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View Full Version : How do you keep your chin up?



shantony
02-28-2004, 12:31 AM
I think I need to vent or be validated. I just made the Big Chop. My sister made it last week and started her dreads. Her husband made a comment and she went upstairs and washed them out. Then she went back and had them redone. She said that she had to join a dread support group to keep her going. She's a stay at home mom and doesnt go out that much other than local places.

But I work in the professional world and as she talked about how ugly she looks now with short hair it upset me. Because she thinks dreads are beautiful and she wants to grow them. So I got to thinking. I'll go dread with her.

I had been in the "hair closet" for about 10 years. Getting braids when I knew I wanted dreads but was afraid to cut all my hair off. Especially because it was so long and also what my white co-workers or supervisors would think and would it stop me from getting promotions. Would I look militant, etc...

Well I came home today and cut it off my self to 1/2". Now I have no more perm. Every reaction I have gotten since this afternoon is negative. Peoples mouths were literally open with no words coming out. My husband knew I was going to cut it but he hasnt seen it yet since he is at work. No one said I was beautiful. Instead people kept making suggestions as how to "fix" myself up. How I should get some earrings or put on some make up.

I did this because God defines my beauty, not my hair. Hair has been a big thing in my family. Especially, "Good Hair". My family is known for our hair and now that my sister and I have made the big chop its like we have lost our identity. Well I say good. But I need to know how to keep my chin up because I HAVE lost my identity. I dont even know how to take care of my own hair and I have to go to work on Monday and wake up next to a man who loves playing in my hair.

AfrikaIzin_My_Hair
02-28-2004, 01:38 AM
Hi Shatony,

First of all, congratulations on your decision to do the BC and embrace your natural hair! :app It takes a lot if inner strength to be able to do this, and not everyone can do it! The fact that you even did it shows that you have a lot of courage.

About losing your identity, I say that your hair is a reflection of you. It's the number one accessory not only to you, but to your personality as well. The only way that you will be able to stay motivated about being natural is your own inner strength. Obviously you have some, because if not, you wouldn't have done the big chop. Once you recognize that you are beautiful, no matter what your hair looks like, then you'll be able to rock your hair boldly! If you have self-doubts about your hair, then others will also. You have to exude confidence and beauty from the inside first, for it to be shown outside. :bis

I'm sure you and your hair are beautiful. Not everyone is going to accept your hair, but it's not their business, it's yours. Your husband will learn to accept and love your hair, just give it time! Believe me, after a while, he'll be playing in your naps, and loving it :) :amour

I hope this helps, and have fun with your hair!!!

sonshinescoils
02-28-2004, 01:39 AM
you haven't lost your identity. this is how you gain it--by getting to know yourself. the real you. it's difficult especially when the people you love don't support you. but you did the right thing. and once you believe it, what they say won't matter. it's just new right now.

qsakira
02-28-2004, 03:27 PM
I've come to realize that the transition from perm to natural is more a mental one than the actual cutting of the hair.

I think it's just about re-adjusting your thought processes. First, eliminating all theories, traditions, opinions etc... as your hair has now changed so must your "taking" to certain beliefs.

I noticed that once I stopped comparing my hair now to permed hair; a lot of what I thought was no longer true.

ie; I trained myself to stop comparing permed length to natural length.

Your hair is in its natural state, this is true. The truth does not need to be labeled (re: hair being a big thing in your family), it just is.

How much closer can you get to your true identity than that? :)

MzNGINEAR
02-28-2004, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by AfrikaIzin_My_Hair@Feb 27 2004, 09:38 PM
I'm sure you and your hair are beautiful. Not everyone is going to accept your hair, but it's not their business, it's yours. Your husband will learn to accept and love your hair, just give it time! Believe me, after a while, he'll be playing in your naps, and loving it :) :amour

This is so true. My fiance said, "Patience is virtue" when he saw my chopped style. I chopped sometime before Valentine's Day this year. Today he looked at me and said that it looks like my hair is growing....

I don't think you can lose your identity because you "change" your hair. Not all change is bad. That is what most people forget. I have heard (actually read) several comments on how THIS (big chopping) IS A ROAD TO SELF AWARENESS...

All that matters is that you believe that you are beautiful. Once you believe that, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Stay positive and congratulations :app on your big chop!!!!

naturalhairlover
02-28-2004, 10:38 PM
I have not done the big chop yet but I've done it b4. I was able to keep my head up because I had just done the best thing for my hair. You have every right to hold your head up high! You went against the grain and made the best decision for the health of your hair and scalp. That's wonderful! All that hair that you and your family are used to will return 10 fold. Just be patient and everyday, pat yourself on the back for having wisdom and courage. :) :app :app :app

Knottygal
02-29-2004, 04:05 PM
Congratulations on your big chop !!!! Your definitely in the right place for info on how to take care of your hair. When you chopped you did the thing a lot of people don't have the gall to do. From first hand experience I know people resist change and are often threatened by it. My advice to you is to enjoy your new found freedom and don't let anyone steal your joy. Shake the haters(negative folks and naysayers) off and keep it moving(do your thang). I'm sure you look fabulous :blab

au-naturel
03-01-2004, 04:43 AM
Well I came home today and cut it off my self to 1/2". Now I have no more perm. Every reaction I have gotten since this afternoon is negative. Peoples mouths were literally open with no words coming out. My husband knew I was going to cut it but he hasnt seen it yet since he is at work. No one said I was beautiful. Instead people kept making suggestions as how to "fix" myself up. How I should get some earrings or put on some make up.

I think you have to decide on your reasons for going natural and decide how important for your. I went natural because I was soo tired of my scalp being sore. I had to get a relaxer every 4 weeks and because I have thick hair - a lot of salons thought that meant coarse hair. I would tell them use on a mild relaxer, they would figure they knew better and use regular and I would burn.
The last straw was when I went to a salon and told her mild relaxer. I must have said it twenty times. She told me she had 20 years or more doing hair and proceeded to use strong. Big trouble, after less than 5 minutes I was literally screaming. She washed it out and my hair was breaking off in her hand. My head was so burned I could not comb it not really touch it for almost 3 weeks. That was my last relaxer. Being pain free is more important to me than anything. I hated relaxers and I will not let any try to bully me back to them.

When people try to suggest how to "fix yourself up. Try to just smile, nod and move on. When my hair got chopped I did not have even that much left so I bleached it and dyed it red. Talk about shocking people. My mom never let a day go by without lamenting the loss of "all the long, long hair". Now she is natural as well.

Try to understand that many people are so into the smooth glossy look that is typical of caucasian hair. So much so that folks pay hundreds of dollars for long weaves, etc. Being natural is definitely a test of your personality - a lot of fortitude wil be required. But you can do it. You stop relaxing for a reason. Just make that a constant reminder.

As the song says - "You are young, gifted and black". Make that a strong part of your belief system and this too shall pass.

LynnLynn
03-01-2004, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by qsakira@Feb 28 2004, 04:27 PM
I've come to realize that the transition from perm to natural is more a mental one than the actual cutting of the hair.


I agree.

I also think that if you've had long hair before, it's definitely a mental process to see yourself as beautiful with shorter hair.

I say stay in prayer, read that book "Hair Story: Untangling the roots of Black hair in America," and keep a positive and confident disposition. It's amazing when you think you're beutiful, others can't help but to see the same thing.

knwill
03-01-2004, 10:45 PM
Hi Shantony,

I just wanted to say I applaud you on your strength so far in your decision to do the BC. I had a good amount of hair when I did the BC and although the comments I first got were not negative...it took me at least a week to feel truly comfortable myself with my hair and people tend to attack when they know that you yourself are not 100% secure.

I'm sure your hair is beautiful & if you were attractive before the BC, trust me you still are. Don't let these negative people color how YOU feel about yourself.

knwill :heart
http://www.picturetrail.com/ms_k

NaturaLady26
03-03-2004, 08:56 AM
The last time I had a relaxer was May 2003. I got micros in August 2003 and it wasnt until the end of September when I was taking them out that I made the decision not to put another relaxer in. When I told people that I was considering going natural, they told me I had to cut all of my hair off and I would be bald until it grew in.

But I refused to cut off all my hair at once and did it gradually. First an inch, and then 2 inches a few months later. Most of the time I pressed it to keep it uniform and I got cornrows a couple of times. But after a while I got tired of waiting for it to "grow out gracefully" and my ends were getting MORBIDLY split due to all the blowdrying and hot-combing I was doing. So after a good 2 days of consideration (and 9 months of growth), I decided to take matters (and the scissors) into my own hands.

With my boyfriend sitting in my bedroom watching television, I went into the bathroom and shampooed, conditioned and chopped off the last 2-3 inches of relaxed hair I had left. After I finished I had a nice little 2 inch afro that I completely fell in love with. Now I must admit, I didn't know if my boyfriend was going to think it was too short, so I took the blow dryer and blew it out a little bit, adding another inch in length.

After emerging from the bathroom I showed it to him and he liked it. I called my parents and told them what I had done. They were aware that I was attempting to grow it out but they were a little surprised that I had the guts to cut it myself. The next day I went to the barber shop and had them even up my 'fro. And I've been enjoying it ever since.

Even though I am in a serious relationship, I was still concerned about what other men would think and say. But they seem to love it. One guy even referred to my afro as "sexy", which I did not expect. And I can't possibly begin to count the number of times I've been called "Foxxy Cleopatra".

I think the key to wearing you hair, in anystyle, is projection. If you project the attitude of confidence and that you love your hair, then others will follow suit (unless they are evil). I've gotten compliments on my hair from the most conservative-looking folks. And I attribute that to the fact that I genuinely love my hair texture. I think it's the most beautiful thing in the world and I feel blessed that God gave me something this unique and versatile to play with and show off.

Keepitnatural
03-03-2004, 01:03 PM
Congratulations :app :app , You have made the first step in accepting your natural hair. Your beauty within will be the key to keeping your head up. You cannot worry about what others will think or how they will react because you must please your self first. Yes when I did the Big Chop a little over a year ago, I was scared but I knew I had made the best decision. Your hair will not be at this length for ever and it will grow and be more beautiful.

notroz2u
03-03-2004, 04:58 PM
I just started wearing my own natural hair in November, it is now March. I have not received 1 compliment. Right now I am wearing cornrows in the front and a afro puff. Yesterday 1 of my perm wearing, dyed hair that doesn't match the hairpiece on it, obnixous __ had the nerve to tell me that the person that cornrowed my hair didn't make the parts small enough and she should have braided it so that the puff was on the top. I just told her that I was satisfied with the work the stylist did. Even if she thought these things what made her feel that she had to share them with me? I did not ask her anything about my hair.
I am really not to pleased with her right now. I will take the high road and not point out all of the things that I think are wrong with her. Her comments stayed with me all day, well now we are into the 2nd day lol