Should You Go Natural?
Can you invest the time?
Going natural is a process. If your hair is relaxed; then transitioning to natural hair will involve a lot of time, patience, and effort.
Depending on how long you want your natural hair, the transitioning period from relaxed-to-natural can range from months to even years.
Why Relaxed Hair Loses It's Curl Pattern?
Broken Hair Bonds
When your hair is relaxed, the chemical bonds that created a curl pattern become permanently broken and reformed. Your relaxed hair will never revert back to your naturally curly hair texture. You will have to wait for your new growth to replace the relaxed hair.
You probably know by now that your naturally kinky, curly hair texture never really goes away. It comes to visit you ever couple of months. This is precisely why women with relaxed hair have to do retouches. Luckily, your natural hair texture is never truly lost. You can decide to go natural when the time is right.
There are two ways people with relaxed hair can become natural. They either commit to a timely process called transitioning. Or, they become natural instantly by doing The Big Chip.
What is Transitioning?
Transitioning is the time period where you allow the naturally curly hair texture to replace the relaxed, straight hair ends.
Transitioning to natural is great for women who are not comfortable with short hairstyles and/or not ready to fully embrace their natural hair texture. The relaxed hair will naturally break-off. Your natural hair texture will eventually replace the chemically treated hair.
You can speed up the transitioning process by snipping-off the relaxed ends as your natural hair texture grows in. For example, for every inch of new growth, cut an inch of your relaxed ends. You will gradually become familar with caring for curly hair.
While transitioning, you may find it to be a challenge maintaining two different hair textures. Make sure you take advantage of the information provided by those who have successfully transitioned to natural hair.
Youtube channels of ladies who transitioned to natural
What is The BIG CHOP?
Some women immediately cut-off all of their relaxed hair and instantly become natural by doing The Big Chop. The Big Chop allows you to skip the timely transitioning process. You can become natural within five minutes; or however long it would take you to chop-off all of your relaxed hair.
The Big Chop allows you to jump into wearing your natural hair. Now, before you get beside yourself, make sure you are educated on natural hair care and emotionally prepared to take on your curly hair texture.
Youtube channels of ladies who did The Big Chop
Check out Lisa from napturallycurly.com discuss the BIG Chop:
Natural Hair is Trendy, But It Is Not A Trend
Trends are always moving in and out of style.
Black women who have decided to learn their natural hair texture should not be linked to the frivolousness of a new trend. That is like saying, the act of discovering who you essentially are is a temporary journey.
Self-discovery is continuous; and never fleeting.
Black women making efforts to not only explore, but understand their natural hair texture will continue and never go away--this is just the beginning.
Do Weave and Relaxers Need To GO?
As black women, we are known for our beautiful and unique hairstyles. I love to see versatility, whether Afro-textured hair is relaxed, weaved-up, or worn natural.
But damaged hair is never good, even if it is hidden under a weave.
Other ethnic groups participate within the same self-altering activities. I have seen Caucasian and Asian women sport a hair weave.
However they tend to treat hair pieces simply as accessories--something that is optional. We treat hair enhancements and chemical alterations as needs--something we cannot function without.
The main issue with weave and relaxers is that many black women do not have a healthy self-perception apart from them. At this point, the weave and relaxers are no longer enhancements, but become necessities for beauty and self-esteem.
Many black women believe that they need weave and relaxers to be attractive, desired, accepted, professional, noticed, equal, loved, heard, and basically VALUED.
Let Your Hair Be Your Crown Of Glory
Afro-textured hair is often perceived as a cosmetic flaw instead of a beautiful attribute that is unique to African Americans.
We should wear our hair like a crown and feel a sense of pride--not shame, when your afro puffs-up like a crown. Be proud of the hair that God gave you!
Your natural curl pattern is as unique as your fingerprints. No two people have the same exact curl pattern or kinky hair texture. Your hair texture was chosen just for you.
You owe it to yourself to give your natural hair texture a try. Why not? What are you afraid of? It's only hair, right?
If you try it and hate it then at least you know it's not for you. This is at the root of the natura hair vs. relaxed hair controversy. Ignorance is the dividing factor, not hair texture choice.
Natural Hair vs. Relaxed Hair
Natural hair advocates assume that black women with relaxed hair are anti-Afro-textured hair. And women with relaxed hair feel defensive and misunderstood by such assumptions. When I read about the natural hair vs. relaxed hair drama, I become torn. I can see both sides.
When I used to chemically relax my hair, it was mainly because it seemed easier to manage. The truth is--subconsciously, I thought that natural black hair was unattractive, unmanageable and definitely not-for-me. At the time, I had no role models to convince me otherwise.
I had unconsciously allowed society to make me uncomfortable with wearing my natural hair texture. Are you blindly relaxing your hair to please others? Or, do you genuinely prefer your hair straight? If you have no experience with your natural hair texture; then how can you be sure that you prefer straight hair?
Weave and Relaxers Are Not Your Only Hairstyling Options
It is one thing to know your natural hair and choose a relaxer and/or weave because that is truly your preference. Do you believe that weave and relaxers are the only options for styling your hair?
Like most black women, at a young age, you were deprived of the choice to be natural. Even before we could speak, our moms were advertising straight hair. So, for most black women the love of straight hair started as early as the first spark of love we felt for our mothers. What woman doesn't want to be like her mother?
Is natural hair for you?
Have you forgotten your naturally curly hair?
Without the relaxers and/or weaves, what would you do with your natural hair texture? If you have never learned what works for your natural hair; then how can you properly manage it?
We see our natural hair texture as problematic because of the negative images plaguing our communities.
The world has depicted black hair as odd, unmanageable, and even uncivilized. But even with all the mockery spewed by other cultures and races, the real problem is the lack of interest for the black hair texture among black people.
Do you dislike your kinky hair texture?
Why do we accept damaging chemicals, destructive hair weaves, and crappy hair products that are all destroying our hair?
When we heavily rely upon weaves and/or a relaxer, and forget about our real hair, the experience of our hair texture is lost and completely misunderstood.
When it is a rarity to see black women embracing their natural hair; there is a serious problem. Is the problem really with your hair? Or, is the problem deep within your mindset?
You can alter your hair with weave and/or a relaxer; but every few months your natural hair texture will spring out of your scalp to remind you of who you really are.
Do your hair idols have hair like you?
Most people's apprehension toward wearing their natural hair is rooted in their belief that others will be intolerant, particularly white people.
We have been conditioned to accept straight hair, while simultaneously rejecting our naturally curly hair. Have you ever witnessed the panic of a black women who feels that she needs a retouch? Some people treat kinky hair like it is a taboo.
As black people, we have ignored the most unique adornment that we possess, our kinky hair texture. I have yet to see a wig or a weave that can emulate our unique s-curl and the cottony soft texture of natural black hair.
Is the AFRO politically incorrect?
Maybe it is not the look of natural hair that has got you bothered--could it be that you are over-concerned with what other people might think?
At one point, my only reference to styling natural hair was the Afro. Most people connect wearing an Afro to radical activists like Angela Davis. It seems to scream black power. Are you worried that your natural hair is sending all the wrong messages?
Can your natural hair texture project negative ideas about you? Do you think it will make you look too ethnic? Your hair texture nor skin color can say much about you. You did not choose the physical you.
White folks and Black natural hair
Some black people think that white people care about how we wear our hair. Wearing an Afro is not any more strange to others than styling your hair with weave and/or using a relaxer.
It is a fact that throughout history we were taught to hate our natural hair texture. Today, however, we as black people, perpetuate the negativity towards our hair texture more than any other ethnic group.
Black people commonly use phrases like good hair, nappy hair, and bee de bees to mock African hair. To me, such phrases are negative and self-defeating. We cannot honesty expect other ethnicities to embrace our kinky hair texture if we don't.
Is natural hair for everyone?
Afro-textured hair is so versatile that it is difficult to imagine that it is not for everyone.
Often kinky, curly hair is permanently altered with a relaxer before there is any opportunity to explore and learn it.
The experience of your natural hair texture was taken away without your knowledgeable consent.
It is like you (as a minor) signed a contract that has affected the condition of your hair for most of your life. If we were in a court of law, your commitment to the joint union of weave and relaxers would be ruled null and void.
Not only was the initial decision to chemically alter your hair not that of your own; it was also likely based on someone else's negative perceptions. You did not realize that you were committing to a lifetime of unhealthy, short, damaged hair.
Going natural will allow you to know whether or not you really prefer straight hair.
Going natural can improve your self-confidence
So many women have mentioned how going natural has elevated their self-confidence. Many people do not realize that they have self-esteem issues linked to the ignorance of their kinky, curly hair texture.
Prior to studying the countless informational videos on youtube and experimenting with my own natural hair, I had negative, uneducated, incorrect thoughts about natural hair. We are merely objects of our environments. The shame is in remaining ignorant.
Do the research. Get informed. Learn how to care for your hair whether you use a relaxer or wear your hair natural.
Watch the video below for a natural hair tutorial.
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