Every sister has a story. What it was that made her go or stay natural? Was it damaged and overprocessed hair? Was it research into the chemicals that go into relaxers? Was it a revelation that she is fearfully and wonderfully made and so is her hair?
I love the black hair movement. Whether you decide to loc, twist, shave, weave, flat iron, hot comb or relax it, pride in our hair is one of the hottest fashion topics in the black community. All the discussions, blogs, websites, videos, tweets and articles prove it, not to mention the number of products on the market aimed at black women. Sistas.
My natural hair story started with one of my closest friends. I complimented her on how beautiful her hair looked. At the time, I was twenty years into relaxing my hair after being raised by a mother and grandmother who pressed my and my sisters’ hair on a regular basis. I remember at age 9 receiving comments from grown men that my hair was so pretty, it looked like a wig. By age 38, my hair had lost its strength. And my girl told me, “Your hair doesn’t look like it used to when we were growing up. Maybe you ought to think about not relaxing it anymore.”
Immediately, I heard her. I wasn’t offended, I was inspired. And I did just that. In 1996 I was in need of a makeover. Coming out of a failed relationship, I needed my self-esteem back and I used my hair to obtain that goal. With the help of stylists such as Chelly Blackwell-Haywood and Stacy Gilchrist (who was using Aveda products) I got my sexy and my self-esteem back. Twenty years later, encouraged by my husband, I’m writing a blog about it. Who woulda thought?
No, it wasn’t just my hair and my natural roots that grounded me. It was my faith, and close friends and family who showed me my self worth. After years in corporate America, I realized that it was so much more fun being true to my self and the gifts God gave me. In 2013, I started my own publishing house—a childhood dream. I have more flexibility rocking my roots all the way down past my shoulders. I love big hair. Some days, I love straight hair. Other days I love curly hair. Without the chemicals and with the right care and products, my hair does anything I ask of it. Most of all, I love me and I love seeing sisters who find their mojo expressing themselves just the way they want, from one day or one week to the next.
Now let’s make it clear, women who wear their hair natural DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT have low self-esteem. We love us some us. Short, bald or long, girl sing your song.