-

Friday, April 12, 2013

Embracing My Napptural!!!


The decision to go natural was a huge step for me. I was the girl who strongly believed that the straighter my hair the better and the longer my hair the prettier I was. I spent my entire pre-teens, teenage years, and early adulthood holding on to that notion. I religiously relaxed my hair every 6-8 weeks, I loved wearing long weaves and ponytails and was truly addicted to this ideal of beauty, an ideal that was impressed upon me from a very young age.

When I first decided to go natural, it was truly accidental. I was tired of the breakage, and I was over the money I was spending on beauticians and weaves. I started stretching my relaxers and loved how my hair looked after a couple of months without a relaxer, it was thicker, fuller, and I started to play with the idea of embracing my natural hair. I didn't take it completely serious until a conversation with my eldest daughter. She was about 3 1/2 at the time and she expressed how much she wished that her hair was straight and pretty like mommy's. My mouth dropped to the floor; I had no idea that I was passing on my obsession with straight, long, flowing hair to her. I tried to help her see the beauty of her thick, beautiful, and natural hair, but I was looking very hypocritical with a flat iron in my hand and with 16 inches of store brought hair cascading past my shoulders. That was when I knew, I had to truly make a change. A change for myself and a change for my daughter.

My journey to natural hair was much easier than my journey to truly embracing my natural hair. I transitioned, I did cute styles, I maintained hair health and length, but there was still that nagging voice within, telling me that this wasn't completely beautiful. I was self-conscious about my tightly curled fro, I didn't feel as glamorous in my coils, curls, puffs, and twist. If I had any special occasion, the first thing I would do is speed dial someone for a quick sew-in. I liked my natural hair, but I wasn't in love with it. I realized that I was finding subtle ways to mask my natural hair with the use of the flat iron, by wearing plenty of protective styles and finding any excuse to rock a full sew-in weave. As I look back, I realized that I was still holding on to the notion of needing straight and long hair to be beautiful! I realized that I strayed away from my initial purpose for my Natural Hair Journey. It was time to fully embrace my hair!

Through the growth of my blog, my YouTube, and through the countless amount of inspiration I received from other gorgeous naturals on various forms of Social Media, I began to let go and embrace my kinks, coils, and curls. I saw women with all different hair types, textures, lengths, colors, and cuts rocking their natural hair unapologetic, confidently, and with ultimate amounts of fierceness.

I started off small, I pledge to wear my natural hair out on Sundays... I succeeded. I then pledge to wear my hair out in Natural styles to work.. I accomplished that goal. Then I let special occasions come and I didn't weave my hair! I haven't look backed since then. I was becoming a full fledged naturalista!


To celebrate my full embrace of my napptural, I scheduled a photo shoot with one of my favorite photographers, Kevin Lawson of KVL Media. I decided to do an alter ego shoot with my relaxed self and my natural self. I never imagine that I would feel as confident and pretty as I did with my curly coily fro in front of the camera, but I did. I felt like one of those fly naturalistas that I've admired for so long. It was real, I finally embraced my natural hair!

Today, my daughter wants her hair styled exactly like mommy's hair and I couldn't be happier! I feel like I have broken some curse, some cycle. My girls will grow up feeling beautiful with their natural hair and that is absolutely the greatest reward of this whole process. I love my natural hair, I have truly embraced it and couldn't be happier! Instead of chasing flat, long, and straight hair, today I'm loving my hair in its natural state. I'm proud of how far I have come and how much I have learned about myself through this journey! I really hope that this story inspires other naturals and women thinking of going natural, to truly embrace their self, their beauty, their crown of glory, their NATURAL/NAPPTURAL!!!


Have you fully embraced your natural hair? Please share how you reached the moment that you discovered that your natural hair is more than enough....

Hugs and Love,
Jere

3 comments:

  1. Aww, this story is so cute and inspirational! I can really relate because all my life I've been obsessed with long, bone straight hair. To be honest, in a way, I still am but I don't let that impact my relationship with my kinky, natural hair. I think I've embraced my natural hair a whole lot more than I did when I first went natural but I'll admit that there are some areas where I still need a little improvement. Sometimes I do get a little down and wish I had a looser curl pattern or just relaxed hair because mine isn't as acceptable to some people. But most of the time I'm pretty proud of my texture :) There are so many girls I know who are masking themselves behind wigs and Remy. I feel so free! lol.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great Story! I really don't think black woman know how amazing we look with our natural hair... Anyone can wear straight long hair, but when you are working it with what society considers not to be included in the standard of beauty, you are doing what few others can. I love natural hair!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great article and gorgeous photo shoot!! you are officially one of my hair bookmarks! keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete