I’ve been teased off and on (lovingly) about when I would finally “go natural”. Really I hadn’t given it much thought but I did find it odd that I can be so “natural” in almost every area of my life except (until now) in dealing with my hair.
I’ve always looked at natural Black hair as beautiful and interesting- I mean really, what other race can pull of all that we can with our hair?
I figured I’d decide to go for it one day but wasn’t in a big rush to make that change. I’ve learned to pace myself and just go with the flow concerning things I feel led to do with my life. I don’t really care about being natural “across the board”. I don’t mind people knowing that I give birth naturally, use herbs and aromatherapy and still occasionally enjoy a bowl of Cap’n Crunch. I know it’s trash but I’m secure enough to not care about what others think. I follow my convictions not convictions others want to place on me. I have long ago freed myself from the opinions of others and it’s a freedom that is nothing short of delicious, lol! My mom can attest to this fact. When people give their unsolicited opinions, I’ll usually smile politely, listen and still do what I’m gonna do in the end.
So here I am, sitting at the computer typing with my nappy head self, and I’m loving it lol!
I got my last perm in January. I didn’t know at the time that it would be my last perm. Sometime after that perm, I had my hair braided and while in braids, my oldest daughter and I both suddenly declared we didn’t want to get perms anymore. Well, what really happened was I was thinking it and she actually said it out loud. She and I do that pretty often.
So for about a week after taking out our braids, we discussed what we’d do with the 2 drastic textures of hair we were now faced with- the permed and the ahem, not so permed. My daughter had me looking at video after video on youtube about transitional hair styles where one can’t tell the difference between the 2 textures as the perm grows out. I tried one and hated it but decided I’d find a beautician to press my hair; After all, I’d not gotten my first perm until I was 16 anyway. Up until that time, I got my hair pressed and it worked out just fine for me. Of course, me being me, I was in for another change of heart.
After talking with a few friends who’ve gone natural but still wear their hair straight and some with dreads, I just suddenly decided that not only did I not want to wear my hair straightened (for the most part), but I wanted to cut all the perm out of my hair- now! I went from wanting to still look permed without a perm to just being straight nappy! One thing made me laugh out loud each time I considered going for my big chop. I wasn’t afraid of how nappy my hair would be, I was concerned about my huge head, lol! After some thought, I decided that my head has always been big, will always be big and my desire to wear my real hair was greater than my obsession with my big head. So, on June 5th, I did it. I went to the shop and told the beautician to just cut out all the perm! I told her that I didn’t want to get braids after my big chop as we’d discussed and that I wanted to “live” with my twa (teeny weeny afro) for at least one week and if I couldn’t handle it, I’d be back for braids.
I was so excited. I actually felt free! I didn’t feel like I was hiding before but somehow, I felt as if I’d emerged from some closet and was finally out in the open and I love it!
Now, I admit, I was shy at first when I’d be out and see someone I knew. I’d always blush when they saw my hair. Curiously enough, all my non Black friends were the most supportive. They all say it looks cute and cool. It was fellow Blacks that would look at me sideways and say things like, “It’s nappy”. Haha! That’s the point!! Sometimes I feel as if I’m telling some deep dark secret of ours that they’d like to keep under wraps.
But seriously, am I responsible for making others feel relaxed by relaxing my hair? Why is my hair in its natural state not considered “good” hair? My oldest (12) recently asked me what “good hair” was and my response to her was, “Your hair”. She won’t grow up feeling that her hair is inferior if I can help it.
Besides that, I’ve learned that perm is actually quite toxic and very dangerous to anyone’s health, even (and probably especially) the beautician giving the perms.
So, after living with my real hair for almost 3 weeks now, I have to say, I don’t think I’ll be getting those braids for a bit. I’m loving my “good” hair far too much for that!