Many people have asked the question “Why did you decide to go natural” but lately, it has gotten more frequent. I hear things like, “Girl, you need to perm that stuff” “Your hair is so thick” “Damn, I lost my hand” “Why you don’t perm your hair” “You don’t have to look like a slave anymore”, these are just a few comments people say to me on a regular basis. I have been referred to as “Erykah Badu” “India Arie” “Macy Gray” and any other black woman who wear their hair naturally. I take those comments as positive because all of those ladies are beautiful, intelligent and living their dreams. I have even been walking in the grocery store or the mall and heard whispers or saw people smirking at my hair. I remember being in Wal-Mart with a friend and passed by a group of women. They just looked at me like I was garbage or something and before I was out of hearing range, one of them said, “She needs to do something with all that hair on her head.” I always have my hair done neatly, so I wasn’t phrases by the comments, just surprised that people say stuff with hurtful intentions, especially to someone who was minding her own business, not hurting a soul. Once upon a time those comments really hurt my feelings, changing my mood, attitude, demeanor, self-esteem and other emotions. Now, I just smile or laugh. But if I am caught on a bad day, I would probably say, “I love my hair and if you or anyone else doesn’t, then don’t! I do not wear my hair with intentions of pleasing anyone but myself!” Depending on my mood, would also determine if a few certain choice words come into play. Even though I pride myself to be a positive person, I am human and human emotion can be a B&$CH!!! My friend Yolanda calls me Simon, because usually what comes up comes out. (Don’t judge me. I have gotten better---LOL)
I have never been a person to do things in order to please others, who probably isn’t worthy of such gesture and I don’t plan on starting now. People are harsh, mean, and unkind. They forget that everyone isn’t supposed to be the same. If that were the case, this would be a very boring world we call home. There wouldn’t be any personality or individuality. Everything would be exactly the same. Everyone would dress and look the same, existing without showcasing their true perspectives, in fear of being different, outlawed. It would be hard distinguishing the true characteristics of our peers, children, parents, strangers or anyone else for that matter. I am so thankful that life is full of “thinking outside the box people”. I am also glad that I am one of them.
Being who you are is essential in this world. It helps give you a sense of purpose. Think about it for a sec, everyone has eaten leftovers, right. But after the second day, they become overwhelming, boring, and tasteless. You tend to what something new, something different, something exciting. Life is the same way. Wearing new hair styles, buying new clothing or shoes, makeup, perfume, accessories, etc. reflects our personality. True, there will be individuals who like the same things, and you will often see someone wearing the same dress, pair of shoes, handbag or so forth, but their personality is different in many ways. Or they may have many things in common. It doesn’t really matter one way or the other, they are being who they are, not who society tells them to be.
Having natural hair isn’t a bad thing, although many people see it as such. I used to relax my hair for many years without problems. Then, I started suffering from migraines, which resulted into having severe chemical burns to my scalp due to constant rubbing my fingers, trying to massage my scalp to help with the pain. It got to the point when I would have sores all over my head. I couldn’t stand to rub my fingers in my hair. I got tired of combing my hair and seeing those same sores cause hair loss. I eventually decided it just wasn’t worth it dealing with all the pain, to fit in with the majority. I have been perm-free for going on ten years, and that was the best decision I am made. It wasn’t easy, but through trial and error, I have learned many different concepts, techniques and information to make sure my hair is healthy, well-groomed and beautiful. I can change it when I want to, wearing it kinky, coily, curly, straight, twisted, braided, blown out, or any other way I see fit. A few times when it was pressed, people asked me had I permed my hair, yeah, it was that straight. I love my flat iron, but I don’t straighten it as often because I love my kinks more. See, many people who just don’t take the time out to educate themselves or seek knowledge from others about natural hair, tend to make asses out of themselves by making rude comments when someone who chooses to wear their hair in its natural state cross their paths. I have never heard tell of anyone getting hurt by someone wearing their hair natural. If so, please share. (Like Ray told Claude in Life, “I got to know”!) *laughs*
Instead of not saying anything offensive, they make rude remarks trying to hurt someone’s feelings. This is not helpful or acceptable. Don’t knock someone else just because they don’t wear their hair or their clothing the way you want them to or what you have been led to believe is right. If you don’t understand their decision to why they chose something different, ask before assuming. We all know what happens when we assume, right! We tend to make an “ASS” out of ourselves. Besides, judging others isn’t healthy. Being judgmental is a sign of weakness.
I have heard and seen countless times how having natural hair isn’t acceptable or that wearing natural hair is being “unkempt”. Now, for those of you who know me, you know that I always wear my hair styled nicely. I always change my hair. My mother-in-law teases me because she said she never knows how I’m going to have my hair. She said that any way I wear it, it’s always nice. My brother tells my husband that he should never get bored because he always has a different woman when he comes home. Yes, I change my hair a lot! I don’t just get up out the bed and go. And for those who choose to do so, to each their own. All I’m saying is, don’t condemn, or judge, or put down on someone just because they are secure enough, confident enough, or simply being themselves enough to look the way they want to look. There are more pressing issues going on in this world that needs addressing than someone’s appearance. I know we all say that everything isn’t for everybody, but who are we to decide what is or what isn’t? Think about that the next time you see someone who looks different! Also think about the true reason behind their decision making process. It could something medical, emotional or even physical, if you want to know so badly, just ask instead of jumping to conclusions. Until next time, be inspired, be encouraged, be blessed and be YOU!!!
Here are a few styles I have rocked along my natural journey!!!!!!