Accepting Your Hair Texture – The Nappiness Guide To Happiness

I have been on a natural hair journey for about 4 years. Having relapsed about twice, I have now been natural for over a year. Meaning no perms, texturizers, and a big chop.

My initial venture into natural hair ended in a relaxer due to my own ignorance and insecurity. It is difficult to gather courage to wear your hair in a way that has been vilified by the people closest to you since you can remember.

My father's side of the family is said to have 'Indian in the family'. Okay, right! My mom is said to have Indian in her family too. **insert sarcasm** With all these Indians in my family, how come I have never been to a Pow-Wow? I'm just saying.

My aunts and uncles on my dad side would fawn, literally fawn, over my sister's hair. She looked more liked them with a straighter grade of hair. I thought this was the dumbest thing an adult could do. I, on the other hand, looked like my mom with big thick curls that needed the fear of God to be put in them to behave. lol

As a child, I hated to get my hair combed. I had really long, thick hair. I, also, had a fear of the dreaded straightening comb. How damaging is it to come at a child with a searing hot iron, talking about, don't move or I'll burn you? That's some Penny fom Good Times abuse. lol. And I hated it.

Then came the perm at around age 13. Whole other story.

So natural felt good. Except for my family, who daily told me I needed to perm my hair. There were jokes and ridicule. Finally, my brother, who wears locks by the way, told me my hair made me look old. I felt so bad, I relaxed my hair again.

Then I moved away. Without the daily put downs, I found the courage to go natural and have never looked back.

One day while waiting on the train, a black girl looked at me and said, "You have really nice hair. Is it natural?" So I said "Thank you", feeling good about my natural choice, "it's natural." The next thing she said made me sad again. "Man, you are so lucky."

Lucky? That word brought me back to my child hood and my Indian hair having relatives fawning over hair texture like it gave you superpowers or something.

So I am including a Nappiness Guide for all of you texturally challenged folk looking for the courage to go natural.

  1. Expectations – Don't expect Tracee Ellis Ross' hair, if you don't have Tracee Ellis Ross' genes. Be happy to be nappy.
  2. Learn to love your kinks – Stop calling it curly-kinky or curly-afro. That's just a way to distance yourself from your hair's Africanness. Put an 'Indian Hurr' twist to it.
  3. End of an era- You cannot use the same kind of shampoos, conditioners on natural hair that you have used on relaxed hair. They are incompatible. I like Miss Jessie's products and natural oil concoctions I make myself.
  4. Have fun. Try different styles, accesories, and scarves.
  5. Find online communities and blogs that support the natural hair thing. It's not so hard. You are on one now.
  6. Share your hair stories. There is healing in sharing so drop me a comment.

I love my hair because it is my God given gift. I wanted to add a picture but the flash put gold lights in my hair and you could not see it clearly. Oh well.

3 thoughts on “Accepting Your Hair Texture – The Nappiness Guide To Happiness

  1. Taula, I am so sorry that your family was not as accepting of your natural journey. When I first did the big chop over 2 years my husband had more hair than I did (and he wears a bald fade). I went from wearing a weave to NO hair. Whew! Talk about a shock for my husband. My family was very accepting of my decision most of them are natural (even though they still press their hair). I did not enjoy my nappy hair until the start of my second year. At that point I had a really nice size afro plus all of the hair dye that I was using finally wore off and I was left with brown hair with some red highlights which I used to hate growing up (which is why I would always dye my hair black).
    My hair ranges from a super nappy to loose naps. Most of the people that have styled my hair have often commented on how fine of a texture it is. I did not understand what they meant until I went completely natural and did not have the perms to mask my hair texture.
    Like you I was told that I looked old when my hair was really short but, I am soooooo glad that I stuck with it because I get tremendous joy out of touching my hair and not running from the rain, or shying away from exercise activities.
    Natural life is good I have but one regret and that is that I did not do this earlier. I am so glad to have met another sister that enjoys her natural hair it means (at least IMO) that you are more excepting of who you are. That you are more confident in who you are and not afraid to move outside of the norm. Congrats!

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  2. Why Thank you , Kristin.
     
    One of the hidden benefits that I discovered was the rain/exercise thing. Not to mention swimming. I LOVE the freedom. Plus I am a lot growner than when I first started and really don’t give a flying fart what anyone thinks of my hair. That said, I get way more compliments now. Go figure.

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  3. Why Thank you , Kristin.
     
    One of the hidden benefits that I discovered was the rain/exercise thing. Not to mention swimming. I LOVE the freedom. Plus I am a lot growner than when I first started and really don’t give a flying fart what anyone thinks of my hair. That said, I get way more compliments now. Go figure.

    Like

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