I lived a good portion of my life trying to please everyone since I was little girl. I often would change so many things about myself to be more pleasing to those around me because… I just wanted to be accepted. My hair had become one of these things I’d change. I kept it straight around family members who just didn’t understand my Natural hair journey. I kept it tucked away in corporate settings because well, corporations are afraid of kinks. I essentially boxed my hair up and only took it out to lovingly pet it when I was alone.
April 2011 I semi-big chopped. I had no real idea how to lock in moisture or get my ‘fro to “look right” so yeah, I took a few pictures and they came out cute but to go outdoors with that little afro… I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I hid my hair under wigs and straightened it for a few months.
Then, I got the courage to bring my hair out from hiding, trimming the heat damaged ends off and experimenting with various natural hair styles. Twist outs were first. I added too much product and it came out stiff. Eh, next. Flexi rod sets? Ok. The curls were beautiful but I couldn’t quite the hang of equally spacing each curl so that there were no weird flat spaces in the middle. Next.
Finally, I came upon the Bantu knot. It took me a couple tries to get it but once I got it, I was in love. With a little of shea butter/coconut oil mixture and some of Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie I was able to create beautiful curls with Bantu knots. The only problem was I was afraid to wear those beautiful curls out in a ‘fro.
What was the problem? It was a little bit of everything. I was scared others would think I looked silly or worse, my family would make fun of my “nappy” hair. I was afraid that the curls would be a little too wild for the world’s taste. And what if the curls didn’t look exactly like they did when I fluffed them in the mirror?
So, I grabbed some bobby pins and pinned the curls up on the side to create a curly Mohawk. And I rocked that style for a quite a while. It was fierce yet safe. Not wild enough for anyone to throw any negative comments my way, in my opinion.
I rocked with that for about a year. And then, after watching some beautiful twist out and Bantu knot out tutorials by the beautiful ladies of My Natural Sistas I decided to just go for it. Who cares what the world thinks? I LOVE MY HAIR. And so what if my ‘fro is wild? Isn’t that a facet of my personality anyway? Why was I giving the rest of the world (family included) the right to make me insecure about the hair growing out of my own scalp?
Thanksgiving Day 2012 I decided to rock a full out ‘fro. And I absolutely loved it. I somewhat braced myself for negative backlash from my uncultured family members but to my amazement, all I heard were positive comments. My aunt even asked me how I achieved the style and we spoke for a long time about Natural haircare.
What I realized after the day was over, was that once I decided to accept and love me, everyone else had no other choice but to accept me. I was so self-conscious for so long because I was internalizing everyone else’s preferences and opinions. But once I ventured a little further on the journey that is going Natural, I started to really see what I like, what I don’t like and what my personal preferences and styles are and I started to embrace it. I could care less who likes it or doesn’t like it.
My hair is MINE and my ‘fro is beautiful.
The great part is that the journey isn’t over. I’m still learning about myself, my hair, my style…everything. The ‘fro just recharged my batteries to keep moving forward.
La Truly is a late-blooming natural-haired Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome, and fear can cast its crown before courage, meaning fear loses out to courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change through her writing. Check out on her blog: http://www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.