Question of the week: Straight Thinking with Natural hair

The last question of the week brought out the natural hair for life ladies in force. There was however one comment that troubled me because I have been natural for so long that I have forgotten what it was like to transition. This is part of the comment, she went natural the first time because she was going to the gym often but found it difficult to look after........ the story continues - 'I relaxed again when I got a job, to fit in and look more polished. I have a sensitive scalp so only relax every 3 months; my nappy roots dont look very polished I can tell you! I'm now preparing for my next BC and can't wait! some people have really tried to discourage me, but those that have been supportive (mostly of afro origin) have really inspired me. However, I do think I will relax again, as I get bored very easily and constantly think it will be different next time; my scalp won't flake, I'll take better care and I'll find a magic new style to hide my regrowth!' To the poster first of all, I do wish you well in your natural journey but I do agree with you that you will relax again. I think that you will do so because for you relaxed hair is polished and professional. Thank you for posting because I have a reason to get on to my soap box again lol. Natural hair is natural hair. You can do all the same styles that you do with relaxed hair but the look will be natural. Beautiful curls and kinks looping all over. I happen to think that natural hair is very sexy, polished and professional. I don't however delude myself to thinking that everyone shares my opinion. I do think that the successful naturals do have to believe and use positive adjectives to describe their beautiful hair. If you only find beauty in straight hair, then natural hair will always be a struggle for you. I think that coping strategies like 'hiding your hair' are a normal part of transitioning (for some). However to move out of transitioning and into full naturaldom, you do have to begin to see how beautiful your natural hair is, just as it is, moisturised and luscious. For a beautiful polished and sexy work style - Check out the beautiful Roshini! Did you 'hide' your hair - meaning never go out with your natural hair - always weaves/braids/wigs/hats etc? What did it take for you to begin to reveal it? If you haven't yet revealed it, why not and what would help you. Image Credit


  1. I rocked braids for about 3 months post BC b/c I decided to cut my hair off in the thick of winter. LOL. And I wanted it a lil longer so I could do more stuff with it. I knew a watched pot never boiled so I braided up.

    I wasn't ashamed or trying to hide it tho, just trying to take my mind off of it growing. It sucks when we buy into the ideology that straight hair is professional and more polished. I'm like you Jc, I just don't think that's so.

    I don't know. I get really passionate about this topic b/c I used to be that girl that wished I was "mixed with somethin" so I could have "nice" or "good" hair (w/o the use of relaxers) when all along I had a pretty head of hair in my own right.

    Our hair is so beautiful and we can do so much with it. There are so many blogs and websites and other resources out there for us on natural hairstyles for whatever the occassion. And everyday more resources are being made available to us. We have so much more support now in wearing and caring for our hair natural.

  2. I never hid my hair relaxed or natural. I've never worn a wig, weave, extensions, etc. It's just not me. I also BCed in winter and I would just co-wash at night, put in large twists to prevent my hair from getting matted when I slept on it, then go. When the weather (finally) got warm, I was all about the wash and go. I definitely think that my natural hair is professional and polished.

    Another related issue is whether or not natural hair is formal. I definitely think it is and recently rocked a twist and curl to a formal event, but so many people think that you have to straighten for any formal or official event, like natural hair isn't good enough to take out after dark! You definitely have to reach the point where you realize that the hair that grows out of your head is just as versatile as anyone else's hair.

  3. Hi Milan - I understand, I also used to wear braids for the same reason. I sometimes would watch my hair and stretch it out every week hoping to see growth and finding nothing. Braided up, I could forget about styling etc and let it be.

    lol Moni - ' like natural hair isn't good enough to take out after dark.' I agree if someone has to straighten to leave the house, there is probably something wrong. Occassional use, I'm fine with.

  4. I started on this natural journey three times before sticking to it. Mainly because I thought I ran out of styles to put my hair in and got bored. I only wore braid extensions a few times during each transition to change up my style as it was growing out - not to cover it.

    I also agree that natural hair is polished and professional. There are some styles just like with permed/relaxed hair you may not want to wear to work I guess depending where you work like two big bush balls zig/zag parted down the middle or braids sticking up like Coolio.

    But, there are numerous styles that can work for the club scene and office, like twists, twist-outs, puffs etc.

  5. I'm transitioning right now, and I can tell you that it isn't easy.

    I'm actually thinking about wearing a weave while my hair grows out. I've been trying a lot of things, but breakage comes with the territory, and I'm not ready to go through with the BC, yet.

    I love my nat. hair. I love the way it feels. I love the way it looks. But it's just different from my relaxed hair, and it's noticeable.

    I'm not really sure why there's such negativity with wearing weave/wigs during the transition. Why do we have to refer to it as "covering it up."

    For me, wearing a weave is going to be a protective style. A roller set isn't working for me anymore, because there is still breakage. I just need to stop messing with my hair, let it grow, then unveil my natural hair and cut.

  6. Hi Dari, I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing weaves during transition. I think that it does have to come off, every 2/3 months. In that time, if you choose not to style and walk out with your hair because of a lack of confidence, then there is something wrong.

    This is why I used the word 'Never' letting your hair be seen outside the house. I mean NEVER EVER.

  7. i only recently started showing my natural hair..i love it but my husband isnt pleased! he wants me to go back to relaxing. it is a battle right now...
    when my hair is in braids i dont hear any complains but now that its out in the open i must get a reaction from him..i try to ignore but it is very annoying
    wat to do as I cant always have my hair in braids???

    n.b i love ur blog- first comment here i think

  8. Hi aloted - Thanks for your comment. I'm so sorry that your husband isn't supportive. My husband is the exact opposite, when I put on braids a couple of years back he asked me why I wasn't natural anymore. He looked quite traumatized too lol. I had to explain to him that I was still natural.

    I think it works better when you have supportive people but I don't think there is a kinky haired natural who hasn't got a reaction from a friend/relative/colleague.

    Maybe you can try and show him some of the fotkis and blogs of other naturals so that he can 'see' just how fab our hair is.

    Thanks for your comment!!

  9. i think its because when he met me i had relaxed hair..just the other day he was showing me pictures of me with permed hair! grhhhhh

    i will come up with a plan, i have to...cuz i aint relaxing my hair!!!

    thanks for your reply & suggestion.

  10. glad u posted this.. im not gonna lie it irks the hell out of me to here ppl spew that same rhetoric that natural hair is not professional.. according to who.. whos standards r we guaging this against.. its actually sad that there r so many folks who subscribe to this idea. I am a black woman, like most of us I naturally have some sort of napp, kink, curl to my tresses, like I stated somewhere else, im not going to try & force my hair to do something that in inherently does not(want to) do. ppl need to start getting used to seeing napps up in the board rooms & in these no " nap nazi" , but i do think its f'd up that ppl & some of our brothers are adamant against letting ur hair grow the way ur genetics intended...dont let comments from unsupporting fam memebers / mates discourage u from wearing ur hair with the texture u were born with...get that will, support & self love from w/ in.. I know it can be difficult sometimes, but then the reality of it is u have to do what u feel is right for u & unapologetically so.. sorry in advance for the typos ppl

  11. Thanks MsJaim, I feel the passion behind your words. I think it is quite difficult when the critique comes from your loved one. I don't know.............

  12. I got my curly hair from my dad and my mom's is stick straight. When I was little my mom made me sleep in curlers to try to control it. I used to go visit my dad on the weekends and my stepmom would yank out the dreads that had formed in my hair during the week (I would cry the whole time, so not fun).

    My mom finally starting getting my hair cut short because she had no clue how to work with it. It really sucked having hair that never looked right and I had to learn how to do my hair from magazines (as a teenager) because no one else I knew had naturally curly hair like mine. Anyone I knew with curly hair had a perm which has a structure and form to it and doesn't require as much work to make it look good and keep the frizz down.

    I never knew there was any way to hide my real hair. I've always had to live with it. I have shaved my head bald several times out of frustration with it.

  13. I just discovered this post and I know my comment's a little late but I had to post because it touched a nerve.

    This is my second and last BC. I was natural for 2 years while I was in high school during 2001-2003 but I was afraid to wear my hair out even though I liked my kinks because I knew others didn't. I was also at a loss for styles and couldn't manage my thick mane on my own. I would get braids or a sew-in for 3 months at a time, taking them out and re-doing them over the weekend so no one would see my natural hair. The one time I did show my natural hair I received plenty of negative feedback. The worst part is that the only reason I relaxed my hair was because I didn't want to go to prom in braids. Sadly, it never occurred to me that I didn't have to wear braids, I had a perfectly fine natural head of kinks and coils that would've been gorgeous had I worked with them and not against them.

    I'm glad I've come to the point where I can finally accept my hair for it's natural textures. The freedom to be who you truly are is so exhilarating. I BC on 12/13/09 and I'm never looking back.

  14. i wear weaves during my transition. i plan on transitioning until december of this year (2010). afterwards, i will cut off whatever relaxed ends remain and will wear my hair out...sometimes. i firmly believe in protective styles where your ends and even your hair itself is not exposed to the elements and daily wear and tear. don't blame me for this thinking. it actually came from my great aunt who was 76 at the time! so i will wear wigs even after i become fully natural and buns and other protecxtive styles. because i want to, not because i don't love my natural hair (believe me, i am its biggeest fan!), but because i'm trying to have max growth retention. i think hair is an it up!

  15. During the transitioning period I did hide my hair with braids and weaves etc for about a year until one weekend I washed and conditioned dried and twisted my hair but I diidn't have time to put the weave in before work the next day. When that happened I would put a bonnet on my head and press the front and wear a bang. I will admit I was ashamed of it beacuse it was short I didn't know how to take care of it at all and I didn't know of any cute styles I could wear. Well anyway the nest morning I took my twists out while watching tv and as I was getting ready to put my bonnet on I looked in the mirror and realized how beautiful my hair was! Since then I wear my hair out natural and occasionally wear braids or weaves for a week or two!

  16. I never even thought about curly hair being less polished until I started reading forums about curly hair. I was amazed to read that people were told to relax their hair so they looked more "professional" at work. Maybe it's a difference between the USA and Europe. In Europe I have never heard this. And for the life of me ... I don't see why I would look more professional with relaxed hair. As long as you look and smell clean (you personally but also your clothes) I think it's all good.

  17. When I first went natural nearly 20 years ago, it wasn't as "envogue" as it is now. I was a maverick or a pariah (depending on how you viewed my decision to go relaxer free during a time when very few were doing so).

    Anyway, in that climate, I did wear braided extensions for nearly 2 years to "hide" my hair and make it look more "presentable and professional". Even that look wasn't good enough for some who told me that braids weren't professional. :( They urged me to slap a perm back on my head or get it pressed...

    One day, I had washed, conditioned and blown out my hair (with high heat blow dryer...I've come a long way with my new hair care knowledge) in preparation for getting it braided. When I arrived for my appointment, my braider was a no-show and I panicked! I like sat in my car hoping she'd show up and when she didn't I began to cry. I went home and curled up on my bed just miserable. I called in sick at work the next day. It wasn't until the evening of that day I called in sick that I realized that I was trading one method of hiding the true texture my natural hair for another (relaxed straight tresses for braided extensions) and how ridiculous it all was. I began to experiment with wearing my hair in two strand twist styles and flat twists (sans extensions) using Pamela Ferrel's book (Where Beauty Touches Me) as my guide and learning tool. Once I mastered it, I felt so free going about my life with my hair styled by my own hands free of extensions and in such a way that showed off my hair unique texture. : )

    A hair journey is a hair journey but I'm so glad I got through that portion of it in order to stop "hiding" my tresses.


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