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All my life I've had a crown of amazing hair! I know most natural hair quests begin with horrific relaxer stories, one too many dragons to slay, the burns, thinning hair, an incapacity to retain length, the story goes on. However, my decision to go natural was not based on any of those things, it was solely based on aesthetics. I had length with relaxers, yet I'm not the Rapunzel type, it was the height I yearned for--I freaking love big hair!
The journey from silky chemically straightened hair, to free flowing natural tresses is unique for everyone. My transition began in 2008, and I forwent the infamous suitors: axed the "big chop" as I didn’t think it would be cute enough, said "hell no," to the reliable weave as it irritated my scalp and therefore was not an option. YouTube gurus became my matchmaker. I had dates with Twist outs, 3 strand twists, bantu knots, flexi rods, braids, I tried so many things in an effort to blend my many textures, it was fun. I trimmed my relaxed ends frequently and like any committed relationship, I was two years into it, I had fully transitioned. Was it an easy process? No. I didn’t love the outcome of every experimental style. However, I was comfortable with trying new products and techniques, and as a result became more knowledgeable about my hair.
Being natural is a personal journey, and I love that so many women are embracing natural hair and that it is actually becoming popular. Yet, we all know popularity can bring on a slew of unwanted critics.
Like a jealous ex investigating the likes of her new lover's mate, some natural hair women can often get caught up in shaming other women, "hair shaming" that is: researching the authenticity of how natural your hair is, Did you do the “big chop”? Do you color your hair? Do you wear weave?
Ladies, it's okay to want a certain look, and to have a few hair flings to get there. Like everything else in this world, the only thing constant is change, fashion changes, aesthetics change, and decisions change. Do what makes you feel best, even at the expense of societal shaming and #tbt pictures that you will undoubtedly regret. The point is to journey daringly.