Say it loud, say it proud! It means a new look, but as with any new ‘revolutionary’ thing, it does not come without resistance, both inward and outward.
- Opinions! You will not be short of these. I have heard it all. The storm around Beyonce’s baby Blue had barely calmed when I saw a ‘mini rant’ on her Aunt Solange’s instagram about what all the magazine critics have to say about her natural hair. The most recent, the shocking comment made by Juliana Rancic about Zendaya’s dreadlocks on the red carpet! The world needs to explain to Blue why they expect her to look as prim and pressed as her mother, who is in fact, the one who signed on to be the world’s biggest superstar, clad with bundles upon bundles of blond weave locks. I was glad the world did not sweep Juliana Rancic’s comment under the rag. Just last week, I was told my hair is not neat any more. Now, am passed the ‘explain my natural hair existence’ phase so I was not too fussed. Be ready, people may not transition as quickly as you do.
- Awkward feeling of nakedness. You may feel stripped, naked. When I decided to stop protective styling with extensions, I felt like I was seeing my head shape and face for the first time, my facial features suddenly felt even more pronounced, I had to wear a beanie to go and buy braids from the hair shop! I then realized something was wrong with my self image. Why was I so uncomfortable with my bare, and most natural state? A reprogramming of self was necessary.
- Frustration. I often locked my afro under protective styles. I felt it was hard to manage and style, so yet again, protective style after protective style, until I realized I don’t know what works well with my hair. I had a good length and yet I didn’t know what to do with it. I never stopped to study what kind of oils really strengthened my strands, or how my 4C strands behaved. After all this time, I just realised that my hair loves jojoba oil, and yet, I had been insisting on coconut oil, simply because other naturalistas said! Let your natural hair do the talking.
- Flight from hairstylists. If you are serious about some healthy natural hair, most of your hairstylists will no longer be worth a visit. That’s right, flee! My favourite quick and efficient hair braider insisted on brushing my knotted ends off, my hair weave specialist of six years insisted on blow drying my 4C coils on the highest heat setting, until they were close to bone straight, before weaving. Game over.
- Attention! There is genuine confusion about afro hair to ALL races. It’s such an anomaly, that some people don’t understand completely what is sprouting out of our scalps, and others, how we are managing to maintain natural hair. What happened to all the length? It shrunk. Is it gel holding it upright? No, it just grows upward and outward. Some people will not resist the urge to touch it, because, ‘it looks like cotton’. It’s just hair, such a ‘natural thing’ and it really should not garner such attention, but it does.
- Temptation to give up. Who does not like quick and convenient? Who does not prefer simple and easy? All the above factors coupled together can send you to the edge of your natural hair journey. Sometimes dashing out the door will not be as quick as it used to be. You may find yourself taking a second and third look at your hair. Eventually, you will learn to just walk out the door!
I find it interesting when my friends say, ‘going natural is a trend’. No ma’am! Who stops using microwaves because it’s trendy? Who stops buying ready meals, or going to McDonald’s because it’s trendy to do so? One may stop doing so for various reasons, including health, but not for trend purposes.
‘JUST DO IT’ ~ NIKE