Simply put, I want to tell you all how transitioning my hair to it’s most natural state helped me remove and break barriers that I had been trying to get a hold of for years but I just couldn’t make any headway.
Let me start by explaining what transitioning really means in case this is a new term. A lot of women with curly, kinky hair go through a process of relaxation to get soft straight manageable hair. This is called a relaxer, or most comedically known as ‘Creamy Crack’. Less time doing your hair, no one makes fun of you in school, and now you fit the beauty standard set by society. But, what does this do to some people? Or more pointedly, what did it do to me?
I got to a point where if I didn’t have hair extensions or relaxers – I didn’t know what to do with myself. It became my costume. I even had ridiculous thoughts like if I didn’t look on point, everyone was going to talk about me and I was gonna be miserable as a result. You know why? As a kid some really close friends did exactly this. So at 14, I established a learned behavior about how I presented myself to the world.
I took these behaviors with me in my professional carrier. Always hiding this big secret. One time I was told I looked like Beyoncé. I laughed so hard out loud because I thought it was the most ridiculous thing. Inside, I said “hells yes”. The world was sending confirmation that I looked like a package. Why did I need that validation from people that don’t know my heart? Or my story? I had no idea. I just knew for a long time that I wanted to be pretty. And pretty looked like everyone else, to me.
Fast forward to a new job. Where now my look was bringing me attention but not how I wanted it. You know, look beautiful but still be a wallflower. You don’t want anyone to say anything to you about it but just to see it is enough. That’s not how it was going. I had a male coworker who liked men so he didn’t give a damn about me in that sense, but he always made comments about my look. He gave his approval and disapproval whenever his mouth felt the urge. Next to him, was an older white woman who also felt the need to take this route.
By now, maybe even a little before them – I was starting to reject chemically processing my hair because I became a mother and didn’t want those chemicals in my body, let alone my child’s during an already high risk preganancy. I danced with the idea of what would happen if I stopped paying $$$$$$ (yes, a lot) for these things I’ve begun to associate with as improving my look?
I blew people’s minds when I walked in one morning with my natural hair. Some didn’t care, some thought it was awesome and the two from above couldn’t not say anything:
“ I have a black friend, she has a hairstylist. Would you like their number?”
“Why’d you do that to your hair?”
Almost crushed at this point. But still standing.
I went home and made a video saying I will not conform to someone else’s standards.
Being on this journey, has built me up from the inside. I feel good about me. Finally, it’s not because I was trying to look like or be someone else. I started paying attention to myself. Discovering that my hair should be cared for with love, natural products and it will flourish. All of that has transitioned into the way I live life, the way I raise my child, how I support my husband and my family.
I am thankful for being grounded in the best way that I know how and it being from a place of complete submission and authenticity to my truest self. This abundance I’ve been searching for could only have come from me finding my own way and not trying to blaze someone else’s trail. Going on a loc journey was everything I imagined and more. Even on my worst hair days, I still feel beautiful because there is so much more to me than I ever could have imagined.
Be inspired to be your whole self.