Being a natural isn’t for the faint hearted; many unwarranted opinions, suggestions, and flat out disses come with the hair-itory (hair territory). During my first year as a natural, I had to face that unwanted attention from many, but I never thought I’d get it from my mother.
I was the first of my family and close friends to return to my natural hair state. While many of my friends were supportive, my mother couldn’t seem to get on board. As a hairstylist, I expected her to be my biggest supporter. I would ignore her negative comments, but after much built up frustration I had to flat out tell her how I felt. She had to understand that if she couldn’t except my natural beauty, then maybe she should re-evaluate her own self image.
If you’re newly natural or in the transitioning phase, you may hear plenty of discouraging comments such as, “When are you going to do your hair?” or “Why don’t you perm it?” Surprisingly, those comments usually come from our loved ones, family, or friends. While you may not be able to control what people say to you about your hair, you do have the ability to change their perception in a few different ways, while boosting your confidence.
Own Your Curls
Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT get caught up in what your curl pattern or texture is, and how the next curlfriend’s hair lays. You have to own your in order for others to accept that you love your hair—whether you’re rocking a defined twist out, frizzy fro, or banging bantu knot.
Educate Yourself and Others
There’s power in educating yourself and educating others on how to redefine or ban certain terms. I often had to correct my family and friends that curly/kinky/coily hair isn’t more unruly than fine hair. My hair isn’t hard to manage, nor is it nappier than others because I understand it and I know how to manage it. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you know how to keep your hair healthy.
The best thing you can do with your natural hair is learn how it reacts to all types of situations, including humidity, dry heat, rain, day old hair, wash & go’s, and the occasional failed twist-out. Experimenting with different styles and techniques helps you to be able to walk outside with your hair any way and feel confident.
Surround Yourself with Other Naturals!
Having a group of natural curl friends to have your back and lend advice is the best thing ever. I got through my early big chop hate, because I saw representations of other naturals at all different lengths confidently rocking their hair, and reminding me that my journey was mine to make.
It may not be easy, but you can get through to your loved ones. If they refuse to change they way they talk about your hair, then kick them to the curb. What you do with your hair isn’t any one else’s to judge or speak on. Say no to shaming the ‘fro by supporting your fellow curl friends, and encouraging those who are seeking info for their potential big chop or transition.
Do you have a hair hater in your life? Do you need personal advice or want to vent? Comment below and tell us all about it. You can also leave your comments on the Afrovocative Facebook page.