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.
|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.
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.