Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago but still rings true.
Really the question should be do I need ANYONE to like my hair? I guess that is a question only each person could answer and you might get more than a simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’. So, as I pose this question to you I will be the first to answer…..No, I don’t but when I first went Natural I truly did.
I’m an older Natural. It might not seem like a big deal to some of younger women out here proudly strutting around with their Natural tresses but we are not in the same place. I too has more confidence when I was younger. Not teenage young. I mean in my 20’s even in my 30’s. My body was tight, my weight was low and my energy as well as my health was great. I was a different woman.
I may have had worries of being a good mother, but worries on how I looked weren’t so big. I was naturally slim. I was naturally energized. I knew I looked amazing with my permed hair whether I was sporting the Halle Berry short bob or letting my hair grow and brush against my shoulders. Back then….my hair was an accessory.
I’m 40 about to turn 41 in a couple of months and I can say with all truthfulness that I am not all that confident with my body. Not like when I was younger anyway. My naturally small body has expanded over the years but it’s still shapely. I said all of that to make you understand why going Natural was extremely hard for me. No, I didn’t have a bad perm experience but we moved from a humid climate to a dry one so I stopped perming.
I did wear wigs, weaves and braids for the first three years. I got tired of all that well into the third year but was too insecure to go full blown Natural and embrace my tresses. I’ve always loved my daughter’s natural coily curls but assumed my hair would never do that. I knew my hair would coil up when wet so I figured I start with wetting in the shower and trying hair products that keep the coils going.
That first day going to work with freshly wet hair one day in October 2008 was one of the scariest days in my life. I was out and exposed. It was like I was letting the world see all my unflattering flaws. No, my hair was actually looking really good but I wasn’t convinced of this yet. I was unsure of myself and my hair. No point in denying it. I hadn’t seen anyone wearing their hair Natural in Denver or not too many at least so I was out on a lonely limb.
One of the most fashionable women in my office was in LOVE with my hair! Let me tell you… I love Beth’s funky style and attitude. She really made me feel 100% better. I got many more compliments that day but none meant as much to me as hers. Why? Because I truly needed her to like my hair.
I’m a proud, strong, out-spoken Black woman but that doesn’t mean I don’t have fears and worries and insecurities. I needed someone to like my hair. Am I really proud of that fact? No, but it is what it is. As the days turned into weeks that eventually turned into months I became more comfortable with my Natural hair. I learned what products to use to make the coily curls pop and I soon learned my daughter got her hair from me! Who knew?
It’s funny how it took me 35 years to learn what gorgeous hair I had naturally growing out of my head and I was damaging it with chemicals. If you are willing you actually can learn something new everyday.
So, here I am out here blogging and wanting to share my good and bad experiences with Natural women but especially Older Natural women. Your story may not be the same but I’m sure you see some similarities. Being a woman is hard. We deal with so much but deep down inside I truly believe we all want to be beautiful. We are born, we grow up, we age, we bear children, we become educated, we fall in love, we hurt but all of that doesn’t change most of us from wanting to be beautiful.
What is considered beautiful to us can change as well. Over the last three years I’ve fallen madly in love with all Natural hairstyles. Permed hair does nothing for me and I envy no permed or straighted style. I didn’t feel that way three years ago but I sure as hell feel that way now.
So, do I need you or anyone else to like my hair. Hell no! I did almost three years ago in October but that day is long gone and so is my insecurity about myself in a lot of ways. I dress the way I want and with what I like. I style my hair the way I want and even though I’m no skinny mini, I am pretty happy with my size on most days. Yea, I’d love to lose 40 lbs, (and have many times) but I still look good.
I feel more right and connected with where I am supposed to be in my life. Going Natural was something I knew I would do later in life even if I didn’t actually KNOW it. Yea, that might sound funny to a young woman but an older woman is smiling and nodding her head right now. You get where I’m coming from.
OK, now it’s YOUR turn…..do you need me or anyone else to like your hair? Come on, I won’t judge you. I’m here to tell you just how gorgeous that hair is!
Stay beautifully Natural Naturals,