“Going natural,” a common term referring to the conscious effort to rid your hair of a chemical relaxer in order to embrace your natural texture.
For years Black women have grown up in households where receiving relaxers at a young age, was and still is, a normalcy, and for some a right of passage.
Even well-known comedian CHRIS ROCK recalls the day his daughter came into the house and asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”
Prompting him to produce his well received documentary Good Hair, which opened up the eyes of women everywhere, to the dangers of sodium hydroxide, the chemical toxin used to relax hair.
A chemical so strong, ROCK demonstrates in his movie its ability to dissolve an aluminum soda can in a matter of minutes. Yet, I was leisurely putting it on my scalp every 8 weeks.
I had seen and heard enough, so I decided to educate myself on the benefits of transitioning to natural hair.
For months, sew-in weaves became my best friend while I patiently grew out my relaxer. I was consistent in cutting off 1 to 2 inches of my relaxed ends about every 2 months, until the eight month of transitioning, when most of my relaxed hair had broke off completely, leaving me with little choice, I decided to do the BIG CHOP.
I drenched my hair with leave-in-conditioner and cut off every strand of hair that did not curl. ironically, I cut away all those years of what I had been “conditioned” to believe was ‘good hair’.
Left with only 2 inches of beautiful curls, I embraced my new found teeny-weeny- afro and continued to reassure myself that I made the right decision.
Luckily, with inspiration from celebrities like CHRISETTE MICHELE, RAVEN SYMONE, and SOLANGE KNOWLES, I quickly accepted joining #TeamNatural.
And just like any natural high, I suddenly became bored, and temporarily traded in my beautiful curls for a super straight weave.
Despite all the hypocrisy comments I received for doing so, it didn’t matter, because I accomplished what I set out to do during my natural journey, and that was rid my hair of chemicals in the healthiest way possible. What I chose to do with my hair afterwards was my decision.
After all the biggest lesson I learned going natural was as women we need to realize that the hair is simply what we make of it. To some it’s a creative outlet, to others it’s a crown of glory.
Regardless of whether you decide to rock your strands natural or chemically straight, the ultimate goal for every Juicy women should be ensuring that their hair is as healthy as possible so you possess the confidence needed for life’s journey.