Going “Natural” is not as easy as everyone thinks. It takes a lot of courage to chop off the identity that you’re used too. Every black woman on this planet knows the benefits of relaxing our hair: easier to manage, silkiness, able to flat iron with no problem, and more importantly acceptance to the outside world. There are also consequences for giving your hair such harsh treatments; such as breaking or losing of the hair follicles, permanent hair damage, and damage to the scalp because of all the bad chemicals used to make relaxers. Once you finally decide to “go natural”, there are many beneficial aspects that come along with it. The whole process is a journey, a well-needed journey at that.
#1. Getting to know yourself and your CROWN
Your body is a system and you’ll learn more about that once you start your natural hair journey. You’ll understand what your body needs in order for your hair grow. Hair goals are just about all the same; the big, kinky-curly lion’s mane, that is as big as the sun. But, in order to get there, your crown must remain healthy and hydrated and one way of doing so is by monitoring hat you put in your body. If your body is hydrated and well kept, then so is your hair most likely. You will also gain confidence from going natural. Rocking the natural YOU can be liberating at best.
#2. Trial and Error
When you first go natural, all the possible hair care products that are on the market is going to excite you. There are hundreds of hair care companies that claim they are for black hair. Some of them are just blowing smoke while others really seem to care and actually work. Those are usually cost the most money, to be honest. Nevertheless, it gets the job done. You will learn which products work best for you as well as how often you need to wash your hair. For most black women with natural hair, it’s once a week. For others, it’s once a month. Don’t worry, your scalp will tell you what it needs. Your crown has its ways of communicating to you of what it needs. It will take time for you to get it right. Developing a strong sense of patience is needed here.
#3 Growth/ Spiritual Connection
Once you start to connect with your whole natural journey, you’d want to know more. Like, what does it mean to go natural and how important it is to learn about those before you; your ancestors. You can’t help but think of when was wearing your natural hair more acceptable and celebrated. With much research, asking questions and more research, you’ll find the everything you are is a part of which was lost hundreds of years ago. Your ancestors and women today that live in Africa, take pride with their crown with extravagant and colorful headdress, braiding, all works of art wrapped into their hair because it is their way of expressing themselves and their tribes. When you find out that the things your mother taught you when you were a little girl about your hair, coincides with the traditions women in Africa with their hair, you can’t help but to feel connected. Spiritually, you want to get more connected. You begin to grow as a human because now you have the slightest idea of where you came from. Now, that gives you more clarity of who you want to be.
#4 Mesmerizing Head of Hair
Let’s be honest, when we wear our natural out in public, people of all walks of life can’t help but stare. Not everyone who wears their natural wears their crown the same. It is so much you can do with your hair it’s ridiculous. Our hair can withstand anything from the sun to gravity. Hell, our hair grows towards the sun; it stretches towards the light to grab all the nutrients and good energy.
We use jewels, string, clips, anything to make our natural hair stand out to bring out our souls. You can rock a small afro, a pixie cut, tapered cut, or go big and wild, or go big but settle. It’s enough to make your head spin! Our hair thrives off low manipulation. Braids, weaves, and twist outs are ways of protecting our hair.
#6 Connecting with other naturals
The natural hair community has grown into an eye-opening epidemic. More and more African-American women are choosing to go natural and leave the “creamy crack” (hair relaxers) in the past. If you were to go on Youtube right now, you’ll see that there are thousands of natural hair care channels teaching other women how to take care of their hair. Women have made it their business to learn about their hair make it into a market. They are easy to connect with over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc… Just pick a platform, and search!
#7 It CAN be Affordable
Yes, there are some expensive hair care products, no doubt about that. However, the industry has thought about us little people when it comes to being cost-efficient with products such as Cantu, Shea Moisture and Aussie products. Going natural can be affordable compared to relaxed hair because of the maintenance. With relaxed hair, you’ll have to buy a relaxed every two weeks, the strain of heat and constant manipulation almost every day. Whereas with natural hair, you can literally throw your hair in a twist out one minute and in the next couple of hours it’s ready to go. Then, if it’s raining you won’t have to worry too much about your hair because it’ll turn into a cute afro. Also, many times if you do not feel like doing your hair it’s easier to get away with it. A spray bottle of water and conditioner will do the trick!
#8 Role Model for younger girls
Showing that you love being who you naturally are can make a great impact on younger girls. It’ll teach them courage and boldness to embrace their naturally kinky-curly hair along with their authentic selves. It will teach them to every part of who they are. When you teach generation self-love and respect themselves, can you imagine what kind of world this will be?
#9 It is the Real, Authentic You!
The hair that you are getting to know is a byproduct of you taking care of yourself and getting to know thyself. Your hair, that is growing out of your head, no chemicals… is revolutionary. It is an act of taking back the identity that was forced for us to leave behind and forget. Thankful this movement of black pride has brought us to learn more about our culture.
#10 FOR THE CULTURE!
Do it for the culture, my dear! The black community has been told for as long as we could remember that our black wasn’t beautiful. That everything that we are, isn’t good enough. In this era with access to endless knowledge, there’s no excuse as to why we can’t learn about our ancestors that we couldn’t learn in the past. The natural hair movement is one of many black movements that thas brought black people together.
Natural hair is a lifestyle, but remember, your hair doesn’t have to be natural to be you. Yes, going natural can connect you to so many aspects about yourself that you didn’t know, but, that shouldn’t make you any less for the culture. I hope this inspires you to join the movement for it could be life-changing for the generations after us.
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I've been a writer all my life! A good one I must add. Not to be cocky, but I cannot think of anything else to do with my life besides writing. I love to write about what I know along with what I find most interesting about life. I run a BLOG about my journey of leaving home and driving across country to Los Angeles (you're gonna want to read it, it's pretty funny). My dreams are to become an author and to freelance write where ever I can. I can envision myself, interviewing those I admire the most in their careers. That can mean a wide range of people from celebrities to struggle artist on the street. It doesn't matter. As long as you inspire me, to aspire you. Then, I'm good.