I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I must say the Natural Hair scene here is in full effect. Being labeled the Black Mecca of the United States, you can’t go anywhere from Federal Court to the mall without seeing some rockin’ their natural hair. Really it’s such a beautiful thing to see it all around.
I initially went natural in 2000 and loved it. However, at that time there was not nearly as much information available about what to do with natural hair, how to keep it properly moisturized, when to trim it, what cute styles to rock etc.
As it grew out, I made the mistake, (that I didn’t know was a mistake then,) of getting it pressed out on a regular basis. When I say “pressed” I mean I was going to a older stylist in downtown Atlanta that would use an old fashion hot comb on the stove and she’d hard press hair out! It’s makes me cringe now just thinking about how unhealthy that was for my hair. I must say that my hair did look good for awhile .Then….well, you guessed it, after an extended period of weekly pressing, my hair became increasingly stringy and would not revert back to it’s natural state, at least not all over. Also not enough for me to rock it in an all natural style.
This time around, I Big Chopped in January 2011. I was trying my best to have an extended transition, but it didn’t last. One night, I decided this is it, it’s time to cut my hair! I asked my daughter to do a mini interview video that we actually recorded right before my big chop and I published it to You Tube because I wanted to document my natural hair journey. Then, I told my husband, ‘either I’m going to cut my hair tonight or you are going to cut my hair tonight.’ My husband is by no means a barber, but he knows when my mind is made up to do something, I’m going to do it. My daughter recorded the Big Chop performed by my husband and I also published that to You Tube. It created an amazing and unexpected response from a very hungry natural hair community and my email was flooded with questions and comments. To make a long story short, this is how the idea of Natural Girls Rock, LLC was born in my spirit.
Initially, my husband was not in favor of me going back natural, as he remembered what it looked like years ago. Now, he has evolved to the point of offering opinions and even style preferences….and for that, I am grateful. As far as family, my mom and sisters are already natural, so it was a non issue there. For the most part my immediate co-workers/friends are mostly in support of my decision. I was asked by one though if I had cancer? As if that is the only reason one would cut all their hair off.
I’m not sure I’d label it that….but, I’ll give it a go….. Working in Corporate America (which involves a Federal Courtroom), people are going to stare and not really know what to say. I realize in my position, I am the face/being of what certain races see as a representative of the Black community. For that reason, I always make sure to have everything about my physical appearance as presentable as possible. Consequently, I step into my job daily with my head up and rock my natural with unwavering confidence!
I absolutely love that my hair is MY hair! I love that I stand in a position to empower and support other woman who have also made the decision to rock their natural hair. I get tons of questions everyday from “transitioners” who have found me on You Tube or at the Natural Girls Rock website. I love having the opportunity to provide my followers with advice. It makes me feel like a natural hair humanitarian of some sort! LOL!
I do the “Baggie Method” a lot. For those that may not know, this is simply putting a conditioner or deep conditioner on your hair with a plastic cap and a bonnet or scarf. It works wonders for moisture retention which is the key to hair health and sustained growth. The Baggie Method can be done for a few hours detangling or as long as over night. I use Deep SOULutions Deep Conditioner by Natural Girls Rock. I use it as a pre-poo because it’s amazing at detangling my hair, along with as a conditioner after washing my hair. I also use a small dime-sized amount as a leave-in conditioner. My hair has seen amazing growth and strength. Visit the website at www.NaturalGirlsRock.com to see a real documentary of what it has done for my hair.
My best advice is that if you are thinking about going natural, do your research first. Know that you are doing it for reasons other than riding the trend wave. If you are ready and you are doing it for the right reasons, you’ll stick with it. If you are not really ready, you’ll end up frustrated and ultimately revert back to a relaxer.
I have learned through the many questions I receive and answer on a daily basis that natural hair is not for everyone. If it’s not for you, that is still okay. I am not an advocate of companies that portray a relaxer like it is an illicit narcotic or it is some sort of sin to wear your hair any other way that’s not natural. I’m a firm believer of it being a matter of choice. Lastly, for those that have decided to rock their hair in its natural state, I’ll leave you with the Natural Girls Rock Creed: “It doesn’t matter how long, short, thick, thin, kinky, curly, coily your hair is, it’s what God gave you…so, ROCK IT.”