Road to Natural Entry #4 Crystal

If someone would have told me years ago, that I would go natural at age 23, I clearly would have laughed in their face. I would have thought, "Yeah right. I'm not about to cut off my long beautiful "relaxed" tresses and settle with short, nappy hair."

As I got in my early 20's, I became slightly interested in natural hair. I never thought that I would actually go through that process, but I was merely interested in the concept. While at my boyfriend's family's cookout in 2005, I met a woman who was natural. She told me how much she loved being natural but to make sure that if I ever decided to do it, I better be absolutely "positive" that I really wanted to do it.. She ended with, "If your not positive about, you may go through depression after cutting your hair off." That scared me because I knew how indecisive I was about making such huge decisions. How would I even know that natural hair would look right on me? What if my hair was super nappy and it made me look unattractive? So for the time being, I just put the thought of going natural in the back of my mind and continued to enjoy shaking my long, flowing hair.

Over the course of the next year, I continued to think about it but I still could not get serious about cutting my hair. Then in mid 2006, my sister asked me, "Have you ever thought about going natural?" Of course I responded, "Yes, I sure have!!!" I was so excited and could not believe that my sister was also considering going natural. She had already been browsing Nappturality and Fotki so she showed me some of the profiles of beautiful natural women she had come across. So that day, we agreed that we would go through our hair journeys together. It had already been several months since my sister had her relaxer but I decided that the last perm I got in July 06 would be my last perm ever.

I had previously been relaxing my hair every 4 months so my hair had gotten very thick and long, which made it easier to transition. I started wearing roller sets and getting Dominican blow-outs and nobody could even tell that I was transitioning. So finally on February 7, 2007, I worked up the nerve to do my big chop. I was talking to one of my classmates who was natural and was telling her that I could not stand the two different textures anymore. She encouraged me to go ahead and find a salon to get my hair cut. So I went home preparing to find an African American salon in the area but instead, I just stared at my hair in the mirror trying to figure out how I was going to look with short hair. I washed my hair to see how much new growth I had and at that moment, I picked up the scissors and began to cut out all my relaxed hair. After I was finished, I just stared at myself in the mirror again and I had the cutest little fro ever.

Ever since that day, I have not turned back at all. I have learned so much about my hair, especially its versatility. Fortunately, I have not had to experience any negativity or ignorance about my hair and I have had so much support from family and friends. Almost everywhere I go, my hair stands out and I have women AND men complimenting me or asking me questions about my hair. I love giving other African American women advice and encouragement about going natural because I know how much I needed it at one point. So many of us Black women think it is scary to cut our hair and go natural but it is ONLY hair and hair does NOT make you who you are.
Of course, there are struggles and bad hair days every once in a while but that is no different than having a relaxer. So to all the Black women out there who are interested in going through this journey, just be strong and do it!! This may seem like one of the biggest decisions of your life but it is not and please do not let it consume you to that extent. This is not a life or death decision. Look at it as a fun and exciting journey that will more than likely have a positive impact on your life. And remember…HAIR DOES GROW!!!!! If you change your mind, you can always go back to relaxers, but I'm sure once you do it, you will never think about a relaxer again!!! So just be strong and do it!!!!

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3 Responses:

thanks for sharing your story. my story is similar to yours, but my motivation was more driven by being ready to make some changes in my life. i always had longer hair, and it was amazing how liberating i felt when getting my relaxer cut out. india arie really summed it off with her song "i am not my hair".

i'm glad i stumbled across this blog today.

I really love the way it looks slicked back with the puff. Such a glamorous look especially when it grows out. You look fabulous!

I just love her hair! It looks so healthy and unique. I've seen the style with the slick front and fro puff, what did she use to hold her hair?

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