Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins – Part Three

When I mentioned my dilemma of what to do with my hair to a close friend, she shared with me that she had been natural for some time. I was surprised. Her hair was always braided or weaved. It had never occurred to me that I had never seen her real hair for over a year. My friend explained that she had been reading up on the effects of relaxing hair and had researched on healthier alternatives to caring for and styling her hair. And that is how she came upon the book, Going Natural by Mireille de-Long. She asked a friend living in the States to buy it for her and send it to Zambia with someone who was visiting.

While I eagerly awaited the arrival of this very special parcel, I began to do some research of my own as well as sharing my idea of going natural with a few friends. My motivation for going natural was nothing to do with being anti-relaxer, but more about embracing my roots and challenging stereotypes about natural hair as I had done with dreadlocks. The more people I spoke to, the more negative reaction I received. Most people thought I was joking and that I should just keep the dreads or relax my hair. After all, “you have really good hair Masuka. Why waste it?”
This was my newly natural ‘Adventist’ look

I was almost convinced, but the reality was that I had no idea what to do with my hair. My mum relaxed my hair at age ten, so I honestly could not remember what my natural hair looked or felt like and I had no idea how to care for it. When I first locked my hair, it was evident that it was difficult to manage. Not all the hair stylists were able to handle my hair, so I was assigned two of the more mature stylists who could tackle my tightly curled hair.

Reading and researching more and more, showed me that there was so much information out there, but it was difficult to make sense of it all and especially, apply it to my situation in Zambia. Not just the geographical and cultural location, but more the availability (or lack thereof) of products and hair salons that could cater to my needs. And that is where the idea of this blog came from.

Even though attitudes about dreadlocks have changed over the last six or seven years, my experience in the last two tells me that attitudes toward natural hair have not changed as drastically. I cannot tell you how many people ask me when I am either going back to dreads or relaxing my hair. The concept that I would choose to wear my hair natural is still strange. I am used to people asking me if I am Adventist. When I reply that I am not, I see confusion on people’s faces. We still have a long way to go and hopefully, this blog will contribute toward changing people’s mindsets.

Click to read parts 1, 2, 4 and 5.
NB: It is a widely held view in Zambia that as a result of strict teaching and doctrine, a woman who wears her hair natural must fellowship in a Seventh Day Adventist Church.
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6 responses to “Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins – Part Three

  1. Pingback: Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins – Part Two | ZedHair·

  2. Pingback: Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins – Part Four | ZedHair·

  3. Pingback: Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins Part Five | ZedHair·

  4. Pingback: Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins – Part One | ZedHair·

  5. Pingback: Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care – Blogger/Vlogger Honour Roll | ZedHair·

  6. Pingback: Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins – 2014 (Part 6) | ZedHair·

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