My earliest human memory….When I was a baby and we had that reddish brown carpet and grey furniture in the living room and my dad put me on the arm of the chair and changed my diaper and I either said or thought, “Thank you Daddy.” I knew he didn’t like changing diapers.
So really, what the heck is going natural? You’d think people would be naturally natural already, right? NOPE!
Black people are born with kinky, nappy or curly hair—which is fragile and can be prone to tangles. Our natural hair texture is not straight. But when most black girls arrive at a certain age, their mothers or whoever it is that takes care of their hair gives them a relaxer to make their hair more “manageable”. In some cases, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Now that I’ve said that, you’re probably wondering what the heck a relaxer is. A relaxer is a thick, creamy chemical that people with textured hair use to make their hair straight. The first relaxer you get makes all of your hair straight, but your hair still grows in kinky, curly or whatever texture your hair naturally is. The hair that grows in at the roots is referred to as new growth and has to be straightened periodically with more relaxer. This is called a touch up.
Because of the damage that relaxers do to our hair, some black women decide to stop getting touch ups all together. At this point, they can decide whether or not to go completely natural, which means cutting off all their straight, relaxed hair or they can choose to just leave the relaxed ends on as the natural roots continue to grow. When done with the intention to eventually cut off the relaxed ends, this is referred to as transitioning.
Now why did I decide to go natural? For several reasons. First, I was desperate to save my hair. Getting relaxers was taking it’s toll on my hairline. My hairline and the sides of my hair were thinning and the more I looked at my hair, the more worried I got that at this rate, I wasn’t going to have any more hair. Since I stopped getting relaxers, I’ve seen a significant difference in the thickness of my hair.
Secondly, I found Youtube. I’m not really 100% sure where I got the idea to go natural, but I got so much information and inspiration from youtube.com. All my life, I had been made to believe that black women just weren’t supposed to have long hair, and the ones who did were exceptional. I had accepted the idea that my hair was always going to be short. Youtube is what showed me that this is NOT the case. I found out that with just a little bit of patience and TLC, our hair can grow to very long lengths.
The third reason is that I’ve always wanted to have long hair. I just always thought it was beautiful. Whenever I would tell someone about my goal to grow long hair, they’d be giving me the side eye (which reminds me, go check out whoissugar on youtube.com. She cracks me up!), as if to say, “Have you looked in the mirror honey? You are BLACK and have nappy hair.” So many people out there just REFUSE to believe we can grow long hair and I want to open their eyes (and maybe slap them with my long pigtails lol).
Also, possibly the most important reason I want to go natural is for the little black girls. Children are very dear to me. I want all children to have happy, carefree lives and I’m tired of seeing adorable little black girls who hardly have any hair because whoever is supposed to be taking care of it doesn’t know (or doesn’t care) what they’re doing. Children should not be given relaxers. Their hair should be kept natural until they reach an age where they can be educated on the ins and outs of both natural and relaxed hair and make their own informed decision.
I know that if I knew then what I know now and I had a say in the matter, I never would’ve gotten a relaxer. Little girls should not have to be embarrassed to go to school or anywhere else because their hairline has receded or their hair is thinning and the girls around them have thick, normal hair. It’s a shame and an embarrassment no child should have to live with. I hope that if I can inspire black women to take better care of their hair, they will automatically take better care of their children’s hair.
Going natural is not only about chopping your hair off and no longer getting relaxers. It teaches people to really have patience and take extra care when dealing with their [and other people’s] hair. Relaxers are not the only thing that causes black hair to become damaged. Broken off ends, receding hairlines and thinning can be the result of rough handling, combing or brushing, glue-in extensions, tight braids and ponytails and even the improper use of hair gels, especially the ones that dry really hard.
The reason that most people believe the misconception that black people can’t grow long hair is that most black people don’t know how to care for their hair and as a result of poor or even counter-productive hair care practices, our hair breaks off. Black people do not have a problem GROWING hair. The issue is actually RETAINING hair. Our hair grows to a certain length and never surpasses it because the ends of our hair are breaking off at the same rate that the roots are growing in. Our hair is growing, but the progress doesn’t show. This also happens when people trim their hair too frequently. More on this later.
Lastly, I just love the natural look. It’s so versatile because the hairstyles are limitless. When you have textured hair, it can be easy to get volume and to sculpt your hair into whatever shape you want. You can even temporarily wear your hair straight. And then there’s the classic afro. I just think a big afro on a pretty black woman is sexy.
I hope this filled some people in on natural hair. There’ll be lots more to come on this topic.
**That last pic is Miss Lala aka NaturalHairGrowth101 on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/NaturalHairGrowth101
IF you love two people at the same time, choose the second person because if you REALLY loved the first person, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second
Ok so even with the increasing popularity of the natural hair movement, there are a lot of people out there who don’t believe black people can grow their own long hair. One of my favorite Youtubers, Chime aka HairCrush, is a living testament that it CAN be done. Hope this inspires someone .^_^.
Hey tumblr peeps .^_^. My name is Hope and I have a hair/beauty/fashion fetish. I’m pretty much obsessed with all things girl-related. As of late, I’m really into hair (I’m a black girl with kinky, natural hair) so that’s what you’ll mostly see posts about. Possibly some other random stuff mixed in (Like how I’m totally in love with the world’s most considerate and most handsome man XD).
Hmmnnn… let’s see… You’ll probably want a bit of background info on me, huh? Well I’m about to be 21, (YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!! XD). I have a zillion hobbies from reading to sewing to eating (don’t judge me) to drawing to origami + tons more. I’m a jack of all trades but a master of none. As far as my style is concerned, I’m into color—anything eyecatching (in an appealing way, of course) or really detailed I’m interested in. I like clothing and accessories that make you want to have a closer look.
While I’m here to give my take on things and share my knowledge, I’m always open to input, requests and tips so feel free to contribute (If anyone knows where to find sexy shoes in a size 10.5 PLEASE let me know! A post on this issue later). Happy blogging .^_^.