I feel like this topic is long over due for me to write about. I know I’ve been away for a while, but there’s a LOT of things going on right now. My laptop is down for the moment, I’ve been redesigning the blog, I had a mental block, and life has just been happening. This specific topic has been on my mind for sometime now, but I didn’t know how to get it out. Deciding to stop chemically processing your hair is a simple decision for some, and a huge step for others. There will be countless obstacles that will arise, especially in the “honeymoon phase” of your newly natural hair. In my next few posts, I’m planning to touch on a few different things that I feel are important to remember, not only in the beginning, but throughout the years you’re chemical free.
When I decided to stop chemically straightening my hair it felt like it was a bigger deal for other people, than it was for me. Some loved it, some were interested, some were indifferent, some had jokes, some hated it and felt it was the worst decision I could’ve ever made in life! Initially, the negativity REALLY bothered me; mostly because it came from some of my own family members. I felt as if my family should’ve been the most supportive, and understanding, but it wasn’t that way. Today, unless it’s said while I’m out the room ^_^” I feel like all of the people in my life are very accepting, understanding, and supportive of decision to skip the chemicals. Ironically, a few of the people who had negative feelings about my hair have now decided to forego chemically straightening themselves!
- So, why did you decide to go natural?
- What initially made you even consider to not put chemicals in your hair to straighten it?
- How did you feel then, how do you feel now?
- Why’s it important for you to stick with your choice?
These are important questions to ask and to have answers for; answers for yourself that is.
Having answers for questions like these really helped me when I encountered roadblocks. The roadblocks could be anything that makes you think twice or question your decision. It could be anything that changes your mind, makes you feel bad, convinces you to return to chemical straightening, etc. Reminding myself of these answers helped to keep me on the path of my new commitment.
- Friends/family not being supportive of your choice
- Strangers/co-workers making comments
- Someone trying to talk you out of your decision
- A partner threatening to break up with you
- People suggesting that you straighten your hair all the time
- Having your hair compared to anything other than hair & not in a good way
- Being mistaken for a male when you’re female
- Feeling self conscious after doing the big chop
- Having a hard time learning to care for/style your hair
- Your hair isn’t growing as fast as you’d like
- Being over whelmed by the amount of products that are available
Bumps in the road are countless, do, and will happen, but its how you get over, around, or work with them that’s important!
It’s really helpful for me, even today, to remember what my answers are to the above questions. I don’t ever give a serious thought to chemically straightening my hair. Some comments or reactions do bother me from time to time though. My answers honestly help to keep me encouraged, confident, and motivated!
Why did I decide to go natural? The decision was easy solely, because my reasoning to chemically straighten my hair was a simple one. In high school I didn’t get relaxers, but I was going to a salon once a week. When I went away to college I had no clue how to do my natural hair. It hurt to comb, was tangled after washing, was dehydrated; just a mess. Relaxing was easier to me, but destructive on my hair. Without the relaxer my hair was noticeably healthier, longer, and stronger. My preference for healthier hair (in the long run) was greater than my desire for easier (at the time) maintenance.
What initially made you even consider to not put chemicals in your hair to straighten it? The whole idea of “natural hair” was foreign to me at the time. I just knew that at the end of the day I wanted healthy hair and relaxers weren’t doing that for me. I’d rather have 2 inches of the healthiest, strongest hair there is, than to have waist length hair that’s damaged, thinning, and overall unhealthy.
How did you feel then, how do you feel now? It soon changed, but initially I felt alone because I didn’t have anyone who could help me. Being away from home, I didn’t know anyone who was also chemical free and who I felt could relate. I also felt very defensive, because of some things people would say about my hair. Now, I feel very secure in my decision, and welcome questions/opinions from others. I’ve met a ton of people who share similar experiences or even just an interest with me. Some of these people are complete total strangers who will strike up a conversation simply, because they recognize that I have natural hair, and that’s comforting in a way.
Why’s it important for you to stick with your choice? I’ll use a quote that I love ^_^ If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. My hair is me, it’s a part of me, always has, and always will be. The way my hair grows out of my scalp is just fine with me, I don’t see anything negative about it, and I don’t feel like there’s a need for me to alter that. At the end of the day I have to do what makes me happy.