Some of the sistas out there are all about the Back to Black experience, wearing free-flowing sarongs and towering head wraps, living vegan lifestyles and referencing the motherland as a part of healing the struggle of African American women’s idea of beauty everywhere. I salute these conscious young women who so strongly identify their hair with race and uplifting said race while attempting to change the cultural standard of what is beautiful everywhere. I totally admire the desire to be accepted and appreciated for being who you are–and as a black woman in America, I totally respect the push for new standards of beauty, going back to Mother Earth, and living life free of self – hate.
That’s not me, though. I did not have an African Diaspora Revolutionary experience. Nope. I started my new natural for selfish reasons.
I was tired of spending money. Getting a perm in Chicago ran upwards of $75-80–and that’s if all I wanted to do was walk in, get a perm, and leave with wet hair. Mind you, I could have found less expensive (and possibly less reputable) hair salons to go to, but quite frankly, I didn’t want to come out of my appointment possibly looking like this:
I was tired of begging. Once I moved to Saint Louis, I found that most women here were incredibly resistant to sharing. I don’t know–maybe they didn’t have a Kindergarten experience or watch Barney and Sesame Street like I did. Whatever the problem, I got straight up tired of begging black women whose coifs were laid to tell me what salon and/or stylist they used. Even family members and friends gave me the tight lips, like:
I do too much. I am now responsible for not one, not two, but THREE heads of hair. While I stand tall as the proud mother of 2 beautiful girls, my frustration knows no bounds when it comes to hair. I didn’t play with dolls growing up other than to cut all the hair off and experiment with burning various body parts. So combing hair doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t know how to braid, make straight parts, attach bows in the right spot…it takes me hours to make my children look decent. By the time I would have them right, my own hair suffered tremendously. I would leave the house looking like an animal in the jungle.
So, I decided one day to give up trying to be all super slick and pretty with it. But I didn’t just go in right away to get chopped and screwed. Naw, I called myself going to transition. Uh huh. The problem with that was: a) I don’t like braids like that, b) my hair is unruly even in permed state, and c) like I said before, I don’t know how to do hair. The struggle was real. I could only do one style that looked right-bantu knots–and I got tired of parting, twisting and bobby pinning my hair every night for it to maybe turn out kind of right. Most days, one side was straight while the other was super curly and I’d end up pulling it all back into a horrible little ponytail secured with many headbands. Not sexy at all.
So this summer, after a long hard fight, I quit.
I chopped it off, and now I look like this:
And I could not be happier with the new and improved me.
So tell me, why did you go natural? Have you gone natural yet? Why not? I’m not judging–I’m just asking!