About my Natural Hair...
I understand the history and many challenges that Black women have faced to freely wear there natural hair. From the continuing battle for natural hair to be deemed "professional" in the workplace to it being illegal under Tigon Law for black & multiracial women to wear in the late 18th century. I was blessed to have acquired a copy of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America which taught me everything and more about the history of my hair. I highly recommend this reading to companions and clients alike that are curious about the rich history of Natural Hair. What I support are women living in there truth, and if it makes you happy, then I love it. My hair has and will always be my form of self expression what stereotypes you decide to project on me will always speak more to what you're seeking verus who I actually am.
I've had straight hair the majoirty of my life
I've gotten relaxers the majority of my life due to my mother not having the time nor energy to do my hair. I do not blame her because natural hair requires much maintenance and it's not as simple as a wash & go for all of us. Not only did we not have the online resources to refer to how to care for my hair but we didn't have the most invaluable thing in the world either. Time. I found myself on Youtube looking at any and everything about natural hair seeing the beautiful coils on FusioOfCulture channel to the long and thick tresses of naptural85 I was convinced that this was the best decision for the health of my hair. I just had to get it approved by the parentals (The difficult part) My mom's initial response was no, but it wasn't her decision to make, and my hair was not in a healthy state continually being pressed & processed. So I did what teenagers are good at. I bypassed my parent's authority and cut my hair myself. At that point, I was transitioning to natural (meaning I was no longer relaxing my hair that grew, therefore, parts of my hair were straight while my new hair growth was thick and curly), I had no more than 3 inches of natural hair, so I had a short afro.
The Natural Hair Journey
This stage of my natural hair journey was a new experience for me being that my hair had never been this short. Naturally, I was questioning my femininity without my hair. During those fragile teenage years, my mind couldn't fathom the concept that feminity as more of an energy you radiate versus the length of your hair, state of your nails and size of your heels. But nonetheless, I felt like my world was ending and felt that all I could do to is wait for it to implode or my self-esteem to reach rock bottom. I couldn't let either of those things happen, so I got on the same platform that initially convinced me to cut off my hair... youtube. I had no money to buy a wig, but I did have enough money to buy a pack of braiding hair. My first protective style (Protective Styles are hairstyles that doesn't expose the loose ends of your hair) was Marley Twist they were about 18 inches long and boy did I think I was doing a little something back in the day!
I was on a very tight schedule of wearing them for four weeks giving my hair a break for two weeks and putting them back in. Before I knew it, my hair grew to nearly to my waist. I was dumbfounded because my hair had never been this long in my life and there's often a misconception that hair doesn't grow, but in truth, it means that you're simply not retaining the hair you do grow due to the ends of your hair consistently breaking.
While my hair was long, I could tell that the consistent wear of the protective styles in addition to running around to classes and balancing this schedule took a toll on my hair, so I cut about 3 inches. It hurt me dearly, to say the least, but I was reminded how my worth is not attached to my hair nor any other object that can be taken away from me but rather knowing that I did the best that I could and from now on I would continue to do right by my hair and myself. After my mini chop, I started looking for alternative ways to protect my hair. Marley twist were dated. Box Braids took at least 8 hours to have done, and my Saturdays were not ready to given up so with a little more change in my piggy bank I figured why not wear a wig? (Or at least try to)
This is where youtube comes in again. I began indulging myself in this new world of wigs. Straight ones. Curly ones. Wavy ones. Ones that you could part like scalp. Other ones you could put in a ponytail, in short, I thought it was too good to be true. I regretfully paid my $500 for a simple 16-inch straight wig and braided my hair in the best cornrows I could manage and viola I was a different person. My weekends were no longer at the mercy of my hair and humidity it was as simple as spritz, cream, the wig cap and go, and I absolutely loved it. By the time I was a truly a wig wearer it was when Selene launched in March of this year. I had the decision on deciding how to market myself straight or natural. Considering that my natural hair was my personal preference, I opted to have my photos taken in that way.
As my clients know I don't wear my natural hair out 24/7 for many reasoning revolving around my schedule. I started to notice that some of my clients seemed disappointed that I had changed my hair and while it is my absolute goal & joy to ensure my clients are fulfilled and happy... I find this problematic because I started to notice the trend of parituclar stereotypes being placed on me. Whether it was the fact that I was "woke" or a "real black woman" or that I drenched myself in coconut oil and my apartment smelled of incense (Which it does, but that's beside the point) Some of these things are me, but most of them are not. My hair will always be a vessel of my self-expression whether that is straight 20 inch or my natural hair is my choice, not yours. If you are a potential client that only cared to see me because of this particular hairstyle I highly suggest that you look into alternative providers. If you care to know more about me as a person I'm active on all of my social media accounts as well I have this blog. I guarantee that those will be the best methods of seeing if we are a match.
Until Next Time,