To be or not to be … Natural

I have had many hairstyles and the most drastic was a few years ago when I was over relaxing my hair and burning my scalp so I just stopped. I had no plans, I just stopped. After binge watching a youtuber new to me, she went on and on about how great her life has been since her big chop. I hadn’t relaxed my hair in over six months, at this point it was a struggle to manage the new growth and straightened hair. So I cut my hair, Big Chop! I wasn’t worried about cutting it, I love short hair.

The problem now was learning what kind of hair I have and how to style it. I cut it a few days before a week long vacation planned to Toronto and soon after the beginning of my final full time quarter in school and full time internship. When was I going to study my hair, really? I went with it, wore a full on afro some days, bought some products, failed some twistouts and then quit. I enjoyed my hair but no, it was a lot of hair, so thick, the front a different texture than the back, my head is huge, it was too much for me, then I thought this is going to get longer and harder. I’m not complaining, I was being realistic, I do not like hair salons, I am accustomed to doing my hair myself and I didn’t want to.

I decided to relax my hair when I realized I didn’t want to do all of that and I didn’t want that look. I could’ve gotten weaves or wigs but why? I can get the look I want with relaxed hair. I wasn’t sorry, but who did I think I had to apologize to? I went “natural” because of the relaxer burning my scalp, I became curious about my hair when it was growing out, and I relaxed it because I wanted to. But again who did I think I had to apologize to? Why did relaxing your hair become something shameful, and frowned upon?

I wonder how many other women have gone “natural” and don’t want it, but because of the stigma now attached to relaxed hair and the guilty feeling they continue. Because you must hate yourself if you straighten your hair right? You don’t want to be black! Why? Who loves you more than you? Only Jesus! Why is it shameful to want, how you desire to look? I want relaxed and healthy hair, I don’t hate myself or my natural hair, I also have no interest in how other people think I should look.

Why is it so terrible to do what you want if it doesn’t affect anyone else. So Today’s Challenge:

Do what you want with YOUR hair. Find comfort and confidence in your own style. There have been so many issues with living up to society’s beauty standards and sometime during the natural hair movement, black beauty was redefined, while, I feel, exiling beautiful women who didn’t make the switch. Natural or relaxed I am beautiful, there were comments about my afro but I felt beautiful, now commercials and ads have mostly curly hair beauties but I feel beautiful.

It does seem that women with relaxed hair may be underrepresented amongst bloggers and vloggers so I found this site that speaks to us all, and in this particular article they showcased nine youtubers who have relaxed hair and help with products, tips and styling. Hope you find some helpful.

Kristie Fraser