A Decade Of Natural Hair
This week marks ten years on my natural hair journey. Ten. Years. That’s an entire decade. I still can’t believe I chose to step outside of the societal norms the way that I did. Yet, here we are, ten years in the doing. Ten years! It feels like the time zoomed by if you let media tell the tale. In reality, developing the natural community, and my own natural hair, was an extremely painstaking process.
With this being my tenth year rocking my hair in its natural state, I’ve decided to celebrate by way of going in-depth into my own experiences, the triumphs and fails. I’ll also be discussing exactly how I care for my hair.
Over this decade (still in shock it’s been this long) many many people have requested for me to write about natural hair, to divulge my tips and tricks, and to give my analysis of the now thriving natural hair community. I’ll be doing all of these things henceforth. So put your bonnets on and rods in, because this journey has had as many curves as my waves.
Let us begin at the beginning. These pictures, taken by Bernie Laframboise, were the first pics I took once I decided to really showcase my natural hair. I didn’t know it at the time but this set of pics served as a kind of coming out party, if you would.
Before these snaps were shot I had worn my hair in its natural state for awhile but I had been going through quite a bit in terms of what being natural meant to me and the heaps of abuse that had been put upon me from choosing to go natural. Abuse that I had no way of knowing was coming.
Choosing to record myself evolving via pictorial form was a revolutionary act. One that I had no idea that I was doing. You see, opting to fully embrace yourself in a culture that constantly sends barrages of messages that you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, or just enough enough, is a rebellious act. Make no mistake, going natural, being natural, is the biggest state of push back against society that one can do.
I’ve always loved the pictures from this set by Bernie, not just because of his skill with the camera, which I’m still grateful for, but because we managed to make it look like I was flying. The beautiful blue sky behind me, arms up. It looks like I stepped into the sky. It’s as though there is a magnificent lifelike backdrop when really it is nature lending itself to the celebration.
What a joy for Mother Earth to showcase herself for my soaring moment: I fly having natural hair. I soar! Because I am able to fully revel in the way God made me.