Why Did YOU Go Natural?

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by Weusi

First … I know you’re here to get info about your hair. So, I thank you for all the comments and star rating thingys on the beard post (and all the others post too). I know that I don’t comment much, but Shelli’s so on top of responding to comments that I think my responses would be overkill. But, for real, … I do read the comments and I THANK YOU all for even reading the posts!

OK … this is a quickie … kinda like a video Daily Double on Jeopardy!

I know many of you have already seen this video posted by the New York Times. I found it over the weekend via a Huffington Post tweet … it is a 9 minute documentary segment on natural hair, Transition by Zina Saro-Wiwa. Watch it here if you haven’t seen it yet.

It’s loaded with fuel for conversation regarding social, political, race, gender, health, history, self-image, community and other topics. All things that I LOVE to share, challenge, exchange ideas and dialogue about. BUT … who am I to pose questions or challenge women about their thought processes around their hair? To me, it makes more sense for you, the women/supporters of Hairscapades, to speak your mind.

So … here are two surveys so that you can tell the world why you went/are natural …

Feel free to comment and speak to the hundreds of thousands of readers that I’m sure will see this on not only Hairscapades, but also from hundreds/thousands of other sites that re-blogs this! (If you do re-blog this survey … please let Shelli know. I hope to collect all the data and re-distribute it back to the public).

I look forward to reading the feedback …

And ohhhh … you might also want to peep the slide show of The Coiffure Project by Glenford Nunez at the end of the Huffington Post article.

I’m not gonna say much about it … EXCEPT that these are some beautiful pics, BUT all but one are of “mass media safe” subjects. That’s all.

SHiNE

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17 responses »

  1. I watched the documentary and went “mmmh”. I am 18 months natural, and I did not see my decision as a socio-political statement. I live in a majority black country, and never considered myself as part of the oppressed because of my race. True, because my parents were immigrants to this country (Bahamas), Haitians here are not exactly treated with great respect, but I see no connection with that and me being natural. I am natural because I wanted to take care of myself better, and eliminating harsh chemicals was part of that challenge.

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  2. I am natural simply because I wanted to stop relaxing. End of story. Sidenote: I tend to say ” I am natural” instead of “I went natural” because “I went” to a relaxer, but only if I am talking to someone who is being condescending of natural hair.  I didn’t make some calculated decision or do it under duress. I only relaxed my hair once a season, then as I grew older and my hair got thinner, only twice a year. Then I cut my hair short ala Halle Berry for the summer and decided not to relax anymore.
    I know that I may get some flack for this, but I think some people outside of the natural hair community think we are embarking on some socio-political agenda when they see what may be deemed by them as unkempt, unruly, comb and brush be damned hairstyles. Those outside looking in cannot imagine why some of us naturals would walk around looking like whodunit and why, so they say it must be a socio-political, fight the power, artistic expression of a starving artist stance. However, that only goes for certain people. If your hair is “nice” and behaves well, then they aren’t talking about you. Everyone embraced Chilli, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Alicia Keys (post braids) while Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill and Viola Davis got the side-eye.  Please remember this is only my humble opinion.

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  3. The only TRUE reason I went natural was simple. I stopped using a chemical relaxer because it was eating/damaging my hair, not because it was a socio-political statement. I shared my hairstory here on Hairscapades as well as on my blog.

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  4. I mean, most of you know my reason … it was easier to maintain with my exercise regimen. But, I kind of suspected that the longer, stronger and/or healthier hair would receive the most votes as that’s the reason that always seems to prompt people to ask me about going/being natural. I also think that’s why so many are looking for advice on hair care, so that they can get the best out of their hair. But, I know that the other reasons may motivate some!! So, whatever path each of us took to get here … here we are:)!!

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  5. In 2000, I was pregnant and I decide to stop relaxing during my pregnancy. Then I never went back. The reason why I stay natural continue to grow over the years. I never experienced the growth with relaxers that I have natural. I hate the years of chemical burns and Marcel burns. I hated paying someone’s car payment to wash my hair and straighten it, only to make me waste and wait for hours in a salon. I did not want to put harsh chemical on my body almost every month. Now, it is a socio-political thing for me. Both my daughters have natural hair, and hope they can learn to define their beauty outside of the confines of nappy versus good hair.

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  6. I went natural so I could wear my curly hair out more. Even with a relaxer my hair would curl/wave up and I loved how it looked. I got frustrated that I couldn’t get 2nd day hair and realized that relaxing my hair was not helping the cause and decided to stop relaxing.

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  7. In 2000 I “stayed natural” as opposed to going natural and refused to add any texture altering products to my fine textured hair. I had my hair professionally twisted every 2 weeks into updos for 7 years prior to cutting my hair and it grew past bra strap length. All anyone noticed was the length once I cut it (lol). At the time of my big chop, I was going through a personal transition: new job/career, called off the engagement and booted the fiance out my house, you name it. Diagnosed with fibroids at the same time and gave my life and health a major overhaul. The hair seemed to be as outdated as my life at the time. The fibroids got the best of me and I had a partial hysterectomy 1 week ago today (time flies). Fortunately I kept my ovaries but my uterus had to go. To me, staying natural and healthy are intertwined, now more than ever. My “naturalness” is non-negotiable.

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    • Oh my dear Erica. I’m reading your story about your hysterectomy and had my mouth open and gasping. Lol. I too just had a partial hysterectomy after having fibroids for over 9 years. The doctors removed a uterus with fibroids which was equiv. to the size of a 22 weeks gestation fetus. My surgery was on May 30. A week and now a day later. I had it done laporoscopic with the Da Vinci Robot, with 4 small incisions (8-15 mm in diameter). How are you recovering?

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      • Marsha, we are twins! My surgery was on May 30th as well. My doctor attempted a similar procedure, unfortunately my fibroids were too big. However I have a very small incision and a week later it looks like a bikini crease. I am recovering surprisingly well but I am taking it very slowly. Thank you for asking. How are you recovering?

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        • Yay for Fibroids/Supracervical Hysterectomy twins, lol. Erica I had to take a medication called Lupron to shrink fibroids approximately 3 months prior to surgery. My doctor was amazed that the Lupron worked. If I hadn’t taken the Lupron, I would have had the bikini cut, because of how high and wide fibroids were. I’m doing good. Still feel a little tired from time to time and have more soreness on my right lower incision site and right hip(the site where uterus/fibroids were taken from). My doctor said its okay for me to go back to work, just don’t do any heavy lifting. I told him, I’ll be taking the remainder of my 3 weeks to fully recuperate.

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      • Speedy recovery to all! I’m scheduled for robotic surgery (myomectomy not hysterectomy) in June. I previously had a myomectomy (bikini cut) 9 years ago, but the fibroids grew back.

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          • Wishing us all safe and healthy recoveries. Take care of yourselves. As for me, I’ll be lounging, eating and reading all the great blogs including our girl Shelli. I’m scheduled to go back to work the end of July (yes, I’m killing it lol)!

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  8. I also “stayed” natural. It was summer 2001. I was 14, about to start high school, and digging through mom’s CDs and found The Velvet Rope album. Told my mom, who was going to schedule my salon visit for my first relaxer–“forget it. I want my hair like this for the first day!” No deeper than that.

    Now, 11 years later, I’m a gym rat. I sweat like no one’s business. It’s just more conducive to my lifestyle.

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  9. Besides moderate breakage and thin, transparent ends, I stopped relaxing because my hair color changed to a shade similar to a brown paper bag; and I’ve never colored or highlighted it. Now three years later my natural color is back, and breakage is a thing of the past.

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  10. I became natural completely by accident. Due to a certain type of alopecia and genetics my hair was beginning to thin out at an early age. I think the relaxers were also to blame. So I began seeing a dermatologist and she started me on treatments to help me regrow my hair. Long story short I stopped relaxing my hair so that the treatments can work better. One day while trying to look up hairstyles to wear to work I found a little website called curlynikki.com and the rest is history. Talk about stumbling into becoming natural. Now I’ve learned so much about my hair as well as the overall health of my body. I’ve recently became a vegetarian about 3 months ago and I feel wonderful! I eat better, I feel better, I live better! My hair has always been somewhat long while relaxed but it has never felt this healthy. I’m at about bra strap length. I’m not too worried about the length as much as the overall health of it. I just love it! It has been an amazing, frightening, complex, freeing, beautifully challenging journey. Everyday I learn something new. It’s wonderful! 🙂

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