Monday, January 13, 2014

Fierce Hair Feature

Ebony's Hair Story

How long have you been natural?
6 years, since 2008. My hair had been relaxed/permed since 5th grade.

What was the determining factor in going natural? My hair was being damaged badly by relaxers and excessive heat/flat irons. Relaxers were too harsh and I felt like I couldn't do anything nice to it unless I had a “fresh perm.” My older sister, who was already natural, inspired me to do the same in 2008. I've been in love with my hair ever since.
Did you receive any flak for going natural? Most people were very supportive and loved my natural hair. I get compliments on my hair from people of all nationalities and races. It was actually my mom who I caught the most flak from. She liked my hair better long and relaxed. She feels that natural hair is not acceptable in the corporate world and that it can hinder a black woman’s career growth.

What is something you wish you would have known before making this jump?
I wish I would have known how much easier it would be to maintain my hair in its natural state, compared to when it’s relaxed. For some, it may take more effort and time to manage their natural hair, but for me, it makes things so much easier. I spend, on average, about 5 minutes doing my hair in the mornings now. When I was relaxed, I’d spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour trying to do something with my hair every morning.

Did you transition or big chop? How was that experience? I transitioned from a relaxed bob to a natural bob, trimming the relaxed ends a little more every couple months until all the relaxer had been cut off. I flat ironed the new growth close to my scalp so that it would match the portion of my hair that was straight. I also wore corn rows or twists sometimes during this transition period. After having them in for a few days, I would take the twists down and wear a twist out style for the next couple of days. 

What products are you using currently? I use Pantene Pro-V relaxed and Natural Shampoo and Conditioner. I love the way this conditioner leaves my hair feeling so soft and easy to comb through. I have also used Miss Jessie’s curly pudding in the past. I liked that product but decided it was becoming too expensive and difficult to come by. I like to be able to walk into any grocery or drug store and find what I need. A lot of Miss Jessie’s products are only available online.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about being natural? The best thing about being natural to me is the freedom. I am not at the mercy of any hairstylist and there are no particular products I absolutely have to have for my hair to look its best. I just wake up, shower, shampoo once and condition, then let it air dry. Whichever way the wind blows is what I’ll be rocking for the day. I still clip my own ends and like to experiment with color.

What are your thoughts about this natural hair trend? Do you feel as though it’s a trend? Unfortunately I do feel like it is a trend. Like many other trends, it is popular and cool to jump on the bandwagon right now. Something will eventually take its place on the ‘new trends’ shelf and then only true naturalistas will remain.

Any suggestions/tips for other thinking about this natural journey? My suggestion to those thinking of taking the leap is to ask yourself why you are considering it. Don’t let people around you influence the way you feel about yourself and/or your hair. Our hair makes us unique and you should embrace that part of yourself and own it. 


Thanks Ebony for sharing your story!

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