It is interesting how many people of other races do not have a problem with natural African hair. Most of the violent opposition comes from other black people, especially black women. I don’t know why, but that is the way I have seen and experienced it and the way countless other naturals (current, and future and past naturals) have experienced it too.
The decision to go natural is not an easy one. For someone like me who had dreadlocks for so long, going natural was still not an easy decision. I battled with the image of natural hair in most people’s minds:
1. It is so very very secondary school
2. It is slightly mumbwa mumbwa (backward or villagish)
3. It’s for Adventists (yes, despite my earlier post, at one time I thought this too)
4. You have to be ultra cool to pull it off.
After one year of being natural, I think that all of the above are still true. That is my honest opinion and I will explain why.
My first attempt at wearing my hair natural (not in braids or twists) resulted in me being late for work. I looked at myself in the mirror and I looked like a G10 school girl. I hastily put on a wig and resolved to hit the hair blogs as soon as I reached the office. This was in order to get some inspiration and guidance for what I could do with my hair. The women in the pictures on the internet all seemed to have really long wavy or soft hair, and not my African seriously kinky hair. I am pretty sure I am a type 4a, with thick, coarse hair.
Just like with any style of dressing or or hairstyle, there are those that we know to be just drab and nasty. I’ve been there, done that and regretted it with some outfits and I have definitely done it with my natural hair.
When I had my TWA I did look like your average Adventist aunt. I know a couple of them, so I know what I looked like. Ok, this one is not so serious.
Lastly, my experience with natural hair is that you have to make an extra effort with the rest of your appearance. Accessorising is a MUST. Natural hair, especially an afro of any size, can look very plain, so you have to dress it up. Being able to pull off an afro is about confidence and A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E!!!
I will not lie to you, ignorance is real. But there are two kinds. There is lack of knowledge and understanding and then there are misconceptions and outright lies about natural hair.
Our goal at ZedHair is to educate and equip on the former and debunk and refute the latter.