I just finished reading an outstanding Huffington Post article by Janell Ross http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/04/black-hair-natural-relaxed-_n_918200.html). Ms. Ross’s article, “Natural or Relaxed, For Black Women, Hair is Not a Settled Matter”, is well-written and full of information.
I wanted to share the article with you all for several reasons. First, the article suggests that something is definitely afoot when it comes to more and more women opting out of chemical straighteners and diving into the world of natural hair. Each of us probably knows someone who has either Big Chopped or is transitioning to natural hair. But, I didn’t realize that chemical relaxer sales have declined by 12% in the last two years! Did you know that?
Second, I love the fact that the article delves into the social stigma associated with natural hair. In fact, the article opens with a church woman questioning why so many of the young women at her church were wearing their natural hair to church. That made me laugh out loud because one of the places where I heard that my dreadlocks were inappropriate was in church. I am grateful that as a Christian I happen to be personally familiar with the Bible and could quickly see that that was someone’s personal opinion NOT The Gospel. Amen to reading scripture and seeking holistic insight (i.e., don’t just read one scripture of out context). I also recall my older family members being astonished when I first Big Chopped over a decade ago. My Mom told me the other day that when she first saw my TWA she said, “That nut went off and cut off all of her hair”. HAHA!! My mother is precious and you have to hear her soft Southern accent to feel the full impact of her statement. The funny thing is that my Mother went natural a few years ago and is toying with it again now. Hey,she’ll tell you that relaxer-thinned hair is not her look of choice.
Third, the article made me reflect on the impending glances, comments and murmurs I may encounter once I go back to school with my own TWA. People identify me as the tall black woman with dreadlocks. Well, that is going to change. I am so excited about learning more about my hair. The first time I wore a TWA I grew it out and kept it in double-stranded twists, too afraid to unbound my hair. Now, I want to ROCK a natural in its many shapes and styles. I am ready to confront my own notion of beauty, femininity and style. I am ready to explore.
Finally, I had never heard of Uncle Funky’s Daughter (http://www.unclefunkysdaughter.com). The name alone makes me adore this natural hair care company already. I will have to try out the products on the next phase of my journey.