Natural hair seems to be the new black, not sure if it’s a natural hair revolution, trend or movement but here goes my hairstory aka her story /my story. Growing up I was a very simple child, maybe it was my background and the school I went to. I was raised in an average/modest family where school and three meals were the most important things. Getting my hair done was really a luxury that my parents could only afford in December. Because my parents could not afford all I wanted, that did not mean I didn’t want the finer things in life.
Adulthood comes with freedom i.e. a rope long enough to tie oneself. Enter adulthood everything changed, because I had my own money (I was working) which my mum used to sing about during my high school years. Black parents would say “when you grow up and you have your own money/house you can do anything you want”. Yes finally Diana had her own money in their house hahaha, I would buy anything and everything I want. I got to a point where I wanted to fit in the society’s bracket of the working class. I had to relax my hair, buy the trending clothes and shoes (ma spice). My love-hate relationship with my hair began the day I used chemicals to change the afro texture to silky straight hair. I have course, kinky, fuzzy, hard, unruly, stubborn wire-brush barbed-wire typa hair when you touch it, it feels like you are touching dried grass ,*picture that*. That type you relax today you go to bed the next morning you wake up it’s almost half natural and has shrunken. My hair has a life and a mind of it’s own. For almost two decades I endured that hair you pictured. I forced myself to accept the type of hair I had. I changed relaxers trying to find the “perfect one” up to this day I can say I used most if not all relaxers on the market but it never found the one.
On the 12 of January 2015 from nowhere, I went to the barber with Lupita’s picture, withing 10 minutes I was a different person. At the time my son was 3 months, he would just stare and wonder what happened since he was still new to this world’s happenings. I had had the big chop. If you are not part of the natural hair communities you might ask the big chop what’s that. Well, the big chop is the quickest transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. As the name suggests it is cutting off all your relaxed hair. It is a very daunting task if you ask me and very liberating experience with a dash of regret (for me). After the big chop, my first shower was the best thing to happen to me in a very long time. Feeling the warm water hit your scalp and flowing all the way to the toes is the best experience trust me. How they make you feel about taking a shower in the TV adverts is real, so you know. My big chop was very liberating, taking a shower daily without having to tilt my head, sleeping without that silk cap is everything. Two years later it’s been ok no complaints. There are two ways in which one can transition to natural hair. Either you stop relaxing then cut the relaxed ends bit by bit until you are all natural or the big chop. I chose the big chop because I was hating my hair so much at that particular time and wanted it all off.
There are many reasons why women cut their hair. Among the reason are identity, some people believe that unprocessed natural hair defines one’s Africanness, I beg to differ (argument for another day). Some do it for religious purposes, some love the low maintenance and others it’s versatility. Others cut just to start afresh and even just to change their look. But for a person like me, I needed change, freedom from the half relaxed hair stress. I am also a lazy person so the “wash and go” works well for me. I am enjoying my hair journey I have cut my hair several times, I experiment quite a lot. The low maintenance costs of natural hair are a big plus for a broke shopaholic like me. When I don’t have money to do my hair life goes on. I just take my tennis racket and I rub it on my hair voila , bush locks and I am ready to go.
The past two years that I have been natural I have seen women from all walks of life going natural. Is it a revolution, it is a trend or it’s here to stay?. I have seen a rise in groups or online communities of natural hair divas. Well known celebrities have also been rocking natural hair. We cannot talk about celebrities and natural hair and not mention Nandi Mngoma, the lady is the epitome of natural beauty. She rocks her natural hair with pride. Lira, Lupita Nyongó, Masechaba Ndlovu, Chrisette Michele slay the red carpet natural with their hair looks. My first haircut was inspired by Lupita Nyongó. Michelle Obama recently rocked her natural hair and the internet went crazy (good crazy). I am not really sure what this says about natural hair, or what it doesnt say. I guess this could be another topic for discussion another day – natural hair and our heritage.
Because of that see-saw relationship I have with my hair, it’s difficult to take this hair “business” serious. I cannot really do what other “kids” on Youtube and Facebook do. That is the products, the combs, the diets, the sleeping gear what what, it’s a whole lot, I can’t LOL. One day I am loving my natural hair and embracing it, the next day we don’t see eye to eye, I have to wear a head wrap hahaha. Every 4 to 6 weeks I change my hairstyle and I only have 2 hairstyles that I alternate between. If I am not rocking my TWA, I have a weave or box braids. When I change my hairstyle within 3-4 weeks I really miss my TWA that I quickly go back to it and when I have my TWA I feel bored that I have to have that weave again. My life is a constant battle between the hairstyles. At times I laugh at myself and my “nice-life-problem”. The very best thing about my hair is it does not break come what may. I do not have hairline no matter how much I braid. Thank you, Lord for this.
We have people who take this natural hair “business” very serious they have hair regimens and have all sorts of products (I saw someone with more than 30) for wash day, pre-poo, sealing, and the whole enchilada. Others will go as far as getting weed to add to their hair food to make it grow. No offence and I am not judging anyone. They know what their hair type is, I don’t know, I must be a 4C (guess work). I am team natural but I don’t do anything special than just shampooing. I just wash and go, oil it every second day. I am not for length at all, I don’t ever see myself in a puff, but never say never. I love my hair in a TWA (teeny weeny afro). One thing that I have learnt with this natural hair is make-up. For one to really look good with natural hair you need to have a good face-beat, specifically focusing on the eyes. (put your guns down this is my opinion) . Make-up gives you “that thing” ?, make-up will take you from a plain Jane to the It-girl. Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise (I wont say more)! You see all these words, products, communities and all other activities it natural hair cannot be a trend it is here to stay.
The future of the natural hair movement or natural hair revolution is bright. The revolution is not being televised but it is being well documented in social media groups and other online communities. It is here to stay because every day we are seeing the public service announcements about people joining the natural hair community. The hashtags won’t stop #naturalhairdiva #teamnatural #naturalgang #naturalresources #naturalhairgoals you name them all. We have salons that are specifically for natural hair, we have natural hair expos and I cannot start mentioning natural hair products on the market. All these are signs of something that has been embraced and is permanent.
All that said and done it is said a woman’s hair is her crowning glory. Whether natural hair is here to stay or it’s a trend, whether relaxed, rocking a weave, bald, dreadlocks or natural hair rock your hair with pride. Do not let other people’s preferences kill your joy.
#thenotsoseriousnaturalhairdiva #naturalbutnotserious #twaforever