Monday, November 11, 2013

Hair and Self-Confidence – Is there a connection?

When I initially attempted to go natural, I failed – three times. I would get three to four months in and then found managing two hair textures an impossible feat; so back to the relaxer it was. I just did not have the patience or enough motivation to put myself through the process.

My main reasons for deciding to go natural were to: (1) avoid the salon appointments every two weeks and save money, (2) have the freedom to exercise without worrying about my hair, and (3) finally see what was underneath the 20+ years of relaxer treatments. I never considered that changing my hair would influence my self-esteem. 

Over the past five years, the natural hair revolution has become an incredible movement, but for me it was not just joining a movement, but making a personal statement that I WILL NOT BE A PRISONER TO MY HAIR ANY LONGER!

Realistically, not everyone is a fan of the natural hair “movement” that seems to have become more of a trendy lifestyle for Black women. It seems that being natural today is now the IT thing, however the success to going natural and staying natural is to understand the WIIFM – What’s in it for me?

One’s decision to rock her natural hair has to be a personal one. On the flip side, ones decision NOT to rock her natural hair also has to be a personal one. Speaking with a group of girls recently, their decision to rock weave was more influenced by society and what other girls thought than by how they felt about themselves. Like me, they felt more challenged by the change than empowered. Each girl fervently echoed that natural is not for me because “my hair is not long and flowing,” which seemed to be the hallmark reason for their decision to remain weave-friendly. I’m not against weaves but do ask – “Is long and flowing hair more beautiful, desirable, etc than coils, kinks, or curls??

Whatever your preference, if your WIIFM is more influenced by society or by others, then you could possibly be shortchanging yourself from a great and fun growth experience – naturally and emotionally.

So to address the question at hand, my answer is: natural hair is for everyone and has a definite connection to how we feel about ourselves. Does everyone have to embrace her natural hair texture? No. But our natural hair has always been for us, and it always will be. So embrace YOU first, and then embrace what works for you. It is your choice and decision to wear your hair the way you want. If you want to rock your natural hair texture, then do it. If you don’t, then don’t – but be clear about the reason(s) why. It is for you, because it’s by you. Period.

No matter what, You rock!


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