“We Don’t go Natural, we return. Natural, is where it began.”
I’m taking it to the head yes, our hair ladies and gentlemen. I have so much to say regarding black women and natural hair so I thought I would put it on the show. Okay just a little back history on me I’ve been fully natural for 5 years. I say fully because I initially started to transition I started to become impatient initially and relaxed my hair. I hated it. Then I decided to fully commit. Best decision ever! Today I want to talk about the stigma against natural hair. Some can deny it but it’s definitely present these days on our jobs and even in our homes.
I will never forget a manager I had once asked me, “How is it that you can learn to manage your daughter's natural hair but can’t manage to handle your own?” The younger naive and less self-aware Shoniqua just brushed the comment off as random girl talk, now I see she was shedding light on an issue I did not know I had. Truthfully it wasn’t until my hairstylist in Atlanta asked me why was I wearing weave? Now you know something is up when your own hairstyling is asking you why are you buying? I remember telling her well I did the big chop and I don’t like short hair. She then told me to go to the mirror and look at my hair. I went and I amazed at what I saw. I had thick and full luscious hair that I was hiding under color-treated Indian hair. For me, that was the moment when I started to see my hair in a different light. I wonder how many other women are hiding their virgin hair like I once was.
Sadly, some of the issues we as women have with our hair did not start with us. Till this day my parents still have a negative view towards natural hair. Possibly because their generation was taught to conform instead of embracing their hair in its God-given form. Time Magazine once stated, “As long as black women have existed in America, we have been put down for our skin color, our bodies, and our natural hair. In the 18th Century, British colonists deemed African hair as closer to sheep wool than human hair, setting the precedent that white hair is preferable — or “good,” a racially charged notion in and of itself.” Sadly we’ve been manipulated to believe who we naturally are is not good enough.
The question now is, “ How can we make the situation better?” My answer is self-discovery and time. I’m so grateful for my former manager and hairstylist for revealing an issue I did not know I had. The more you get to know who you are on the inside, flaws and all the more comfortable you will feel trying new things with your hair, makeup, wardrobe, and overall experiences. Unfortunately, more of the negative views we have regarding ourselves including our hair will take time to repair because it took time to be implanted in us. I will say being other like-minded people has helped me as well get comfortable with my kinks and coils. Oh yeah btw don’t let anyone just grab and touch your hair just because they’re curious. They should know better.