Going natural was not the ideal hairstyle growing up in the Republican state of Mississippi. As a matter of fact, I had never seen any natural-haired women in person, only on the big screen. The closest I ever got to being natural was not getting a relaxer for at least two months. I felt my curly new growth itching (literally) to make an appearance, however, the relaxer stopped the show. I grew up in a poverty-stricken home, so I only got my hair done professionally on occasions. During my days in school, all the popular girls had long, healthy (at least I thought) relaxed hair and that's what was poppin’ then. Walking around with what I thought was “nappy hair” was not cool at the time. Growing up in the South, the weather is oh-so humid. My relaxed, body-filled roller wrap would instantly become limp and almost wet-looking from the scorching heat of the day and the moist, crisp air of the night.
My Decision to Cut My Hair
Let’s fast forward to my sophomore year of college. This was around the time I was beginning to find my purpose and myself. I figured my hair could be the first thing I could change about myself. I watched hundreds of YouTube videos, read numerous articles, and researched everything under the sun before I made the decision to transition.
I was tired of my limp, thin hair. It never grew past my bra strap and I was sick of it. I'm not a person of change at all, but I can't keep the same hairstyle for too long. Weird, right? I decided to transition after several attempts. “I cannot walk around bald-headed (no offense to those who are)," I said, "I can’t picture myself big chopping.” These were some of the thoughts that ran through those long, frustrating, and expensive five months. So, you know what I did next? Yes, you guessed it; I big chopped the day before Christmas Eve. After struggling with dealing with two different textures and running out of styles (and money), I said what the heck, it’ll grow back. I loved it, yet I was so ashamed to wear it in public. I was even ashamed of telling my own family. In case you’re wondering how they didn’t know, I constantly wore wigs and braids.
I Found Me
When I made the decision to cut my hair, I didn’t know how much black power would come with it. I learned how to embrace my natural being and not give a hoot who likes it or not. I learned to walk into a room or down the street feeling like the goddess I am. Without confidence, a woman cannot rightfully take her throne. A queen can't reign on her throne if she’s worried about peasants.
Walking on campus with hair no longer than my pinky finger forced me to accept the beautiful person that I am. It was not a walk in the park, though. Many people responded much differently than expected. My dad fussed for weeks. My professors asked why I did it while looking upside my head. My “friends” compared me to other naturals who weren’t so successful and said my hair would never grow or have a nice curl texture.
I’ve had my doubts as well (on bad hair days). But I’m here to tell you after two years, my hair has grown tremendously, my curl pattern is beautiful, and my dad loves it! Rockin’ an afro has gotten me more entwined with my African ancestry. I feel that my afro represents my heritage and ancestry in the most fearless way. This is MY way of embracing what society bashes but continuously attempts to replicate. If I had never taken that big step with those scissors, I probably would still be stuck in that world of sadness.
Embrace the natural you!