|Go Natural or Not?
Is it a Trend? Fad? Fashion Statement? Or Conscious Choice? Many teen girls are thinking about making the transition from relaxed hair to natural hair…
Are these teen girls doing it because they see others doing it? Or are they making the decision to return to their natural hair texture on their own? Whatever the decision is, teen girls who have decided to make that transition will test their self-esteem, confidence and self-worth, ultimately measuring their inner strength against the likes of good old “Peer Pressure” and society’s perception of what beauty looks like.
|Yes, I'm Going Natural
A few weeks ago, my niece told me that she wanted to “Go Natural.” I was all smiles, yet at the same time wondering if she truly understood the decision she was making and what it would entail for her…. So you know me, I asked a few questions and this is what she said:
Q. At what age did you receive your first relaxer?
A. I don’t even remember being natural; I think I was about 6 years old???
Q. When was your last relaxer applied?
A. My Mom did it sometime in December 2012. (Mom: Former Cosmetologist)
Q. What made you decide to return to your natural hair texture?
A. I was tired of seeing my hair break off and it looking unhealthy. I also didn’t like how the early morning weather would make my hair puffy.
Q. Are you excited about your natural hair journey?
A. Yeesss. I’m excited to see the new changes in my hair and doing different styles that are healthier and satisfying than flat ironing and being unsatisfied with the results of damaged hair.
Q. What challenges do you foresee ahead of you?
A. I see the challenges occurring outside myself meaning “getting different” comments whether good or bad from my friends and peers. There may be some people who won’t like it and there may be others whom I inspire to make the switch too.
Q. What are your expectations/goals during the transitioning process?
A. I expect my hair to be much healthier, and my confidence boosted a little more.
Q. What did your parent(s) say about your decision? Do you have a good support system?
A. My Mom is supportive although she didn’t say much about my decision.
Q. What advice would you give other teen girls who are deciding to return to their natural hair texture? Why?
A. I would advise them to take some time to seriously think about it first because you want to make sure that you’ll like it and it’s something you want to do.
|Looking Forward to BEing Natural; My Natural Hair Journey Begins
After spending some time with my niece and discussing some of the social objections she may encounter throughout this process, it was very clear to me that she’d made a conscious choice based on her own understanding of what “returning to her natural hair texture” meant.
Although my niece has watched me from afar over the years, it’s apparent that she’s observed how I’ve handled both positive and negative encounters as it relates to comments being made about my own hair.
So, needless to say I was still very honest and forthright with her in sharing my joys and conflicts because I wanted her to know that as a “Beautiful Dark-skinned Woman” she too would be susceptible to some of the same ignorance in individuals who lack understanding of our hair and its texture.…
In spite of the social ills and external oppositions, she’s still confident about her decision and wants to move forward with the process of “Going Natural.” So stay tuned as we take a journey in the life of a teen that’s transitioning and transforming her mind and outlook about natural hair and what’s BEaUtiful.