Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Decision To Go Natural

My decision to go natural (wear my hair without chemical relaxers) was the result of a long and frustrating journey, or shall I say, struggle, with my hair. The first step in my natural journey began when I decided to get my hair braided in "zillions". Depending on your geographic location, how you refer to them may vary from zillions to tie-zillions to extensions to individual braids to micros, etc.

When I first had my hair braided, in 1999, I thought it was a brave, bold decision. Depending on where you are in life, it may be a big deal or it may just be the "hairstyle of the week" for you. Though it's not a big deal for me now, back then, it was a bold, but necessary step.

I had become a victim of what seemed to be a never-ending cycle of hair breakage, which occurred off and on, for five years. It seemed that the prime suspect was the perm/relaxer, or as some in the natural hair community deem it, "THE CREAMY CRACK".

By no means was getting those braids my one and only action that ushered me into the world of natural hair. It would be several years later before I actually went and stayed natural, but that one decision was the seed sown to change my life forever.

I'd like to hear from other naturalistas out there! Why did you decide to go natural? What were some of your experiences or influences in your decision to go natural? Or if you're not yet natural, but considering it, why are you considering going natural?

(Contains excerpts from "TranZitions: Revelations on My Journey to Natural Hair and Freedom" by Yolanda T. Jones)