Walk down any street. What do you see? If you live in a place that is anything like where I come from, you may see a variety of hair styles and textures on any given day. The transition from chemically treated hair to natural hair seems to have become a phenomenon worldwide. What has caused this shift you may ask? Well if you’re a relaxed lady who has ever experienced extreme breakage, baldness and even scalp burns due do Sodium Hydroxide (what relaxers are composed of), chances are you have at least contemplated better, healthier ways to style your hair. Though many women stop at contemplating, there is a rising community choosing the natural route. Have you recently made the big chop or are currently growing out your hair without further use of chemical treatments? If the answer is yes, you may also be one of the many women who has experienced lack of support from the people in your life. Here are a few tips to keep you feeling good about yourself and your choice to rock your natural hair.
Look at any magazine, advertisement, movie or television show. From my experience, more often than not, the women featured in these types of media embody the western the perception of beauty which seems to be lighter skin and straighter hair. Understand that this has been the standard of beauty for years and years. Unfortunately, for you and those around you, the mold will not be broken just because you decide to go natural. Understand that changing the perception of beauty will take time and constant exposure to something that was once considered unacceptable. Don’t let this deter you.
Be the poster child for Natural Hair
Yes it is unfortunate that the stigma around natural hair will not change overnight but you can help the process move along by refusing to shy away from your natural curls and kinks. The more you sport your natural texture, the more the people around you will be exposed to it. Wear your hair with pride and show others that you are a major supporter of this movement. Don’t be afraid to answer questions that people may have about your hair and your choice to go natural. Luckily in this day and age you are not the only one supporting the change and many women are even capitalizing on it. Pick up a t-shirt or a tote that really sends a positive message about your natural hair!
Join a group for support
I understand that making the choice to go natural is a life altering decision. It not only changes the way you view yourself but it also affects the way that others view you. This can be a lot to take on and can be very overwhelming especially if those closest to you like family and friends disapprove and do not support you in your decision. You are not alone. There are hundreds, if not thousands of women who have made the same choice as you. The upside is you don’t have to go any further than your computer to connect with these women. There are a variety of different online hair forums that cater to the natural hair audience. Hairlista Inc., Curlista and Curly Nikki are just a few out of the many! Not only do these types of sites offer support, they offer hair tips and advice, and even features which allow you to track your hair health and growth.
Going natural will change your perception on a lot of things. Hopefully this change will be for the best. Do not let the disapproving people around you make you regret your choice to continue on a natural journey. If anything, use this challenge as a chance to educate and expose those who are ignorant to natural hair and all the beauty it has to offer. Being comfortable in your skin will allow others to be more accepting to not only you, but also the next person who comes along. Good luck!