Friday, October 18, 2013

Natural Hair—5 months

By Briana Whiteside

Yesterday was my 5-month natural hair anniversary! 5 months ago, I cut my relaxed hair off and was left with 3 ½ inches of hair. My previous posts talked about discomforts, insecurities, highs and lows of this journey. Now, and only now 5 months later can I utter the words “I am comfortable with my natural hair!”

I suppose others pick up on my new found confidence because I get tons of question about my hair. It’s like I’ve become a pro, or the go to person when newly naturals have questions.

Back in the day (when I had a relaxer) the only time I would be caught wearing a ponytail was on a bad hair day under a polo hat. No one would see me with a ponytail because I was attached to straightened hair. Now, however, I’m excited that I can pull my hair into a ponytail. Well, in the natural hair community it is referred to as a puff.

When I walk outside and pass another natural almost always we give each other a smile. That smile indicates that we are a part of a collective community, and share, or have shared similar experiences and frustrations going natural. I absolutely love that I went natural.

Funny thing is, when I had straightened and relaxed hair, a lot of people would ask “is that your real hair?” I’d say “yes” with an air of confidence. Now, I’m receiving those exact comments, “Is that your real natural hair?” I was asked yesterday. I replied, “Absolutely, and it has taken 5 months to grow it!”

In retrospect, I am glad that I made the difficult decision to cut my hair, but I am grateful that I continued on the journey.

Style and Knowledge

Briana Whiteside is a graduate student in English at SIUE and a contributing writer for the Cultural Front.  

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