Let me just say that my “hair journey” is far from over, but I’ve come to a place where I think I can talk about it and not sound absolutely clueless 🙂
When I was in elementary school, my mom gave me a perm. Probably because she didn’t want to have to deal with my hair, both my sisters’ hair, and her own hair. Not to mention that growing up, she did used to have an afro and she knew how much it took to maintain that, eventually she had to assimilate to fit in with her white classmates and start getting perms and straightening her own hair. How could she know that the giant wave and push for natural hair was coming just around the corner and getting stronger and stronger?
So, like I said already, I’ve only ever had one perm in my life and it was only during middle school. I don’t even recall what I did with my hair in middle school. It was probably so traumatic that my brain blocked it out and I have very few pictures from that time. Oh, I do remember having bangs during my early years (if you know, you know). All I can say is yikes.
High school comes around and I grow sick of looking like a bum pretty much every day of my life, so I go to a hair stylist that my sister suggests. And let me just say that she did a fantastic job slaying my hair every time I went. Doesn’t matter if it was straight or wavy. I really didn’t understand how much heat was being put on my hair, and I wasn’t too concerned about it either because my hair looked really good!
It was when my friends started saying how I wasn’t natural. I don’t even know how the hell it came up, but all of a sudden most of my friends were talking about it. I kept insisting that it was natural (the hair products), I didn’t realize that they were talking about the texture of my hair. It kind of hurt a bit, sort of like I was shamed into being natural and start doing natural hair styles. I know that’s not what they meant to do, but sort of felt that way.
Anyways, I had no idea where to start. My friends gave me ideas on what products to use and what hair styles to try. It started pretty simple, with braid-outs and twist-outs to more styles, such as box braids, French braids, slick back buns and high buns, and even wigs (towards the end of senior year). Here are some of the styles I’ve had in the past few years:
So, as you can see I’ve done many different hairstyles and I unfortunately don’t have pictures (or good pictures) of all the styles. I’m hoping to try a few new ones this year and continue to go down this road of natural hair. My curl pattern has gotten so much better since starting this journey and I hope to one day get to where I want to be. My hair is actually half way there already, I just need to work on it a little more.
All that being said, don’t let people fool you. You definitely don’t need to have curly hair to feel “natural.” Natural is whatever you believe your hair should look like. If you want it straight, that’s completely fine. If you want it curly, that is completely fine. Don’t let anyone shun you into starting something that you either weren’t ready for or didn’t want to go on in the first place. Only you can define what your hair looks like. After all, you are the one who has the hair on your head, not them.
Are you ready to go natural if you aren’t?
If you are natural, how long have you been doing it?
What products do you use and do you have any suggestions for me?