"FROs don't look good on everyone..."

"Why are you natural?"

"Do you like having nappy hair?"

"Is your hair good hair?"

 "I'm not going natural because I don't want to wear a fro..."

NEWS FLASH! I'm natural because I was born natural, and nappy is not another word for not having "good hair". These are the questions and statements that I hear on a daily basis and not to mention that people do not recognize me sometimes because I "look different" when I wear my hair in unique hairstyles. 

So let me start off with my hair journey....

I got a perm(chemicals to straighten coily hair) around four years old, but before then I would get my hair straighten with the HOT comb. Boy who remembers those days where your great grandma burnt your ear with the hot stove comb? So, from elementary school to middle school I always had a perm every month or so, but then high school came. High school is when everyone wants to change their "image" and look "grown". Well, looking grown to me was dressing up every day and getting long hair. I got my first weave on my first homecoming and since then, it was like a routine. Wash my real hair, blow dry it, go to the salon and get a sew- in, wear the sew-in for 2-3 months, then rinse and repeat.

So where does the natural part come in!? It was not until my junior year in high school when I realized that perms do break my hair off. My hair would grow from the sew ins and then when I got a perm, the back of my hair would break off, so my hair never grew to my shoulders. Therefore, I decided to go natural two years ago. Today, I rarely get sew-ins because my hair would grow long, but still, be thin due to them. Wigs and rocking my real hair has been the best routine for me.

Now that we just zoomed through 20 years of my life, does my FRO still offend you?  Honestly, when I first went natural, my fro offended myself because I was ashamed to wear short "nappy", not "good enough" hair. To a lot of people, nappy means ugly or hard to comb or the "proper" word is coarse hair when the actual definition of nappy according to the dictionary is tight curls. Yes a lot of natural hair girls have coily hair which is tightly curled hair, but there are all types of curl patterns (I have a post on curl patterns on my personal blog). Also, having a fro does not mean you have one of those fros that they wear in the movie Roll Bounce. Fro is short for Afro, which is a hairstyle that is grown naturally to look like a bush. By combing out all of the curls in your hair,You can turn natural hair into a full, big Afro.

As a child, black women grew up on perms and on the idea that black women are at their best when their hair is straightened. It is crazy that I did not know my hair curl pattern until a year ago. We are programmed to think that African hair is not good hair, but why do we accept white,  Hispanic, mixed, etc. hair to be good hair? Is it because our curls are so tight that it looks like "not good" enough hair or is it that we are conforming to the "American way of looking".

I have gotten better at loving my hair and learned that it first starts with loving yourself and not caring about what other people think, but that can be a difficult task when you go to events or even go to work, which is a place where everyone are to look and dress business professional.

Being natural in the workplace has been one of the hardest things for me to grasp when it comes to my hair. People either don't recognize me when I wear my natural hair in a certain way or my #1 pet peeve: "Your hair is beautiful, is it real?". If you work with really bold people, they may even ask to touch your hair. You have to prepare yourself for these type of situation and be slow to anger because people do not realize how quick they can offend you or make you feel unwelcome. Do I ask to touch your straight hair, do I ask you anything about your hair at all? N-O! The biology of your hair does not concern me, but I will give out a nice complement to anyone that looks nice.

After reading this, if you still think your natural hair offend people in the workplace or anywhere else, there are some cute ways to style natural for work. Go to my personal blog and check out my different styles that I wear!

At the end of the day, it is all about self-love. It's not just black women who struggle with hair insecurities, but everyone struggle with living up to a particular image when in reality these things DO NOT matter. The only thing that I am concern with is how am I going to live a happy life (: 

God bless,
A message from a Strong, Nappy Hair, Beautiful, Black Woman

Published by Jazmine Staten