A: I am originally from Chicago, Illinois. Currently, I reside in Alabama where I’m enjoying my life with my loving husband and 8 year old daughter. The natural scene where I am is very slim. We’re not a fast growing community here as you would say…Atlanta, but, we are slowly getting there.
Q. How has your experience been with natural hair?
A: I begun transitioning to natural hair 2008. My experience wasn’t bad at all. I wore a lot of kinky twist, micro braids and sew-in hair weaves during the transition. I would wash and condition my hair often while braided. I also kept my scalp and hair oiled to protect from breakage while in braids. I hardly ever pulled my hair back, this helped me keep all my edges while in transition. I had expected my transition to be crazy because I had heard so many horror stories.
Q.How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
A. By God’s grace, I had a lot of support. Many of my friends were already natural and had begun to point me to websites, books, and people who would help educate me on this journey. Even now I am still very thankful for their help!
A: I grew up watching my mom work in the salon business. Over the years, I also watched my mom try to repair damaged and chemically burned hair. Even though my mom did relax her clients hair, she always made it her first priority to educate customers on having healthy hair. Some positives about natural hair for me have been that my hair is as healthy as its ever been. No weak edges, stronger hair, & mega growth. I love how I can just twist my hair or rock a fro and be done with it and still be fly!
Now when it’s raining outside I don’t have to worry about my hair looking a mess due to a fresh relaxer. I really appreciate that I can scratch my scalp and not worry about a chemical burn the following week. I love that I can be an example to my daughter who’s hair is natural too. Prayerfully, by my example, she will be thankful for how God made her hair, humbly, being an encouragement to others as well. Lastly it is really nice to be to able to pronounce and define all the ingredients in all my hair care products. Natural hair is just fun!
Q: Have you had any negative experiences while wearing natural hair? How did you cope?
A: There were a few negative experiences I’ve had while wearing natural hair. The first one is the amount of shedding I will have from time to time. Presently I’m 32 years old and in the early stages of menopause, which means my estrogen levels fall rapidly. This allows DHT (dihydrotestosterone) to rise, which attaches to the hair follicles and chokes them until the hairs become thinner and weaker. With these changes I have had to up my game in exercising, fluid intake, multi-vitamins and natural estrogens. It was hard to adjust and figure out what was going on. I trust that God made me perfectly and He makes no mistakes, this helps me to cope with many of life’s issues.
In addition, other negatives would include: stares, ignorant comments/ stereotypes about natural hair from both black and white community, all to which I know how to handle very well. Other than this, my experience has been fabulous!
A: I’m a huge fan of Ayurvedic powders, herbs and oils. I’m even taking Ayurvedic meds to help with my Menopause symptom which have been great.
I’m currently working on drinking a half of gallon of water each day. I am a strong believer in what I eat not only effects my health, but my hair as well. Which is why I’ve had to recently change my diet and do better with this temple that God has given me. I’ve seen this affect my hair in positive ways.
I tend to wear a lot of twist outs and braid outs in my hair. I try not to pull it back all the time because I would hate to see my edges thinning. I sleep on a satin pillow case at night and twist my hair up every other night before bed to help keep tangles from appearing.
I use the Tangle Teaser to detangle my hair after every wash.(which is usually every three days..water is my friend) I keep my ends moisturized with coconut oil. I’m just a simple chic, I don’t like to go over board with the hair styles. I pretty much just stick with what I know and that’s been fine for me.
Q: What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
A: Don’t be afraid of the unknown. It’s been neat for me personally to watch God provide resources, friends, community and books for me to educate myself about my hair. He will and can provide the same for you. Don’t try to have hair like “Tracey” down the street or “Keisha” in the hair article or blog you read. God gave you the hair texture and make up you have for a reason. Don’t walk into the temptation of comparing your hair to others, find out what works best for you and go for it.
Please remember that includes, non natural hair products. Just because your hair is natural does not mean you have to only use those products that are organic. Many people I know cant afford those things and their hair is still beautiful and healthy from them using what they have, with what God has provided. Natural hair to me is a symbol of freedom, beware of legalism. Have fun with your curls!
Q: Do you have any final thoughts?
A: Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ..” I think the key to rocking natural hair confidently is to know and be sure of where and WHO your identity lies in. God created me, my identity is hidden and found in Christ alone.
I don’t fear what people think of my coils, or how culturally it may not be accepted by some of my peers of a different race. I am who I am for God’s glory. I pray you find this peace as well.