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.