For the longest, I didn’t know much about black hair. The first time I knew what “going natural” was, was senior year of high school when one of my classmates walked into the lunch room having cut off all but two inches of hair. “People want longer hair, why would you cut it?” I thought to myself.
I wanted my hair long. I wanted soft and straight hair–because of course, that was beautiful hair. If you’d asked me during high school, I would never cut my hair.
So, yeah. I ended up cutting my hair the first semester of college.
It wasn’t long before I started to regret my decision. I didn’t look like the natural hair girls on Instagram. I looked like a boy. Thus, I started wearing earrings and makeup more often. Eventually, I found myself dressing more “feminine”.
Now, I have cut off all my relaxed ends and I didn’t know what to do to it. I did countless research online and asked a couple friends; even then, the maintenance was too much and hid my hair under wigs and braids.
“I am the laziest person ever, what was I thinking?”
I had to reevaluate why I decided to cut my hair in the first place.
Why did I go natural?
When asked, I blamed my decision on my damaged relaxed hair. But the truth is/was: I wanted to feel beautiful. Whether it be permed or natural, I wanted to feel pretty. I saw the band wagon of “going natural” and decided to hop on, not fully knowing what I was getting myself into.
But having been 7 months since my big chop, I can truly say this has been the best decision of my life. Despite the hardships, going natural has given me a new perspective on life. It has helped me evaluate my inner self. I know my hair more. I know what it likes and dislikes. I know how well it maintains moisture. I know the badass attitude it gives me when I don’t take care of it.
In addition to that, I have become more conscious of what I use on my hair, ultimately leading to how I treat my body—physically and emotionally. I still struggle with body image, but I am learning to accept myself.
And, my boyfriend does a great job helping me with that; he loves my TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro). The positivity that my boyfriend gives me makes it easier to continue on this journey.
It sounds silly but I believe there’s a correlation in my Commitment to my hair and commitment to my relationship. Prior to my big chop, I was in unhealthy relationships. However, since then, my hair has grown way more than I expected it to and it is healthy. Likewise, I am in a healthier relationship and have grown as a person.
Going natural may not be a big deal to a lot of people. But, if you are someone who struggles with body image and is constantly in your head, you learn to accept yourself for who you are. Your confidence level grows tremendously. Going natural is not for everyone. And it is important to know why you want to big chop before you do it or else you will regret it, like how I did.