Yes, you read that correctly — today, July 8th marks three years since I made the decision to go natural. Some of you may be thinking: “But Chasity, it’s just hair — what’s the big deal?” Well friend, whether you know it or not, my natural hair has become a big part of who I am. And while it would take several blog posts to discuss EVERYTHING I’ve experienced since going natural, here’s a brief reflection of what I’ve learned since 2010. Come with me as I take this walk ‘back down memory lane…‘
I’ll never forget the moment that I consciously made the decision to no longer adhere to the “creamy crack”. Like most women, I watched Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” and was shocked at much damage I was doing to my hair by adding chemicals to it every few months. Aside from the physical harm, I didn’t know of any good beautician in Syracuse, NY that I could go to consistently in order to maintain my tresses (keep in mind, I was a broke college student too.) So after doing a little bit of research on natural hair styles, products I would need to use, and surveying a number of my girl friends that had already made the big decision, I decided to “transition” my hair with micro-braids spring semester of my junior year. It was the perfect opportunity to give my hair the chance to grow without me manipulating it. The moment came for me to take my braids out at the end of the year and after washing and conditioning it, I was super giddy to see my hair curl up when it was wet. I didn’t have enough time to teach myself how to care for my hair before traveling abroad that summer, so I decided to wait until I returned from Spain to do the *dun dun dun* BIG CHOP:
I must say, it was quite liberating to see my hair that short — but I knew that it was the beginning of a new chapter for me. While you always hope for the best and expect the worst when making a drastic change in your appearance, I wasn’t really concerned with what others were going to say about MY HAIR. I started my senior year of college in that fall knowing that, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end, ” so I used this as an opportunity to reveal another layer of confidence not just to those around me, but to myself.
I was really humbled by all of the compliments I received for my new hair cut. And it was just THE BEST to wake up, spritz it with water, throw some product in it and head out of the door. But as my hair started to grow, I had to pay a little bit more attention to its needs and start making time to wash and protective style it. I started to watch countless YouTube videos on natural hair and read blogs like Curly Nikki and College Curlies to gain inspiration for styles and product suggestions. And before I knew it, a whole year had flown by:
Now this isn’t to say that I haven’t experienced my share of grievances with my hair: single strand knots, random people thinking that they have the right to touch my hair *UGH*, concern that my hair could effect my ability to land the job of my dreams, or even being asked by someone “Would a comb make it unnatural?” (to this day, I still don’t know what that means.) But those little things have only allowed me to embrace my hair, and be confident in the person that I have become.
And yes, it may seem that “going natural” has been the trend over the last few years, but each person has their own reason for making that decision — and you can’t knock them for that. For me, these last three years have been of growth and discovery, but I’m grateful for the support that I’ve received from my friends and family (and shout-out to the fellas that prefer my kinks and curls, you’re appreciated 🙂 ) I’m not sure what the next phase of this natural hair journey will hold, but I’m excited to learn more about how to care for my hair, experience its versatility, and hopefully inspire women (and men) to love their hair regardless of what anyone has to say.
*raise champagne glass* Here’s a toast to another year of embracing uniquity, fluffy kinks and curls and the beauty that is within.