Looking back

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Tonight I was inspired by fellow blogger Muhala of Testimony and Truth when she asked several questions of me that required some serious thought. One of those questions was “What do you most want your readers to take away from your blog?” I love this question because when I first started this blog about my natural hair journey, it was more for me to chronicle my journey. As time went on I quickly realized that I didn’t want this blog to be just about me, I want this blog to be for everyone. I want it to speak to those who are either considering going natural, have just started out in the natural hair journey as I have, have been in the journey for quite some time, or for those who simply want to know more about African American hair.

After thinking about this question and responding to it, I went to the very first post I made in my blog and continued to read until I was caught up to today. All I can say is WOW! What a journey it has been so far, and it’s far from over! I am by no means an expert in hair care nor have I ever claimed to be. I never truly got serious about natural hair care until my daughter’s hair came out from the kiddie relaxers I gave them. When that happened I was on a mission to repair the damage I had done. I was on a mission to get their hair and scalp back to a healthy state, the way it was before I foolishly put chemicals in it. From that time on natural hair care is all I think about. My entire mindset and outlook regarding natural hair care changed dramatically. I’m constantly asking questions of my fellow naturalistas, reading everything that catches my eye, and trying new techniques or homemade natural concoctions.

I have no problem stopping a naturalista, a complete stranger, on the street, at the grocery store, in the mall, wherever I am and asking “What do you use in your hair? Who did your braids, they’re beautiful!” I’m a people person and I’m on a mission, so when I want to know something I’ll ask. My husband at times looks at me in awe or simply shakes his head at how bold I am when it comes to asking complete strangers about their hair. How else am I going to learn? 😉

What I love the most about my natural hair journey are the smiles, the head nods, the “Right on sista’s” I get from my fellow natrualista’s when I see them out in public. Again these women are strangers to me, we don’t know each other from Eve, and yet they took the time to acknowledge me when I had my TWA, and my now much bigger Afro in such a positive and encouraging way. Some have even stopped me to tell me how nice my hair looked and asked me what I used in it to get the curls I had when it was a TWA. Those experiences have been extremely heartwarming, and it gives me the extra boost of confidence I need to keep going, to keep embracing, to keep loving my natural hair. To be able to bond with complete strangers, men and women alike, through our natural hair is a beautiful thing.

Speaking of men: My brothas, whether if they have dreads, locs, Afros or not, the support and encouragement I’ve received from them has been awesome as well. There are more brothers out there than we think who support black women being natural or going natural, and I think that’s beyond beautiful. We need more of them and we need more of their encouragement. We need more fathers teaching their daughters that their naturally kinky, curly hair is BEAUTIFUL and nothing to be ashamed of. Daughters listen to their fathers, they get their first lessons in self worth and beauty from them. My husband constantly compliments our two girls about their hair. He’s in essence tag teaming with me, partnering with me in a united front to help our girls love their hair in it’s natural form, and I love him all the more for it.

Looking back I’m proud of myself. Proud that I didn’t give up even when I wasn’t feeling pretty and having bad hair days, proud that I didn’t listen to the discouraging comments or disapproving looks. I’m proud that my quest for information and education about my hair never waned. I had stated in my first post that I wanted to be an example for my girls. I told them from the very beginning that we’re in this natural hair journey together and I’ve stuck to that. I promise to continue to stick to that. My natural hair journey is not just about me. It’s about my girls, it’s about my fellow naturalista’s, it’s about anyone out there that need help, encouragement, or a “Right on sista.”

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2 responses »

  1. Oh, I love this. I just do. I love that you are looking back and liking what you’ve discovered and loving your journey — even if the journey doesn’t belong to just you alone. 🙂 I love all the support you’ve gotten and your bold way of going up to strangers and inquiring so that you can broaden your own knowledge. And that encourages THEM too, because when we naturalistas are noticed, wow. It makes our day.

    Yesterday I had breakfast with a friend who had her hair layered like I used to wear mine, and I was looonging and missing my old style! I loved it! But it was so damaging to my hair. Now, I am treating my hair like a child who needs nurtured, and I take good care of her (in fact I need to wash her right now!). But blogs like yours inspire me and make me proud to be a naturalista. I don’t want to be judgmental about it; I know not everybody is here or even needs to be, maybe. But I know I’m here, and you’re here, and it feels soooo good NOT to be alone. I feel like we can take back our true black beauty. Let’s start a revolution. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much! You are the sweetest of the sweet Muhala! I too still love some of the old styles I had. I wore my hair very short for many, many years and I miss that. I miss the different short styles I used to wear my hair in, but like you said what I did to it was so damaging. Between the relaxers and the constant use of curling irons I was frying my hair (and scalp) constantly and not deep conditioning it like I should either.

    I also don’t want to nor do I mean to be judgmental about it either. Going Natural takes true commitment and courage and it’s not for everyone. I have many friends who say they just can’t do it and I don’t judge them in the least bit because I know it’s not for everyone.

    As far as approaching strangers, I’m just glad that so far everyone I’ve approached have been very kind to me and took a few minutes of their time to talk hair care with me! 🙂 I try to put them at ease right away and let them know that I mean no harm and I’m not some weird freak, LOL!!! It’s women like you who unselfishly lend their support and encouraging words that keep me going, so thank you Muhala. 🙂

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