I’m all for women wearing their hair in the way that makes them feel their most beautiful and confident (well, at least in theory, tacky lace fronts and shellacked hair excluded). And as the internecine
conversation about natural v. chemically processed hair continues, I think India Arie’s song “I Am Not My Hair,” is more relevant than ever.
However, in my own hair journey, and as I read about other women’s hair stories, I am convinced that every Black woman should go natural at least once in her adult life. Here’s why:
Caring for Natural Hair Makes You Focus on Yourself More.
In our hectic lives, between juggling professional, familial and other obligations, often the first thing that falls off of our to-do list is making time for ourselves. Taking care of natural hair often requires setting aside time to properly maintain our tresses, and an added benefit is that it really is time that we spend looking inward and being nurturing and loving to ourselves.
Learning About Natural Haircare Teaches Us So Much About Other Aspects of Our Health.
I’m sure that many women would agree that in learning about caring for natural hair, they’ve gained knowledge about healthy living – eating clean organic foods, avoiding certain chemical ingredients, getting proper rest and exercise, drinking LOTS more water. I never realized just how important eating sulfur rich foods help, not just my hair, but my overall physical well-being. The same goes for minerals such as silica.
Caring for Natural Hair Expands Our Notions of What is Beautiful.
Whether you spent a year or more transitioning, or did the “big chop,” moving into uncharted waters with your hair can be uncomfortable and even scary. The good news is that growth and evolution occurs outside of our comfort zone. Growing hair out from a “TWA” can present challenges, especially if we tended to “hide” behind our hair in the past, it can feel naked and vulnerable. Coaxing out our true texture, experimenting with different makeup choices and accessorizing with earrings and other embellishments that we normally wouldn’t wear as we embrace our new and changing looks and style possibilities can be life-affirming.
Most Women Need to Learn What Their Natural Hair is Even Capable Of Achieving.
Since we were young girls, too many of us have been indoctrinated to believe that our hair is something to be conquered. Even the slightest little kink of new growth would have many of us running out to slap some relaxer in our hair. Well that mentality had us killing our hair, leaving it ravaged and over-processed. Going natural forces us to confront our own texture, and remarkably, many women find that their hair is not nearly as unmanageable as they believed it was, and the majority find that their hair can grow longer than they even realized it could. The psychic benefits of this is tremendous because it’s almost impossible to grown healthy hair if you have such negative self-talk about your hair in the first place.