How does going natural change the way you think about your hair?
For me it meant adopting a completely different aesthetic, one by which I now value height and volume over hang. It didn't happen overnight though.
I've been natural since around 1997, but I took the pic above about a year ago. At the time I was really excited (as you can see by my cheesy smile) about having my hair blown out and flat-ironed by a pro. It was nice and cool outside, the sun was shining, and my hair was flowin! But within a few days, I grew weary of this look. I kept it in for two weeks only because... well, because I paid money to get it done and didn't want to "waste" the style. When he saw it, my husband was like "Meh." I was natural with a TWA when he met me, and my hair is one of the things which attracted him in the first place. Thank God for a natural-appreciative man.
|TWA! Me and my dear Charles <3 td="td">3>|
|Picked-out fro, July 2012|
|Twist-out crown, pinned up in the back|
|close up of a twist-out, June 2011|
It took me a while to see the beauty in hair which stands up and away from my face, hair with tight coils, frizzy hair, BIG hair. In fact, I don't think I really began to embrace frizz until the past year or so. Well-defined curls don't matter much when wearing natural hair in an intricate updo, a face-framing flat twist style, or a chunky unpicked fro. Curl definition is less of a rule to me; now it's just another option. I still appreciate being able to achieve it when I want to, but I don't HAVE to see my curls poppin' all the time to be happy with my hair. I'm thankful for this changed mindset, this new aesthetic.
|one of my first chunky twist-out afros|
I'm also thankful that my lifestyle, job, etc. allows for me to do this without retribution or penalty. I understand not everyone feels they have quite as much leeway (though sometimes we really can get away with more than we think). Not everyone can do a faux-hawk at work without getting a side-eye from the boss. That's a whole 'nother post... but really, that's not the point. It's less about how "they" (whoever "they" are) regard your hair and beauty, and more about how you regard your hair and beauty.
So whether you're going from bone-straight relaxed to a TWA, a big afro to long locs, or a well-defined twist-out to blown-out (or what I like to call "exploded") curls, it may take a real paradigm shift before it registers in your mind as a good thing, a beautiful thing. But this is your hair -- your God-given mane!
And this is my hair. Unique. Puffy. Healthy. Sometimes crazy and unpredictable, but always beautiful.
Be patient. Look at your features and don't automatically see the frizz as something to fight. Instead, it is an aspect of your beauty to embrace and enjoy.
*climbing down off my soapbox, headin' on back inside the house*