? Leave some comment love… ❤
HAPPY BLACK GIRL DAY!