My Natural Hair Journey – Lisa’s Story
Thinking back to my opinion of natural hair back in 2005, many women have had the same or very similar “back to natural” hair journey as I. See, I’ve always liked the look and texture of coily, kinky, fuzzy hair as far back as I can remember. However, like most Black women growing up when I did, I didn’t like that natural look on my head. I can only deduce that for me, it was a conditioning of my mind born out of the quiet, unspoken desperation of the black women living around me. Straight hair was the inevitable initiation into the world of maintaining or hiding my shame. Permanently straight or wavy hair was also necessary to save my mother’s sanity. She had to keep up with hairstyling on the heads of three girls as well as her own hair care.
So, my decision to stop relaxing and go natural wasn’t because I had suddenly discovered that I like natural hair and wanted to free myself of relaxers. I had already known natural hair was an option and that it could look nice. The reason I decided to stop relaxing my hair was that my hair density was thinning out. My scalp was showing in places and no joy from a “fresh perm” could cover for the despair I felt watching my thick head of hair dwindle over the years.
Knowing it was from years of lye burns, brushing, and pregnancy, I decided to stop relaxing my hair in December of 2005. It was the first step in my solution to reduce or stop the progression of my alopecia. My appreciation for natural growing hair helped me in the coming months to endure the endless criticisms and questions from family and coworkers. Plus, I couldn’t go back to straightening with relaxers because I needed the kinks of my hair to fill in my scalp!
In the beginning I didn’t know much about hair health or styling most of the time, so many days I went to work with my hair looking unkempt. Thankfully, my career didn’t suffer because of it. In fact, the raises and merit pay kept coming and my confidence was rising. I soon learned more information about hair care from the internet forums and videos. My journey has benefited my daughters, also. They love their “puffy” hair and their hair is healthy and growing. My family and friends have all pretty much accepted my natural hair. I can count seven of my close family members that have started natural journeys of their own citing my perseverance and confidence as inspiration.
I’ve certainly made tougher and more serious decisions in my life that wearing my hair natural. However, going natural is among the choices I’ve made that have brought about so many more positive changes in my life.
Guest Author: Lisa Ingram
|Lisa Ingram is a former company data analyst now freelance virtual assistant and stay at home mom to three wonderful children. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a story to share about your journey, natural hair care strategies, or your thoughts about the societal aspects of being a black woman who chooses to wear her hair natural? Join Lisa and submit a guest post and we’ll feature you on our blog.
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