|Flickr photo by Kicha|
I stopped chemically straightening my hair around 1999. I didn't do a big chop, but transitioned over about a year. It started with a dream where I looked in the mirror and saw myself with short natural hair and loved it! In the dream, I couldn't stop smiling. When I woke up, I couldn't stop thinking about what my natural hair looked like and felt so curious. As it grew out, I didn't even recognize it. But my mother remembered the texture from when I was a child.
Like many black women, at least in the United States, we often start relaxing our hair when we are teenagers, if not younger. Many of us may go the rest of our lives not knowing what our natural hair looks like. Why? Because even if we were not told in actual words, there has been a feeling that in order to be accepted by society, we had to straighten our hair. And relaxers hurt. They burn. I'm so happy to be free from all that.
Since late last year, natural hair has been in the news. Television reporter Rochelle Ritchie did a story about her transition to natural hair. A Sesame Street muppet sang that she loved her hair. And Willow Smith whipped her hair back and forth.
In the past couple of years, I've discovered the world of natural hair blogs. So much information is available now that wasn't even five years ago. Anyone who has doubts about going natural should read these blogs and see how their mindset may change. One of the first that I discovered was Afrobella. But Patrice writes about more than just hair and is one the top bloggers out there in any category.
The blogs that really have changed my thinking about natural hair are Curly Nikki and Black Girl With Long Hair. After reading these blogs, I so regret ever putting a relaxer on my head. Never mind paying hard earned money to have it done to me! If only I had understood my hair better and seen the variety of styles available. If only I had appreciated what grew out of my head naturally. It makes me sad when I think about it. But at least I know now! Oh, and I cannot forget the tumblr blog le coil. Such cool styles!
One of the most interesting things about Curly Nikki is that she is a licensed psychotherapist, so when she writes about hair, she also addresses issues of self-esteem. When you read the stories and comments, you see how learning to not just accept, but love our natural hair is another way of truly learning to love ourselves. One naturally follows the other and allows for a journey of self-transformation and growth within.
Now I really notice women who have natural hair and feel such inspiration from their style. Did you see Lizz Wright on The Tonight Show? Her sound is awesome and she really rocks her twa (teeny weeny afro)!
Last month, I received an email from Mireille Liong, who wrote the much acclaimed book: Going-Natural: How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair. Liong's website Going-Natural.com is another great natural hair resource.
Even more importantly, Liong is doing something very different by having an online annual pageant called America's Next Natural Model. Her goal is to raise awareness about black hair issues and to improve the image of Black women in the media. You can take a look at the models and vote online. I think what she's doing is amazing and am happy to support the cause!
Anali's First Amendment © 2006-2011. All rights reserved.
This Post’s Link
Subscribe to blog posts. Follow me on Twitter.
Print this post