Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's the REAL reason why you went natural?

Do y'all get this question a lot? Lord knows I do. I never really give a good answer because I think I forgot. LOL, no really...I went natural almost 5 years ago. I was 20 years old. I literally have to sit in a dark room and be super quiet to even remember what I was going through at that age. Luckily I've got a crap load of journals to remind me.

The above photo is of me hangin' out in my dorm room. At this point I had already decided that I was going natural and was transitioning through those awful edge-snatchin' micros. This photo was taken sometime in February and the 2 months earlier I had the WORSE perm experience ever. I spent $70 of my hard earned [student loan, lol] money on a perm that barely took. To make matters worse, the fool cut off a good 2 inches of my hair. Now the latter is normal. I mean, ask any Black woman on the streets about an experience with a stylist and getting what she thought was a "trim" and you'll see an angry re-enactment of the event.

Anyway...after that, I was done. I was sick of perms. And I was sick of stupid stylists always cutting off my hair. I was sick of my hair never taking a perm and when it did, I only sweated it out 2 weeks later. I was also getting heavily involved with my Africana Studies minor (later turned major) and was on this "I need to be me naturally" tip. I started wearing Black Power t-shirts and everything. I always felt like my inner fire and desire for all things Afrocentric did not match up with how I looked on the outside. Not that there's a certain look that one needs to have to be afro-conscious but I wanted to really uplift my blackness and thought that one of the best ways to do that was to go natural.

There's my story.

What's yours?


NESSessary said...

For as long as I can remember I have always gone to a salon to get my hair done. I have had perms, weaves, and braids practically most of my life, thinking that that was just how things were and how every black person does it because our hair is "untamed" and needs to be hidden. I had no idea that being natural even existed, or that anybody in the world other than people from the 70's or 80's wore their hair natural (ignorant and naive, i know lol). I remember as if it was yesterday when I decided to go to a new salon, still having my ugly ass weave on my head. At first I was very hesitant of her because I had so many bad salon experiences, but she understood immediately and apologized for my experiences. She took one look at my weave and said "You are never getting this done again." She took the weave out and my hair was literally breaking in her hands. That's when she said "You can do more with this, seriously! We gotta trim it off!" And voila, I was natural and from the moment I saw my TWA I was amazed and in love, and have never looked back. That day was the start of a new day learning to love myself not for my hair, but for being myself, and realizing that hair does not have to be something to hate, to hide, or dramatize over. This same hair dresser also started off my locs. I haven't gone back to her for practically 2 years, but I still can't thank her enough for making the best decision of my life, and also encouraging others to be natural as well, even if it isn't exactly their decision (but even she can vouch that not one person regrets it!). That's my story :)

Amina said...

what a moving story Nessessary!!
for me, it was moving from Boston to Bloomington,Indiana.. from having lots of hair salons to 1 black hair salon that was always booked. My hair was doing fine just breaking a lot during the winter and no matter how strong the relaxer was, it never ever took. I eventually found a hair stylist but she changed jobs every 2 month and I followed her like an idiot. When I left to Zimbabwe for the summer, I knew that either I had to learn how to do my own relaxers or do something drastic. When I was in Zimbabwe, I used to read lots of magazines from South Africa and it amazed me how the women wore their hair naturally or completely shaved!!

Then a friend sent me her wedding pictures and she went natural. So I sent her an email to ask her more info and that's how I started my research.
Before I left, I read the elle magazine in the july/august issue 2006 and there was an article by Tanesha Smith on how she went from relaxed to natural. I found it recently on google books
After that article, my decision was made!
that's my story!

*Coop* said...

Finally, I can tell the REAL story!

I went to a performing arts high school and many of the dancers and actors had natural hair. A lot of them had educated parents and were just more cultured than I was. I envied the styles they could wear with their natural hair and I tried to mimic them with braids and such.
Wait...lemme go back a couple of years to really get into the story. (this is fun!) I went to a predominantly White middle school and one day, this girl named Alexis (I'll never forget) came behind me and was fanning a folder. I asked her what she was doing. She said "why is your hair so stiff?" That's the first time I was really confronted with this.

Back to high school...
I loved the afros and twists and wavy ponytails and locs that the girls and guys were wearing and I couldn't do it with a relaxer. So one day, I went in for my normal 2-week hair appointment and I told her to give me a texturizer. She did. I had a fade. I looked really tomboy-ish but I was so happy to not have to run from the rain and shower without a cap on. From then, I wore braids and twists. I wore my hair relaxed for a year around 20 but...never again.

So that's the REAL story!

Bsquared86 said...

Well, I’ve pretty much been natural my whole life but I was a press’n’curl girl, so my hair was straight 90% of the time. Summer 2007 I took a swim class and came face to nap with my natural texture. I loved it! But, there were these pesky loose, damn near straight “trained” pieces of hair that just wouldn’t do right . . .

*pardon me while i peak @ my fotki to copy some stuff, lol*

I went with a friend of mine to the barbershop near my college one Friday and she cut off her relaxer (down to like a fade b/c she was already rocking a short cut). I actually paid for that hair cut just to give her that push she needed. I’m proud to say that she is still natural & rocks a TWA!

For those 2 nights that followed my friends BC, I dreamed of cutting my hair. It was on my heart and I had to do it. I could see myself w/ a fro at my graduation (tho, I ended up rocking kinky twists LOL). I love(d) my press’n’curl and it wasn’t breaking or anything. I just wanted a change. I can say that TracieMae’s big chop video on YouTube really pushed me over the edge. I watched it a hundred times lol. She reminded me of myself and I could relate to her. (her vid

I woke up Sunday, March 30, 2008 and decided that it was time for me to BC, too! It ended up being more of a "baby chop" than a big chop because my hair was already natural (I just got the looser, straighter, trained pieces snippedand then went home & snipped what the stylist missed). That Monday as I walked to class it started to drizzle randomly and, for the first time in years, I didn’t have run to for cover, I just kept my stride. I felt like it was God giving me the wink and the nod, lol.

Loced Lioness said...

I went natural because I got tired of braids relaxers weaves and the whole I cant get it wet-gotta get it done every two weeks and keep up with the latest fad cycle.I got tired of looking like everybody else.When I first started talking about growing locs five years ago my stylist at the time kept saying I wouldn't like it and I'd want to take them down after a few weeks and she talked me out of it. Well,I moved to another city and didn't know anyone who could do my hair and at the time I had kinky twist and I was tired of them.I sat and thought about what I wanted to do about it somehow a pair of scissors appeared in my hand and I cut my hair off down to the scalp.That was the most liberating day of my life and I'm never going back.My only regret is I didn't do it sooner but you live and you learn.Loc Rocker For Life!

Patricia Fleming said...

ooohh, good post!

I went natural after my daughter (who was 4 at the time) told me that she hated her hair because it wasn’t straight like her friend's, who was Caucasian.

I had been perming my hair, wearing weaves, and doing whatever I could to hide those peas in the kitchen from the public. I realized that while I hated my hair I was teaching my daughter to do the same. One day I stood crying in the bathroom mirror and cut off over 10 inches of hair. I walked down the stairs and my husband nearly fell out. Everyone hated me for cutting off my hair. My mother in law accused me of trying to drive away my husband, my sister thought I had gone insane, and my daughter cried. But I felt so liberated!

That was five years ago.

Since then I have worn afros, two strand twist, coils, and any other natural hairstyle. in September of 2009, I decide to loc my hair (for the 2nd time) and have been loving it ever since.

Since then my daughter has a new appreciation for "black Hair". Every once in a while she may say she wishes her hair was straight, but I remind her of just how precious and versatile her hair truly is. My son (who is 3) loves my hair, and calls me his natural mama. My husband, has gotten over it, and embraces every coil, loc and twist on my mother in law - well that's another story all together.

Tamyka Washington said...

I first decided to go natural back in 2000 at the age of 22. I had just moved to Tallahassee, Fl from Massachusetts, got married and was ready to start the next phase of my life. I had always rocked a perm from the time I was 10 years old and was always complimented on how pretty my hair was and the styles I came up with. (I've always done my own hair and loved creating my own styles) But as I become an adult, I started getting tired of dealing with the breakage,dryness and damage my hair was experiencing. I would secretly fantasize about how I would look with an afro and imagine all the ways I could rock my hair naturally but I knew my family would NOT approve. So I waited and my dreams of an afro turned into a head full of gorgeous locs. When I brought my idea of chopping my hair off (which was nearly down to the middle of my back)to my hubby, he said, if that's what you want..go ahead! That's all I needed to hear, I cut off my hair and left about 2 inches on my head. I never felt so free in my life. I left it natural for a few months and then started with two strand twists. I was loc'd for 7.5 yrs and then decided to chop my hair off again. I rocked a fro for about 1 yr before I loc'd again (2 yrs ago) and will NEVER chop my locs again...I love being natural and could care less what anybody thinks!!!

Titus 2 Thandi said...

Why?I'm vegan, aim to be as healthy as posssible so i also exercise and realied that I can't be healthy if I'm using fire cream on my semi-permeable scalp.I also wanted to be 'real' and damaging the hair God gave me in order to reach some 'fake' ideal was not what God would approve of-that is my opinion, I can't judge God's thoughts about it, I just believe that He can't approve of us damaging His property.Nothing as cool as your story!

suga said...

I went natural out of neccesity. When I was in college, in order to save money, I started braiding my own hair to prevent having to spend money in salons. I would, however, still get a touch up on my perm every 3 months or so and wear that out to give my hair a break.
My sophomore year, I transferred to a school out of state. My friends there would always talk about how horribly hard the water was on their hair when they washed it, opting to buy jugs of water instead of using the sink or shower, but I figured since I was in braids, I would be immune. Fast forward to spring break and I arrive home, take my braids out, wash my hair and clumps of it start coming out EVERYWHERE!
I was mortified. I spoke to a few people from my school and noticed that the only people who experienced this problem were people who had relaxers. So I decided, since I barely wore my hair out anyway, to just keep it braided and stop getting touch ups. My last relaxers was january 2001. That decision helped my hair stay long and thick.
I continued to keep my hair braided well after graduation, mainly because I'd gotten so used to doing my hair on my own, I'd cringe when thinking about paying someone else to do it. Also, I had no idea how to do natural hair. THANK GOD FOR NATURAL HAIR BLOGS AND FORUMS! lol They saved my life lol

Funny how i was a Black Studies major but I dont really think that had an affect on my decision.

And now...I'm a loc rocker!

LoveandLocs said...

I had never been big on hair, make-up, clothes, etc. I was a no fuss kind of gal. I was getting perms (that cost $132 every 2 weeks!) out of habit, but I wasn't really doing anything with my hair. It was out when it was fresh, and in a pony when not. I found out in high school that this girl whose hair was LONGER and THICKER than mine had never had a perm, so I started longing to go natural.

Went to college and started going longer and longer between touch-ups and eventually decided I couldn't do it any more. The money was ridiculous, and my personality isn't even one to want to go through all that hassle for some hair. I transitioned in 06 with a hot comb, and a year later my hair dresser decided she'd "trim" off the permed hair (she had locs). Few months after that I started my locs and have been FREE ever since!

Anonymous said...

My hair was so totally fried from perming. My shedding hair got EVERYWHERE. I had shoulder length hair. 5 years ago I had locs for a very short period of time. I put so much energy into growing them and I ended up caving in to the creamy I think man if I had kept my locs they would've been 5 years old!!! In June of 2009 I just got tired of it. The wrapping, sitting under the dryer for no less than and and hour and 30 minutes, and after all that I'd pull it back in a bun....crazy! I latched my entire head 7 months ago..Im so happy I did.

Chawn said...

I get that question all of the time. I first decided to go natural in 2000. My stylist (Bless Her) told me I was wasting money on a relaxer because she could only leave it in for a few minutes. She told me she could straighten my hair and it would be like having a relaxer. I started doing this but unfortunately, I stopped working out because it would mess up my hair. I then switched to braids and other styles like it but one day a braid stylist asked me to put a relaxer on my hair (I guess to make her job easier) I then decided to search for more alternatives and in March of 2010 got my sisterlocks installed. I love them.