Natural Hair, Don’t Care: Learning to Embrace My Real Self

By: Kai Gould

When I first decided to go natural, I was in my junior year of high school. I made this decision because my hair was really unhealthy and I wanted to have a fresh start, so I figured why not. Though my hair did not look bad, it was still shedding and was starting to thin. 

At that time I didn’t really look at it as a big deal to go natural , I just wanted healthier hair and the only way I would achieve that was by starting over. What gave me the confidence to go natural, was by seeing other girls going natural and watching their natural hair journey’s.

As my natural hair journey began, it became difficult because I was use to wearing my hair straight and as my new growth began to grow in, that made it more difficult. These changes started to make me think because I realized the times that I felt most beautiful were when my hair was straight. As I was on this healthy hair journey, I started to look back on why I actually decided to get an relaxer in the first place.

At that time in my life my mom had stopped doing my hair, so I had to take on the responsibility to do my hair on my own. As an 11 year old it was really hard for me to manage my hair and I thought the best way for it to be easier was by getting a relaxer. I saw many girls in my grade that had them and heard how much easier it made hair to manage. I begged and begged my mom to let me get an relaxer and after begging my mom so many times, she finally let me get one.

Now I realized I just wanted a relaxer because I saw everyone else getting one and plus I was only 11 so I did not really think nothing of getting one. I just wanted my hair to be straight and easier to manage.  At that time being 16, I felt I could make better choices and decisions dealing with my hair. As time went on,I learned to embrace my natural beauty and learned that I did not need for my hair to be straight to feel beautiful. I also learned that I didn’t always have to do what society was doing, meaning just because everyone was getting a relaxer at that time, did not mean I had to do the same.

Going on my natural hair journey has helped me to love myself and made me open my eyes and realize that I did not love my natural beauty and felt like I needed to cover it up in order to feel beautiful. What gave me more confidences into wanting to go natural, was seeing black girls on Instagram and different  social media websites embracing their natural hair.

By seeing these girl wearing their natural hair, I was given confirmation that I was doing the right thing . I also watched a lot of Youtube videos where girls would show their transitioning process and also hearing how they got threw with transitioning.

During this transitional period, I started to wear my hair in perm rods sets, flexi rod sets, and twist outs. After six month I was comfortable with the changes that my hair had gone through and did not want to wear it in any other way. Last May, marked 1 year of me transitioning and during that month, I decided to big chop. I decided to big chop because dealing with two different textures started to become difficult and though my hair did not grow that much, I felt it was time.

After I big chopped I felt relieved and was so proud of myself because a year before I would never have imagined doing that. Deciding to do a big chop made me feel good because I did it for myself and no one else. I wasn’t thinking who would like my hair or not like my hair, I did it because I wanted too. Though it was a little challenging after my big chop because my hair was way shorter then when I was transitioning, I still had no regrets.

Now 18 and a freshman in college, I am confident in who I am and proud of the decision I decided to make a couple months earlier. Though I’m only 18, this experience has helped shaped who I am because I am able to wear my natural hair proudly and with no shame. There are still days that are still tough in dealing with my hair but I still do not regret going natural.

In addition, I have learned to love my kinks and don’t feel like I have to straighten my hair in order to feel beautiful. Though there’s nothing wrong with wearing your hair straight or weave, I feel like it really important for us black girls to embrace what we were born with and to never have to feel like we need to alter it or change what was naturally giving to us.

I am happy with my natural texture of my hair and will always continue to embrace what was naturally giving to me. Even  though I still have a long journey ahead of me and a lot to learn, I know that embracing the natural me is no issue.

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4 years 11 months ago

I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me.
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