Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MANE-ly Speaking

New ting deh pon di site! In English, one of the new things I said I had up my sleeves. If interested in being featured, email me. Do Enjoy =)

Who are you?
Nia W., student.

3 words you would use to describe yourself.
I’m passionate, analytical and classy.

Why did you go natural?
There are many reasons why I decided to go natural, the most prominent ones are: I wanted to know my hair, I was frustrated by the constant negativity encircling the hair God blessed me with, I needed to change my mentality and not think of my natural hair as a burden, unlike me I need my kids to grow loving and appreciating their hair and last but not least I realize this decision felt like a rite of passage in order to be the complete individual I aspire to be.

Was it difficult or easy to go natural?
It was definitely a mixture, there were very few who supported the decision and I had to face insolent comments quite often, but on the other hand the reward I felt within myself greatly out-shadowed the negative energy. So on my off days it might feel difficult but once I accepted/remembered that this is something I wanted and needed to do then it became extremely easy.

4 words to describe your mane.
My hair is glorious, kinky, fierce and free.

Tell us a little about your regimen.
Regimen: condition & detangle, wash with shampoo, deep condition, thoroughly rinse, apply leave in conditioner then style every week. My regimen alters depending on whether I’m rocking braids or if it’s out and also depending on how hectic my life is at the moment. I also try to rotate hot oil and protein treatments in my hair routine occasionally. 

What have you learned on your natural hair journey?
 I’ve learned what the extent of loving and appreciating you truly means, we walk around saying these things and just never stopped to ask ourselves specific questions that I was bombarded with.  Questions like: why wouldn’t I love my hair? Why would I think someone has better hair if my hair is healthy? Why can’t I make time for my hair? Why is it “unnatural” for black women to embrace their natural hair? Why can’t I picture myself getting married in natural hair? Why should I hide my hair texture? Why does my hair need to be flowing?  Is my worth determined by how fast, thick or long my hair grows? What’s wrong with my hair growing upwards instead of downwards? Why am I worried about what people would think of my hair? and the list goes on and on. Honestly, it’s not easy being told that you hair is unattractive, unappealing or that if you go natural you need “good hair”, meaning curly/loose hair, why isn’t my hair deemed worthy to be called magnificent, and ironically I took the heat mainly from the black community.

MANE-ly speaking.. 
Deciding to go natural has been a very positive experience for me. It taught and enforced certain characteristics I possessed, for example,  I was always a person who loved myself, but now it’s on such an untouchable level it’s amazing, if the future me had told me I could love myself even more I wouldn’t have believed it. I was placed in puzzling situations where I was coerced to confront inner conflicts I didn’t know existed within me and each time I conquered one I felt like a stronger individual. Now I’m honestly not even bothered by what the world thinks of my hair anymore because I now know the truth about it. Whenever I receive an ignorant gesture towards my hair all I feel is pity, because I can understand and relate with that person but I also know where that person could be if only they understood and related to me presently. This experience also helped me to quickly be able to weed out individuals who cross my path, mainly the men, which has been amazing, you start to realize if a guy wouldn’t be with you when you’re natural why would you want to be with him? Yet another simple question that popped up. 

Going natural also pushed for me to set healthier lifestyle goals for myself, it has made me feel like I’m just going to go all out and make all the changes I want in my life. Whether it be to have a healthier diet, better body, be more spiritual, volunteer & donate more frequently, set time aside for people who actually need my time more than me, these were all things I’ve been wanting to do, and after I jumped the hurdle of going natural it propelled me to start setting things in constant motion, to get serious and start shaping me. I know it’s just hair but surprisingly women tend to carry a lot of emotional attachments with it, so it did cause a big revolution for me and made me more driven to just always be a positive energy, and in situations where I messed up I’m immediate to correcting myself. I’m so conscious of how people feel now, I don’t  even entertain certain jokes or conversations anymore, I’m so aware of what might be offensive whether it be your skin tone, shape of your eyes, your weight, the size of your nose etc. and I try my hardest  to not discriminate against anyone’s physical features. I don’t believe everyone needs to go natural, at the end of the day it’s just hair and for most it’s a form of expression, but I will say I would coax anyone to do this for the experience, but you never know, as small as it is it just might be the thing to enlighten you.

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