Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman...

After being at war with my hair for more than 40 years, I decided back in December 2007 to start the New Year by rebelling against expectations set for me by folks I know and many I'll never meet (read: society). I decided to cut off the thin, chemically processed, abused hair I had been sporting most of my life and allow myself to discover what my natural hair texture was like. It is important to note that all my life for as far back as I can remember I had been convinced that I had thin, weak hair that was destined not to grow and to break easily. Looking at my siblings (1 sister and 3 brothers) who all share my DNA though not my hair led me to wonder if I was adopted. Confirming that I was not, I was left thinking that just maybe the problem was not my hair itself but instead the damaging things I and others were continuously doing to it. Once my decision to cut it all off and start fresh was made, I found that I felt absolutely liberated by it...a feeling which only grew in intensity over the next several months.

So, on December 31st, I did what many refer to as the BIG CHOP though in my case, my hair was so unhealthy that the chop was not all that big. The next step was to become the protector of my hair which meant not allowing any harsh chemicals to come into contact with it. This included not only perms, but also shampoos, hairsprays, and heavy synthetic oils that block hair follicles and prevent the hair from breathing.

Instead, I dove into the internet and found blogs and YouTube videos that educated me about how to better care for black hair the natural way. Instead of shampoos and other harsh chemicals, I gave my hair plenty of moisture using natural products that I make myself with ingredients like olive oil, avocado, banana, and honey. I stopped using shampoos and other products containing alcohols and other drying agents as providing moisture appears to be the single most important thing we can do for our hair.

I found that it became much easier to care for my hair in addition to being a lot less expensive. After a second and significantly smaller Big Chop in April to rid myself of any ends containing residual chemicals, I found myself with a much healthier head of hair that was strong, more elastic so it doesn't easily break, and amazingly I found that in the absence of chemicals, my hair actually grows very rapidly! In this newfound land of natural hair, I have also found that I have also become significantly more creative in the art of styling my own hair, and I have a good time doing it to boot!

As I moved through the various phases of my hair journey, I wrote about my previous experiences trying to come to terms with my hair in this post, and I summed up the journey my hair and I had taken over the years in this poem which I wrote to enter into the Bloggers Delight Poetry Contest.

Now I find myself six months into this brave new world of NATURAL HAIR and these are my thoughts:

-I LOVE LOVE LOVE my natural tresses!
-I love the texture of my hair and am hard pressed to keep my hands out of it.
-I feel more me and have a self-confidence level that I've never had before...don't ask me why ;)
-I feel sexy and BEAUTIFUL in the way that only African Queens have ever been sexy & beautiful.
-I don't ever feel the need to put harsh chemicals into my hair again.

So since you guys started this journey with me, and in at least some small way it was partially inspired by the poem I wrote to enter into the Bloggers Delight 2 Write Poetry Contest, I thought I'd share a video pictorial of my HAIRSTORY to date that can show you better than I can tell you how a woman who has been convinced that she is destined never to have a strong, healthy, thick head of hair can have the hair GOD intended her to have once she stops abusing her hair with chemicals and starts loving it with the things of nature!



Bronze Trinity said...

Good luck on your natural hair journey! I'm just beginning mine and I skipped my relaxer touch-up for the first time this month so I'm 2 months natural. I don't want to do a big chop though because I used a mild relaxer so my hair still has some kinks. Your hair does look professional and no one had better say otherwise when my natural hair takes over. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Your hair is absolutely gorgeous, Tete! I, for one, LOOOOVEEEEE the picture of you on your chair with the afro! You remind me of that little girl in Crooklyn! And I am loving how you switch textures; wearing it curly one day and full out fro the next!

You are amazing!

-A certain curly headed lurker

Sharon because it had to be said! said...

@ Bronze Trinity: Thank you for stopping by and for the compliment on my corporate hair! I must admit I love my hair natural and find I do so much more with it than I did when it was chemically treated. Good luck with your transition and keep me posted!

@ A certain curly headed lurker: As you know, it was all of the amazing NATURAL curly hair on your head that started me down this road so to you a big THANK YOU is owed...consider yourself paid ;b

I agree with you about me looking like the little girl on Crooklyn in that pic, I thought the same thing and said as much when Ryan took that shot!

Catch up with you soon and of course you know your TeTe loves you and will forever plus a week!

Aunt Jackie said...

i've only had a straight perm once or twice in my life. my hair was always too fine to handle both perms and heat so i had to choose, either relax it and wear it curly or press and not a result my hair has been natural most of my life.

these days i have a weave for ease of it, once my hair got a certain length while it was natural it was taking me like 20 minutes in the shower to come thru it..

i love that fact that up under this weave is my natural glory and i can flip it when ever i like.

you and your hair are beautiful!

Mizrepresent said...

gurl you was rocking that fro...and look at that smile... you are absolutely glowing. I love fact i loved all of it...from the short short, to where you are now. My daughter went natural almost 2 years ago...and i just love it...i may try it again...i did for about 9 months then went back...who knows...cuz i'm loving the look!

CapCity said...

U know U are a BEAUTIFUL Sistah, Dear Sharon! Since meeting U, I feel your photos nevah do u justice even if u are looking fly in 'em;-)! I'm so HAPPY that U're growing more & mo' Happy wichU e'ryDAY!

I AM loving U in the corporate 'fro in the car. U are HILARIOUS Ms. Coming to America w/ your nuts, berries & fruits statement! LOL!

Lovebabz said...


I have been wearing my hair natural for over 20 years...fist just breaids, then a high-top fade...hey it was the late 80's! Then I sarted locs and wore them for 12 years. I just cut ALL my hair off about 2 weeks ago. OMG! It is liberating! I can stand in the shower and not fret about getting all those long ropes wet!

I love this short do...I feel like a million bucks!


Britton said...

This can't have effect in actual fact, that is exactly what I consider.
minneapolis catering | catering ideas for parties | abortion clinics