Thursday, 18 June 2015

YES! My challenge is over... I am a naturalista!!

So my challenge is over. If you have been following my blog you will know that two weeks ago I posted that I had started a '14 day natural hair pride' challenge (click here to see the post). Well 14 days have gone by and I have successfully completed my challenge.... and honestly, I can't believe the way I feel. I'll come back to that, but first of all, let me address the reason why I called this act a challenge.

Ever since perhaps the age of three, my hair had been braided into cornrows or wrapped in cotton thread (see here). I used to cry every time it was time to get my hair done and in turn would always be threatened that if I did not 'shut-up crying' (in the nicest possible way of course) that instead of getting my hair braided, it would all be cut off and I would look like a boy! By the time I had reached the age of 12, the threats no longer worked and one day I called their bluff... 'okay cut it all off, I'm fed-up of this'. The following week, I had a nice new (oily) jerry curl!

Fast forward four years and I converted to a regular relaxer which wreaked havoc on my tender hair... hence I decided to go natural and just put braids in my hair. The braids phase lasted for years until I got my very first weave at the tender age of 29 years old! I didn't really like weaves, would dare not relax my hair... so the natural option was a wig! And on and on the story goes. The point is, since I was a teeny weeny girl, I have never ever just left my natural hair out! So to walk around with not only my natural hair, but barely one inch of hair and not looking like the me that I had become accustomed to seeing... was a challenge!
It's funny, but it wasn't until I actually started this challenge that I realised how many black women do NOT wear or ever let their natural hair out. It's honestly something that didn't occur to me before. Yes, things have changed, and the natural hair movement has influenced many black women to go natural, but even with this, the proportion of natural to relaxed/weave/wig still stands firmly in favour of the latter group. Now I will continue to stress, that I DO NOT JUDGE ANYONE ON THEIR CHOICE OF HOW TO WEAR THEIR HAIR! Especially as a prolific wig wearer myself... but it is interesting, when you step back and actually pay attention, how few black women are comfortable and/or willing to wear their own God given hair out on a day-to-day basis. 

Not only did the absence or sparsity of natural hair wearers become apparent to me, but the reaction that I received over the last two weeks, by black and non-black people, has been quite interesting! Maybe it was my own paranoia, may be it was the length of my hair as opposed to the texture... but I could swear looks lingered. Not full blown stares, but lingering! I got the occasional 'Oh wow you look so different with your hair like that... nearly didn't recognise you'. There were a few black women who told me I was 'brave' to wear by hair like this! Also, to my pleasant surprise, I received many compliments from (non natural haired) black women who would stop me to tell me how much they liked my hair and how much it suited me. Yaaay!

So now that the challenge is over, I can sincerely say that I'm in no hurry at all to cover my hair up! No ma'am! I am loving the freedom that comes with this new look. Especially in the summer. I mean I would love for my hair to be longer already, but slowly slowly. Right now, I am feeling like a warrior princess! It took a couple of days to get used to my face with no frame, but now I am loving it. I am no Lupita Nyongo, but I am me, real me, natural me and I love it! Now my dear wigs will still see the light of day. But there has a been a real role reversal, a new sheriff in town. Now, my natural hair calls the shots, and my beautiful wigs will only surface when I feel like a change of look. Kind of like wearing a hat... So don't get all judgemental and start pointing virtual fingers at me when I post a wig review okay... Lol! Thanks ;)

Stay confident and beautiful


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