Natural…..vs…..Relaxer

Let me just start off by saying…I am a proud member of the Natural Hair Community and I want to address some things about the difference between natural hair and relaxed hair because I think in our black community that African American need to realize that our hair is just enough beauty for us rather than buying perms to feel “accepted” or “blended in”.

All my life I’ve had a relaxer in my hair since I was 4 years-old and I honestly hated getting my hair done because the pain was just unbearable at that age. However, throughout my elementary days I never really saw relaxed hair as a problem because all my friends had one in theirs and I wasn’t focusing on the health of it, but as I gotten older I started to hate pulling my hair back into a bun. I pulled, pinned down, and flat iron my hair just so I could stand up to other people’s needs and for a long time I felt depressed over my hair until June 10th of 2015.

Once I finished up my 8th grade year middle school, I decided to drop out of public school because I gotten tired of the drama and stressing over people that really didn’t understand me. So one particular day I was on YouTube and this girl was in the same situation that I was in which was “hair damage" so she decided to shave all her hair off and make a new fresh start….and that’s when I knew that I wanted to go natural.

As I soon as shaved it off my emotions were in shocked that I did that because all my life I’ve been told that hair is like a woman’s crown, but that’s what society tells us. They want us to wear weave, sew-ins, bundles, wigs, and lace fronts just because our natural hair is to “nappy” or to “wild” so I made a promise to myself that I will always accept my curly, natural, thick hair no matter what.

Just in case you wanted to know, I was 16 when I made that choice to shave my head and I still don’t regret it to this day. Ever since I went natural I learned about hair texture, leave-in conditioners, twist outs, finger coils, Co-wash, and Bantu knots which are all apart of learning about natural hair. The best thing about natural hair is that you get to call it yours instead of saying “No it’s not mine”. Wearing weave is like cultural appropriation because your basically wearing a European hairstyle while claiming it’s “Virgin Hair”.

I just wanted to share this true story because being natural was a journey for me and it was mentally challenging to accept your real hair. Never be ashamed of your curly kinky hair because if you embrace it then you will learn to love it.

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