“Ironically I’m sitting here with a “wash’n go” in the literal form. I washed my hair, put some leave in conditioner in that joint and walked out the door. 10 years ago I would’ve NEVER done this. I at minimum had to put it in a puff, but today I was 100% good on this and it’s shrunken up in all its nappy glory right now and I know I look cute LOL!”
One of the great things about going natural these days is that you are not alone. There are tons of other women in your corner and rocking their kinks, coils or curls. There are many useful resources that are available online. Never have I seen so many books and media catered to our natural hair. “Natural” is becoming more mainstream and less ‘unusual’, for lack of a better word. Don’t get me wrong; the wearing of our natural hair – especially in “all its nappy/kinky/coily/curly glory” – still does receive pushback in a few professions, circles, etc. However, to wear it this way is hardly an oddity in 2014.
Though I big chopped about six years ago, I can imagine what it would’ve been like to do so ten years ago. Six years ago, I was being told, “You should go back to a relaxer … your hair is too thick” and asked, “What statement are you trying to make by not relaxing your hair?” Even a visit to a natural hair salon warranted some reference to my “grade of hair” which the stylists implied should be in “locs”. I also remember a non-hair-related event I attended where a natural woman volunteered (because I sure did not ask her) to show me how to care for my “dry-looking” natural hair. All these comments came up when I would rock my ‘fro, whether slightly stretched OR shrunken, but nonetheless with kinks and coils still very visible. The alternative – wearing twists – seemed to please everyone around me and yield a resounding, “That’s much better”.
Other than folks telling me about my hair and what I should do with it, resources for natural hair care were few and far between when I big chopped in 2008. I mean, keep in mind that BGLH was just beginning and numerous other natural hair care blogs had not yet been born. Two of my biggest inspirations and resources were a couple of friends who had been natural for quite a while, two natural-haired women on Fotki (a photo album site), and a couple of hair care boards. This was all just six years ago.
When I big chopped, I had plenty of external pressure to do something – relax, loc, braid, etc. – to my kinks, but none of that phased me because I knew the beauty and possibilities of my hair from those few but impressionable Fotki albums. Now, had I big chopped ten years ago, I don’t know that I would’ve made it past a couple months being natural given two times the social pressure that might’ve existed then and the reality that those inspirational naturals I looked to might have still been using relaxers. I might’ve gone back to the “creamy crack” or hid my natural hair under braid extensions for who knows how long. However, I’m so glad I big chopped when I did because my mind was ready at that point.
It is amazing to me how natural hair has become increasingly accepted these days. I’ve never felt so “normal” walking down the street in a shrunken ‘fro or going to speak to a professor from a different generation and background with my kinks and coils “naked and exposed”. Also, though I don’t like to admit that the external can sometimes impact my internal, it is positive places (like BGLH) and positive people who have made me feel okay rocking my ‘fro.
Are you comfortable wearing your natural hair in all its kinky/coily/curly glory? Share your experiences and thoughts!