I often kick myself for not writing about my natural hair years ago, every day I wake up and see more and more women deciding to not risk their physical health and mentally empower themselves by going natural. I have only had a relaxer in my hair exactly one time (and my mother made me do it) in the 8th grade. That decision was not made on the fly, I went to a hair dresser who simply had no idea how much heat it took to straighten my hair, leaving it burned and brittle. My very long hair had to be chopped to ear length and because we had no idea what to do with it that short my mother made the decision to relax my hair.
That was many a moon ago, and while the physical damage has long since healed I still remember the day I had to cut off most of my hair. This is called the “big chop” in the natural world…and it hurts.
Over the years I became weary of hair dressers and started dealing with my own hair. I did not have all of the support you newly natural women have, I had to learn the hard way who and what can touch my hair. I should have blogged about the time I went to the hair dresser and she had no idea how to do natural hair, or about how I found the people who could do my hair…but I did not.
I have come across some very toxic people while looking through a lot of the hair forums; hair bullies trying to make people feel bad for almost everything. Some women are down right ganster with it and have learned how to make a name for themselves…a bad name.
Some woman will attack your race (“mixed women don’t count as being natural”). what you use in your hair (“if you aren’t making your own products using natural items, you aren’t natural”), and will even go as far as attacking your texture (“if you are a 4c, your hair won’t look good”).
No matter what you do in life there will always be someone whispering in the wind about how you aren’t doing it “right”. My hair is currently straight and I am sure someone will say I am no longer natural or that I hate my hair. When I want to dye my hair while its straight, I put a clip in on my hair to blend with my hair. It keeps my hair healthy but folks would say it isn’t natural.
I do not have the time, patience or energy to make my hair products myself and what I use works for my hair…but I have only recently started to care about each item I put in my hair. In the past if my hair was damaged I would just cut the ends…my hair grows fast. I am now trying preventive hair care to see how long my hair can get. I do not have extra time on my hands. Writing, taking care of a newborn, raising a preteen, and taking care of my clients takes away any extra time I have.
So if you come across a bully, just know this is the internet. Things are larger online than they really are. What works for you may not work for others and everyone is different.
The best way to deal with a bully is to ignore them…that takes away their power. Folks who try to bring you down typically have something lacking in their life and you have what they lack.
I have to go, the little guy needs me. Next natural hair post will focus on who I turn to for ideas.
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Originally posted. February 11, 2013