“I’ve lived in Portland, OR for five years now so it’s funny that you’re stopping me because this would probably never happen there. It’s very different, but it’s cool. It’s a really beautiful place. It has great things to offer, it’s just not DC/MD/VA. It’s been good, however.
I think that I’ve been natural for about nine years. My last perm was during my prom. I stopped perming my hair because it was falling out. The day of my prom I decided that I just needed to stop getting relaxers. I have a friend who regularly straightened her hair, so for a while I would just straighten my hair. During the last four years I’ve had the courage to wear it out, however. Laziness is probably one of the reasons that I had the courage because it’s a challenge finding someone to do my hair rather than doing it myself. It’s been good. I have noticed that when you have natural hair sometimes people assume things about you. They assume that you’re an activist, but I think that wearing your hair natural (in itself) has been pretty empowering.”
Sending strength, love and healing energy to the sister of this beautiful lady. Thank you for sharing your story.
“I cut my hair two weeks ago and it’s growing back already. My sister is battling Stage IV lung cancer, so she lost all of her hair due to the radiation treatments on her brain. She’s only 27 and we’re both natural hair enthusiasts, so losing all of her hair was really hard. Essentially, some of her identity was lost because she’s really into beauty and fashion. She’s a makeup artist, so I could tell that her soul wasn’t fully ready for the change although hair loss is a side effect of the radiation. Losing her hair made the sickness real which made her feel sick. She’s been going through a lot this year, so I shaved my hair too.
My hair was bright pink prior to shaving it. One day my sister said, ‘you should dye your hair pink’ and I was like ‘okay, whatever makes you happy’ so we both had pink hair. After a while, the radiation treatments made her hair bone straight which was an adjustment because she always had really curly, thick full hair. It’s been a hair journey since she was diagnosed in December, so that’s why I shaved it all off. I surprised her and went to Richmond, VA where she lives. I went down there to shave what was left of her hair and then we took pictures together.”
“The first time I did the big chop was nearly five years ago. I just cut my hair for the second time because I wanted something exciting and new. I’ve dyed my hair so many times that I just wanted to stop and do it all over again. It’s a lot easier for me to deal with short hair because I can pick up and go.
When I started wearing my hair natural, I wore an afro and it was a little intimidating because people didn’t know how to address me. It kind of showed me the barriers and boundaries for certain jobs, especially when I started going through the interview process. People looked at me a bit different than they would if I had straightened my hair. It threw me off a little, but after a while I kind of learned to assert myself. I learned to be empowered and realized that if they can’t understand who I am and appreciate my personality then it’s just not worth it. Growing into it has been nice. I’ve found myself being sassier and way more confident.”
“I’m an attorney, so I’ve worn my hair in court to mediation. I don’t feel like I’ve been treated any differently because of my hair. Sometimes I wear it straight. Sometimes I wear it fro. It depends on what I’m up to because the fro actually takes more time. It’s a loving self-care process that relaxes me when I’m able to do it, but when I’m not able to do it I can get frustrated with myself. I’m like ‘no, you don’t have the time to put on all of the product and oils that keep it right for the day.’ At night I’ll put on the oil and I’ll feel better, but then I notice that it’s getting a little frizzy so I need to re-wash it.
Love your texture for what it is. I have three different textures going on due to mixed ancestry. The front is longer, the middle is super kinky and the back has looser curls. For me, learning the different textures was frustrating and I didn’t want to own that identity. I was like ‘oh my gosh, my hair. I can’t wear it out like this.’ I would do twists and then I just got annoyed with the time that it took to dry the twists, so I decided that I was going to just wash and fro.”
“I’ve big chopped three times. The first time, I cut all of my hair off to start dreadlocks. I had my dreads for about two years and then I got tired of them. After that experience, I left my hair natural for two months. I was pregnant and experiencing a lot of emotions, so I cut it all off again. We’re going to skip the second time, however. My current and third big chop happened because my hair was damaged. I relaxed it and mainly kept it in a ponytail.
My family is super Afrocentric and they come from the African culture, so I grew up in that type of environment. One day, I just decided ‘no more’. For what? I love my hair short because it feels free. Initially, when I cut my hair for the third time, I was going to continue to grow it out but I’ve been getting my hair cut for two months now. You don’t see many women getting the designs in their hair, but I like to keep it simple while showing a little individuality. Not too much though.”
“Wearing my hair natural is making me more self-confident in my identity and firm in my belief that we can be great in our natural state. I identify as a black woman, especially attending a predominately white institution (PWI) like American University. It makes me more strong in my identity because my hair shows that I’m proud of my heritage and that I’m not necessarily trying to assimilate even though...
Sending this lovely friend of mine lots of love as she travels throughout the Middle East and heads back to live in South Africa! Thank you for your support and for sharing your story. “My evolution to wearing natural hair was very natural in that it was passive. I decided to stop relaxing my hair because I didn’t feel like going to the salon. Over time, I began to notice...
“I live in London, but I’ve worked in other European countries where people would ask to randomly touch my hair. I’d be at work and people would literally touch my hair throughout the day, so I know that I would be the talk of the day if I wore my hair out like I’m wearing it now.
I’ve been natural for two years. One day I was having a hard time and needed a change, so I cut it off myself. It was very liberating. It was the first time I experienced having short hair which took a little while for me to embrace because in our community hair is everything. A lot of women in London have natural hair, but they choose to wear protective styles because it appears more acceptable on the job. I often wear protective styles myself when I’m back home. Things are slowly changing, however. Our main pharmacy chain which is similar to CVS started selling more products for Afro-textured hair about three years ago. A lot of people get their natural hair products from the US, so that’s important.”
“When I started focusing on living a more holistic lifestyle, I stopped relaxing my hair. I transitioned to natural in 2009 and started growing it out in 2016. Having my daughter earlier this year also influenced my decision to let my hair grow out more. Initially, I wanted to loc my hair, but I always kept it cut short until now.”
“You caught me while I was sitting here with my eyes closed in the park enjoying the warmth of the sun before the weather gets too cold.
Both of my parents are health nuts, so I’ve been natural all my life. Being natural hasn’t really impacted the way that I live because it’s really the only lifestyle that I know. If having natural hair inspires more women of color to live a healthy and organic lifestyle then that’s definitely a good thing.”