Monday, July 1, 2013

Going Natural & Family Response

Going Natural  & Family Response

"I'll Have to get used to it"
I got that response a lot when I first cut my hair.

“It’s different”
Another popular one…..

“Is everything ok?”
That one made me laugh.  That was my mom’s response….

“I’m Fine, I just wanted something different. Besides that last relaxer really burned me.” I explained to my mom, as we sat at the kitchen table. This was my first visit home since cutting my hair.
“You were always tender headed…” She began to recount the numerous scalp burns, and broken combs. I remember all too well, my first relaxer. I was excited for my first day of kindergarten. I had my uniform pressed to perfection,  lunch box packed and ready, and pencils sharpened to a point. But before she could sent me to school, something had to be done with my hair. As I stared at the TV my mom laid a kiddie perm over my ‘unruly’ and ‘Nappy’ hair.  
“Your hair is so long!” She exclaimed as she rinsed out the cream. For the first time, her  fingers flowed through my strands with ease.  That was the last time I seen my natural hair until I was 18 years old.  So its fair to say my mom hair never really seen my natural hair.

For years I was chasing a look, or a style, with little regard to the health of my hair and scalp. The tighter the better! Catch those edges!  Touch ups, in-between touch ups. Let it burn a little, it’s not finished yet. All mantras I’ve lived by, or heard working in salons.  It wasn’t until I began working in an all-natural hair salon, that I began to realize the damage I was doing to my hair and scalp. We had many clients who came to us with relaxer remorse. Their hair was lifeless. Their strands were so processed, they appeared  transparent.  Their scalps were damage, and in many cases, their hair wasn’t growing. That was more than enough for me to go natural.
Pressed & Blended New Growth

 I began to allow my relaxer to grow out, opting to press and blend my hair with a weave.
“You need a touch up” My mom said as she observed my hair. I had about 2 inches of new growth, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to blend with a silky weave.  I had yet to tell about my decision to go natural. I wasn't ready to proclaim it. I didn't fully own it. I didn't respond to her. I just shrugged… 3 weeks later,  cosmetology school stated and I found myself  in an uncomfortable position of having an inexperienced girl attempt to shampoo (gasp!) my transitioning, Co washing loving, hair…More On That

It was days before Yearbook pictures, and my mother and I were shopping for an outfit to wear.  For weeks, I had my hair in a protective style, micro braids.
“How are you going to do your hair?” My mother asked
“I don’t know” I said.
“How about a cute bob, with a swoop?” She asked
“OK” I agreed. We purchased the hair form a local BSS. And took out my extensions. The salon I wanted to go to was closed, and time was running out.
“I’ll do it, You’ll look beautiful for the pictures” My mom volunteered (Insisted). She Laid all the tools out, hair, combs, scissors, thread,  oil and a relaxer (GASP!)  As I sat silent,  she began to work her familiar magic, laying the cold cream over my 3 inches of lively new growth.  That was it. I was no longer natural. My smooth Edges,  laid perfectly, and blended with the weave. And oddly enough, I was ok with it. I wasn't ready. 2 Years later, I was ready for a change. MORE ON THE BC DAY

BC Photo

It took some time  for my mom to fully embrace my natural hair.  Maybe she hasn't fully accepted it yet, as I still  catch little side comment’s about my coils from time to time... Regardless of what other may feel. I have dived into natural hair care,  I Embrace the journey, and love every part of it. 

What was your experience when you decided to go natural? How did your family and friends receive it? Did you face any resistance? What did you do about it?

Let talk about it!