By Abii A. of www.bidsingraceland.com
I’ve been natural now for nearly 16 months — I big chopped in January 2010. This is my second and final time going natural. My hair is of 4b/c texture and I love it, absolutely love it! I didn’t always, but the further I get into my journey, the love just grows daily. When I style my hair, people ask me “How did you get your hair like that?” and “I didn’t know you would be able to do that with your type of hair”. Sometimes it hurts when people close to me make offensive remarks about my hair but I have to remember that in a way, in my own little social circle, I’m a bit of a revolutionary. No one, and I mean no one, wears their hair natural! And if you do, it’s because you’re mixed race and even then, a weave or a relaxer is preferable. I am just talking about my own little petite social circle, not the world so hold off on any snarky comments ;p
The point of my message is that people need to start taking responsibility for their hair. I’ve realised that a lot of black women just don’t know how to do their own hair, relaxed, natural, texturized whatever, no-one knows. Aside from the people who say they would go natural but for the “bad or “difficult” texture they would have, you also have those who say that they would go natural but they don’t know a stylist that can do their hair. Or worse, people who have gone back to relaxers because either salon maintenance got too expensive (natural tax and all) or they were convinced by the hairdresser to get a relaxer or texturizer or something.
How hard is it to do your own hair? I’ve even seen posts on this site where people have written to say that 4c texture is the most difficult. I’m not going to lie and say when I first went natural, it was a walk in the park, because it wasn’t. The first time I went natural, I wanted my hair to look like Kelis’ and when it didn’t, I succumbed the relaxer a year later in defeat. But I had false expectations of my hair. Now I’m loving the journey of learning new things about my hair. I have realized that my hair is never going to look like Kelis’ without some form of roller or twists or (God forbid!) a curly perm! lol But I’m learning what it can do naturally and with a bit of manipulation. I have to put in the time to learn my hair and time is something that is quite precious to me as I work very long hours at my job. However, I put in the time anyway.
I wish people would stop moaning about their textures or the lack of stylists or whatever and just take the time to learn their hair and take responsibility for their own hair. Once we start doing that, the love will begin to develop and I honestly think we will be happier people. God didn’t make a mistake when he made me with my hair texture. That’s not to say that people who have relaxers or texturizers are rejecting God – no way! I’m just saying that I’ve wanted to be natural for a very long time and I’m not going to let society’s or my own ignorance in respect of my hair texture stop me from achieving my natural goal. I’ve had long healthy relaxed hair and I loved it. Now I’m looking forward to living the rest of my life with long healthy natural hair. (I like long hair, sue me! haha!)
This is something that has been on my mind for a very long time and I just wanted to share it.
Thanks for the honesty, Abii! What are your thoughts ladies? If you have 4c hair, are you guilty of complaining at length (virtually or otherwise) about how difficult it is to manage? And do you think the online natural hair community encourages “kinky hair complainin’ “? (yeh, I just made that up…)
Abii is the author of Bids in Graceland