The decision was my own to go natural, but somehow, my hair choice seemed to be always other people’s business. It was so bad that I started to believe that dealing with critics and fault-finders was part of the journey to going natural.
Personally, when I made the decision to go natural, I was the only one who was natural at the time. My family is full of women who have relaxed hair and who rock the weaves faithfully. But that’s not for me anymore.
When I started to learn my hair and go on a healthy hair journey, I knew that going natural was the best decision for me. But even though, it was my decision, I still wanted someone to say something reassuring and positive about my decision.
Going natural was so new to me and I had no idea where to start at first, so having the support and encouragement of my family members would have been a great start to my new beginning. For me, it was a big decision to change a habit that would be a part of my life just as my relaxed hair was.
Some families give support and enlightenment to your decision to go natural, while others find a way to make your decision seem like the worse thing since sliced bread. You may have received comments and questions like:
“You are not going to get a man, a good job, or have a good reputation in life.”
“But you looked so much more beautiful before!”
“I don’t know why you doing the natural thing…you can’t do anything but wear an Afro with it”
“Your hair was so long and beautiful. You just destroyed your crown of glory…”
“Girl, you just don’t look civilized!”
“Going natural? Why you getting all political?”
“You know better than to be walking around like that.”
“Your short hair is not biblical…”
“Your hair needs to be combed because it just looks a mess!”
“I don’t see how you are going natural. I need my creamy crack.”
Comments and questions like these can give you feelings of regret and cause you to defend your decision constantly. Not to mention there seems to be an unwritten expectation of what beauty is and what beauty just can’t be.
We were programmed to believe that having straight hair is more beautiful than having curly, coily, and kinky* hair. With that said I chose to make that decision for me, but my family still had “expectations” for my hair.
Personally my defense is and will always be that I chose the decision to go natural for me. My family is still learning to support me, but they do not necessarily love my natural hair and I suppose support is all that I can ask for.
From my own experience if you are having trouble with your family and your natural hair, here are my tips to alleviate some of the issues.
Raynel Beall says
My hair journey was a struggle with my co workers.They all felt the need to put their two cents in even though I never asked them for it.
Elisa Evra says
Oh sorry sis. That’s very serious
Artra Veal says
Freak your family honey. Do you. I do what I want when it concerns me. You have to make choices for you and ones that you can live with. Your family will be alright. They’ll get over it. And if they don’t, move on. Love them from a distance honey. You can’t please your family. Don’t even try. Takes too much work. As long as you’re doing good for you, that’s what counts. It’s not like you’re robbing a bank. Then they’d really have something to complain about.
Stacie Hart says
My husband and son told me that I should go Natural and I did, I year Natural and they hate it!!! Wouldn’t go anywhere with me especially my Son…. I don’t understand
E.K. Doxey says
That’s so sad. I’m sorry to hear that. It takes great courage to go against the norm and learn to love and appreciate yourself and your natural being. Sometimes it takes others a bit longer to understand and embrace the changes that go along with it. Don’t give up; you may not realize it but you are showing your strength and representing a powerful role model for others. Stay strong!
E.K. Doxey says
I can definitely relate to this. I decided to go natural and stopped relaxing almost 4 years ago; since then, my mother has repeatedly commented negatively on my hair. She always remarks on how it is a “mess”, “looks like a bird’s nest” (which it doesn’t), and says that I need to let her get her hands in it to “fix” it (translation: relax it). Needless to say, it gets very tiring after a while. I, as well as my fiancé and children, am very happy with my decision to be natural. My 14 year old daughter embraces her natural hair and initiates conversations at school about it with her friends. It is a truly beautiful and empowering thing. I just wish many people in the older generations could and would be more accepting.
Elise Cromwell says
Had the struggle with my fam when I chopped all of it off 4 years ago. Then some of my family followed behind me but now I have the struggle with my dad because I chopped the sides and back off. I think my dad just likes for my hair to be done but idc because I love my hair.
I relate. My grandmas only like the Afro. I don’t even listen to them anymore lol. I can’t say “Forget you, grandma!” That would be wrong lol.
Falisha Kinsey says
I have been natural for 9 years .
If someone doesn’t like my hair. Idc, look at someone else. So especially my family, I do me with or without them in mind.