Tomorrow is one year since I big chopped! I can’t believe that much time has passed since I stood in my dorm room and took scissors to my stringy locks. While the experience was completely exhilarating and freeing (some type of euphoria really does happen when you cut your hair) it was also a bit scary. Suddenly I was “all in” to this natural thing and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried desperately to pick and blow my little locks out to look longer, but after ten months of transitioning they were still just a few inches long.
Fast forward to February 2016 and it’s amazing how much my hair has grown! Through trial, much error, two crochet braid installs, and a few very bomb hair days I have made it one year 😊😊. It’s not until I compare pictures that I realize how much more I can do with my kinky curls, including puffs, ponytails, twistouts, braids and buns.
My advice for anyone going natural is DON’T GIVE UP and DO YOUR RESEARCH. Learning about your hair after years of damaging it isn’t easy, but don’t be discouraged or feel less beautiful. This is where the research part comes in. I read a lot before I made the decision to go natural and I still read a lot. It takes work to see what products best fit your hair type and what style fit your personality and lifestyle. I’ve learned manipulating my hair less and moisturizing it more reduces breakage and helps to retain length. Trust me, your hair WILL grow, and the time will pass anyway, so it might as well pass growing naturally from nothing than breaking from the creamy crack! (No shade to my relaxed sisters.)
Our society still has a long way to go in showing a broader beauty palette, but it’s really been nice to see more natural hair examples in the media today. If you’re thinking about or just embarking on your natural journey it can be discouraging not seeing your hair type represented, so it’s crucial that you expose yourself to positive natural hair images. Don’t forget that just because you’re in the naturalista’s territory doesn’t mean there won’t still be discrimination; there is texture discrimination all the time. In fact, when I first went natural I was hoping beyond hope that I wouldn’t have Type 4 hair (the thickest and kinkiest kind), because it seemed so difficult to manage and undesirable. Of course, that’s exactly the hair I have: it couldn’t be thicker, denser, coarser, or kinkier if I tried! But finding other women with extraordinary hair like mine gave me the reassurance that I could be beautiful with the most gravity-defying hair on the planet. So here’s some of my favorite hair pages/curlfriends that you might like to follow for tips and inspiration.
afroliciouswomen has Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts!
4chairchicks has an online store and was voted best community by Essence!
vintage_curl this beauty never ceases to slay!
naturalrootsista you MUST follow their page and visit the site. So many beauties!
healthy_hair_journey this one is a staple for anyone just joining the community
amazingnaturalhair with the loc love and so much more!
howtonaturalhair always impressive and classy.
The beautiful and wise-beyond-her-years Amandla Stenburg
your_curlfriend she’s easily one of the most versatile hair enthusiasts
myhaircrush you’ll be hair crushing for daysssssss
Google Curlfest, a summer festival in Brooklyn by Curly Girl Collective. It’s LIT
Happy Nappiversary to all my natural ladies out there! Let me know about your natural story below.