This natural hair revolution has meant different things to different women. For some it changed their lives by giving them a reason to stop destroying their hair. For others it didn't play a big part but created a little sense of more freedom and acceptance.
For me as Nappturality's founder – it became my life's work to help empower Black women by giving them an outlet and a place of support when there was none, to start and experience their natural hair, life-giving journeys and share with other women what they are going through.
Natural hair is becoming more accepted, more popular as the slow wheels of progress turn. We see a lot more nappturals in the medial Check this out going back to 2010. But it is 2020 and wearing natural afro hair is still not the status quo. The status quo is straightened hair. The status quo is straight wigs and European hair-looking weave. Hair the opposite of our own. So those of us -- those women with the "nappy hair" who have decided not to align with the status quo are still subject to negativity from within our communities and without.
Natural hair is still seen as a curiosity, a fad, a phase – which needs legislation to stop employers discriminating against it. Its acceptance is even still limited in the military, even those styles that fit under the cap and atop the collar. The struggle is still real, and this is why going natural is STILL a big deal.
It doesn't matter how old or young you are, where you live in the world or what you do for a living. At some time or some state, you will realize that it's a big deal everywhere. Going natural is a big deal.
What other race of people face discrimination for wearing their hair as it is naturally made? Whose natural hair was actually illegal in some states to wear out? Whose daughters, for generations have been compelled into straightening their hair by heat or by chemicals, causing pain, suffering, physical damage and a hit to future personal acceptance? None. Just ours.
This is why it is important not to allow others to dictate or try to control how we interact with our own revolution / movement. We cannot allow the cosmetic and shampoo industry to tell us what kind of natural hair is acceptable, what type of natural hair YOU should aspire to have and what makes your natural hair "pretty".
If we do this, we are falling right back into the same trap hair relaxer companies lured us into.
You see, if you have natural afro hair, transitioning to natural hair from straightened hair is a MENTAL TRANSITION more than a physical one.
- Your hair may NOT have a curl pattern.
- It may NOT be coily.
- It may NOT be shiny.
- It may NOT be soft.
- It may NOT stay unshrunk.
- And all of that is absolutely OK.
Your natural hair is going to be what it is. It is going to fight you when you try to turn it into something it's not, and no matter what leave-in you use to try and change your hair into the woman's hair on the bottle, it will go back to what it is in the end and it will win.
Stop fighting with it. Work WITH your hair and you will reap the rewards wearing your natural afro hair has in store for you.
Learn about your hair and enjoy it by looking at it, feeling it, seeing how it reacts to different types of products and methods. But never, NEVER think that your hair is not good enough because it doesn't do what someone else's does. Your hair is like your fingerprint -- unique to you -- and that makes it amazing. All of us have amazing, unique afro natural hair.
Ladies, this thing – it's called a journey for a reason. It's a mental, physical and emotional journey that challenges your beliefs and years of cultural observations. It can be tough. Embrace all of it and embrace your hair. See where it takes you.