Through Twitter I stumbled on an online video debate hosted by AlJazeeraEnglish’s The Stream on natural hair and whether it’s here to stay, titled: Roots of Beauty.
One of the guest contributors, the photographer, Glenford Nunez, commented on his preference for natural hair on women as opposed to hair that is chemically straightened. http://trustyourphotographer.com/
Which brought me to ask this question: Who or what is the deciding factor that pushes us ladies to go natural? Is it wrong for us to rely on the opinions of others, especially our significant others when it comes to going natural?
As for me, a couple of ladies, a few Youtube videos and my fiancé inspired me to embark on my natural hair journey two years ago. I remember bumping into my friend Lori, from my days in university, at the campus cafeteria and asking how she got her hair to grow so long and thick. That was when Lori let me in on the secret; her hair was natural. No chemical relaxers, no texturisers, nada. Five years later I encountered a passionate hairstylist, who condemned my use of certain hair care products and my (lack of) a hair care routine. Her passionate speech, although long winded, left an impact because not only did she have over twenty years of hair care experience working with afro hair textures, she also happened to be White. In all my years of visiting hairdressers, which mainly catered to people of colour, no stylist had encouraged or given me tips on adopting a healthy hair care routine. This hairstylist’s race did send a definitive message to me, if someone from another race could see the beauty of my hair, why couldn’t I see it.
Exactly a year after hearing the stylist’s speech, I began transitioning. My fiancé (boyfriend at the time) also encouraged my natural hair journey. How did he encourage me? By simply looking at my latest twist out, running his hand through my curls and saying “I love it when your hair looks like this”. Yes, I am guilty of going all mushy when my significant other compliments me. Even Youtube’s DearNaptural85 admitted that her husband Filipe encouraged her to go natural. http://youtu.be/sWsjn6nWXiU
Nevertheless my natural hair journey has gone beyond my fiancé’s curly hair fixation and my initial intentions of simply wanting healthy long hair. I now see my natural hair choices reverberating around me, at my workplace and at my home. I’ve inspired my colleagues and even my mother to declare (rather proudly) that they are going natural. This journey has evolved into an intimate embrace of self, my race, and my identity.
Who or what inspired you to go natural?