My Natural Hair Experience: Men's Reactions and Other Things I Went Through.
It's been almost two years since I went natural. More and more women are going natural or considering it. I did the BIG CHOP and its been such a revelatory experience as I got to see most people's reaction to a woman going back to hair she was born with.
I had transitioned for about a year and gave my head to Twist n Locs salon to do the deed one weekend. I made twists which I twisted out on Monday for work.
People's reactions were mixed! I am talking about Ghanaians who have seen their mothers and sisters in kinky and coily hair all these years. Some expressed disbelief,
“You cut your hair!”
Some got confused as to what my hair was
" what do you call this hairstyle?" asked one male colleague of mine.
" Err...African hair?”
Some women looked at my head in fascination and expressed desire to cut theirs.
“I have always wanted to cut my hair and go natural but I am afraid. My natural hair is too hard.” This was a similar statement i heard from most of them. The difficulty of managing their kinky hair and the childhood memories of painful combing and braiding.
It was such a rollercoaster of emotions which run through the whole office.
The Men Found It Attractive!
One of my fears before deciding to go natural was what a man i would come to meet would think of it. I don’t know why i had that thought. Was it because most Ghanaian men have become used to seeing their women in relaxed hair and any change might be met with resistance? What kind of men like natural-haired women also? The creatives? All these questions plagued me. But then guess what? When i went natural, every guy i met was fascinated by my new look. They wanted to touch it and seemed mesmerised by it. Some of them said they were only attracted to women in natural hair. Who would have thunk it!
Empowerment, Confidence Boost
Emotionally i felt confidently empowered and i wasn’t even perturbed by the stubbornness of the texture of my coily. I don't really know how this article came about on how natural hair women have low self-esteem. They should come and see how we rock it! I have read how African-American women had more of psychological blocks to wearing their hair natural via Curly Nikki’s book 'Better Than Hair'. An Aunt of mine who has been a hair stylist in New Jersey for years; told me how they hated being called nappy some few years ago. Yet today, they rock it like nothing else. I think back to my childhood and just remember the difficulty my Mom had in managing my hair. Thats why she had it relaxed after several painful combing and braiding sessions. According to my Mom, some years back, women in natural hair were seen to be poor because it was assumed that they did not have enough money to buy hair relaxers. But today, its a trend in Ghana and other African countries where women are shorning off their relaxed hair and going back to their roots of kinky hair.
Huge Savings in Hair Maintenance
I have saved huge in the cost of hair maintenance since i went natural. During my relaxed years, I would buy hair relaxers and have my hair shampooed and blow-dried every week. I decided to make my own natural hair products to keep down the costs of buying natural hair products which of late are rising because of the hair revolution. I made my own shampoo, hair lotion using all natural products from coconut oil, olive oil to castor oil.
I made my own whipped sheabutter body Cream today. I have been using raw shea for some time now (8 years or so) and it's a struggle sometimes to use due to its not too smooth texture. So I went to a natural products store grabbed an essential oil and went home to whip some goodness. This is going to last me for the next six months! Sheabutter is in abundance in Ghana, let's move away from processed skin creams and what nots to our homegrown organics. How I Made it 2 knobs of Shea butter broken up 3 tbsp spoonfuls of coconut oil 15 drops of lavender essential oil Tiny bit of olive oil Whisk I broke up the sheabutter and added the rest of the ingredients and whisked my life away. Took about 10 minutes. I now had this beautiful creamy soft heavenly goodness! I kept it in the fridge to harden just a bit. Dumsor could worry my handiwork. Looking forward to more beautiful moisturised skin. Want some? #diy#sheabutter #organics #skinproducts #skincare #naturalproducts #homemade #bodyworks
The World Compliments You for You.
The compliments i have received from strangers on my hair has been humbling. I was crossing a street somewhere in Manhattan when an Afro-American woman coming from the opposite direction said in passing, ‘i love your hair!’
‘Love yours too!’ as i looked up and saw her Bantu knots.
Afro-American men greeted me as i walked up and about in my Twist out . ‘Have a good morning, Sista!’
I was blushing everywhere! Being me as me since i was born made me feel naturally comfortable. I wasn't worried about new growth and styling my hair.
I have never regretted one moment of going back to my natural hair state. It has even given me opportunities to model for some brands. Thanks to my kinks and coils.
This after all is how God made me. Its how I was born why be somebody else?
Why not share your experience on going back to your natural hair in the comments below? Had any challenges in doing so? Are you afraid of doing so?