After being relaxed from the age of four, I had become very curious to know what my natural hair texture looked and felt like. This thought has crossed my mind several times in between relaxers, before I actually made the decision to stop relaxing. Even though I was curious, I was much more fearful and kinda confused. Fearful because there are so much negative and demeaning connotations associated with natural hair. I was also confused because of the overwhelming amount of information that was being circulated on several social media platforms about afro-textured hair. Where do I start or how do I start? Do I big chop and start from scratch or do I transition to see if I like it? How long will it take to achieve a manageable length? Will I have a chaotic and lengthy transition process ? How do I adjust from having long relaxed hair to a short natural hair? All were questions I asked myself before making a decision against the relaxer.
In my culture, afro-textured hair have been stereotypical associated with being childish, unattractive, unkempt and to some extent rebellious. As a result of these stereotypes, as soon as a young lady becomes 13 years old, she is almost expected to have her hair relaxed. It’s not necessarily a requirement but society both consciously and subconsciously influence such actions. It seems as if it is a ritual performed at that age to celebrate their womanhood, or I’m not quite sure.
So my fears and apprehensions were all logical and merited, because based on the stereotypes a young educated lady, like myself would not and “should not” want to be natural. Well, as a blooming professional studying at University, I encountered a variety of young black women embracing their natural hair. They looked so beautiful and free. Their hairs had different textures, colours, cuts and styles. Witnessing all them wear their hair made have serious hair envy. These gorgeous black women would parade the campus with afro textured hair; wearing it with such pride and it made me become much more eager and curious and whole lot less fearful.
While my fears lessened, my interests peaked and I started reading more blogs and watched videos about Afro textured hair. I educated myself on the various remedies for achieving and maintaining healthy natural hair. So, with the aid and influence of social media and blog sites , I had become very much acquainted with natural hair and natural hair care and this heightened my curiosity even more. After six months of constant deliberation and struggling to manage the two textures; the relaxed ends and natural roots, I literally grew some balls and decided to chop it off!
But nothing happened! I felt a bit disappointed because I honestly expected to feel some form of euphoria and I felt nothing… absolutely nothing! So, I just continued to wear wigs, braids and weaves until I was “confident” enough to wear my natural hair out. Little did I know the mount of confidence and magic that awaited me. However, this change (cut/big chop experience) can be very different for everybody, but it is worth it!
Like most black women I had self identity issues but the moment I actually wore my hair out in a style…. I was amazed by it. I felt so empowered. What was most interesting though, is the fact that I felt like I was representing black women in the best way. Giving them face of reference for what beauty for us really look like.
Ever since then, I have developed a fervent passion to not only represent us black coir headed gals but to inspire and encourage others to make the change. Get perm free and it will be the next best decision you have ever made! That was my hair transformation story, whats yours? Please share them in the comment section below, I would love to hear them!