How long have you been natural?
This is not the first time in my 65 years that I have worn my hair naturally. This is one of many “go-rounds” naturally and my last. Over the years, between letting it grow and cutting it off, I wore it naturally. I would wear it without chemicals until it reached a certain length and then I would have it relaxed.
At this point, I have had natural hair continuously growing since 2008. I first wore more my hair natural in my twenties. As a result of the Black Revolution (yes, I am that old ), Women of Color began to embrace their natural look en masse and it became more fashionable. They also loved the idea of wash and wear hair and not having to worry about losing their “do” if it rained.
Everyone was wearing short naturals, at that time, but because of my mixed grade hair, mine didn’t quite “bush” like theirs and they were none to kind in questioning my “blackness”…… Really? That wasn’t very comfortable, so I caved into the media hype, and went back to rolling and relaxing it so it would be straighter. For some reason, they were fine with me doing that…go figure.
Why did you become natural?
I became natural because I never did like using harsh chemicals in my hair in the first place. I had brought into the hype of long, straight hair as a sign of being fashionable. Given the nature of my hair, it straightened out very well; it looked just like the white models on television. Most people thought I wore a wig. I had my hair relaxed 3-4 times a year, but I never dyed it. In the summer of 2008, I received my last relaxer. One day while I was walking away from my beautician’s shop, the question of why I just had my hair relaxed AGAIN came screaming into my brain. Good question…and I heard it loud and clear. That was the end of the relaxers and I never looked back.
(This how I look after release from a two strand twist, and before combing it out.)
Did your age aid in your decision to go Natural?
No, but it did play a part in whether I would wear it long or short. Well-meaning friends felt long hair made me look older, so I cut it off within an inch of my scalp. I looked very fashionable, but……that was not one of my brighter moves. Uh..duhh, I should have replied, “I am old!” I let others define me instead of doing it myself, so, I am growing my hair back. What is wrong with a long-haired Diva?
(This is what I had and this is where I am heading. I had rolled it, so it was straighter looking.)
Do you see many Older Naturals in your area? If so, what styles are they sporting?
Seldom do I see older naturals in my area, but when I do, I make a point of telling them how beautiful their hair is. They wear their hair short, braided or Locs.
How do you primarily wear your Natural hair?
I wear one braid or as you see it in the first two pictures above.
Favorite products and/or product line?
As for products, I am still experimenting, so I have no recommendations. Since my younger sister, by 15 years, (who is also a member of this site) has more experience than I do, I have been looking to her for guidance. For the most part, I have been using products that I have used for many years and I think I need to branch out. There are so many natural hair products on the market, way more than there were “back in the day” and I am very particular about what I put in my hair. She has experimented more than me. Her hair is the similar to mine but thicker, so I trust her judgment.
Words of wisdom and encouragement…
My advice to any older woman who is going natural is to go with your heart and don’t be afraid of what others will say. Don’t let what is deemed fashionable stop you from being the Diva that you are. Make your own fashion statement, defined by you. When you look in the mirror, see your own beauty, embrace it, own it, live it. New doors of being fashionable will open, and you will see yourself in a different light. Case in point, I have begun to use head wraps again (another hold over for the Black Revolution.) Everyone looks at me strangely, and I do mean everyone (all races). It did make me re-think, but, I am standing firm. I determine how good I look, not someone else. For those of you who are already Natural Divas, make a point of letting other natural women know how good they look, old and young. You may give them just the good vibe they need to know they have made the right decision. J
D – Divinely Inspired
I – Intelligent
V – Valued
A – Astutely Aware of herself
Oh wow....I am blow away by Annell's take on being Natural and her willingness to share her entire experience. She is an inspiration to all black women at any age and we can all learn from her journey. Beautiful, intelligent, loving and strong. What else can I say....she is how we should all be when it comes to our hair. Annell is a Independent Miche Representative where they have beautiful bags with changeable covers.
I told you I was back!! This feature is going strong so please share and let others know we are here embracing and loving our tresses!!! If you want to share your journey go to my Contact Page to get the information on how to do it. I truly look forward to featuring more lovely mature/older natural women.
Sharing the love Naturals,