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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY...


Natural hair journey


your natural hair journey will probably not be the same as someone else's journey due to the fact that peoples reasons for going natural are different. You will hear many reasons for going natural and deciding to stop relaxing ones hair with chemicals or hair dyes, its just a choice that is more of a lifestyle and for some its a movement of change where woman of color start to realize they have more control over what goes in and on their bodies either with skin care products or hair care products.



Going natural is also a spiritual journey of letting go of self hatred and low self esteem, its about accepting one self in its true beauty without regard to others preconceived views of what beauty is.
 
For myself there were a number of reasons why I decided to go natural, however one very important reason was one of being true to myself, a spiritual journey, being grateful for what Allah ( SWT)  has given me learning to appreciate it and embrace it .  Knowing all that he provides and gives is nothing less than simply beautiful.  Being sure of this has made my journey one of ease  and complete joy.
 
 
Going natural is also a spiritual journey ( as mentioned above) of letting go of self hatred and low self esteem, its about accepting one self in its true beauty without regard to others preconceived views of what beauty is.
 
 
 Are all natural hair journeys the same?
 
 
Many natural hair journey's may not be like yours, because of the  different struggles that ladies may have faced in deciding to go natural.  This is why it is a journey because through it all you will still have ups and downs.








The natural process of any hair journey


The wake up call


Now there is a natural process to a natural hair journey, starting with an awareness that something is not right about polluting the body with harmful chemicals, then it leads to research, reading about other peoples hair experiences, looking through loads of photos of hairstyles and reading about how one has transitioned from a perm or relaxer or looking at photos of what they used to look like with straight hair,








Learning about your hair


Next you will start to experiment with your hair first with a little of resistance either continuing to wear a weave, wig or straight hair while you try and grow out the perm without fully committing to a all natural Afro.


First love of your natural curls


Maybe you will  decide to put braids in your hair while it grows out and the fascination you experience each time you take the braids down to be redone is the beauty of your natural curl pattern, its nice, its shiny, then you continue to visit hair forums and listen to other beautiful natural hair wearers talk about how happy they are that they made the change and what types of reaction they are getting from friends and family.


Taking the step to the big chop


Then you decide its time for the big chop, you really are not ready but you say what the heck and you go for it. You have your friend , stylist chop or you decide to do it yourself.  Cut off all the perm and now you are left with a TWA tiny little Afro. Its cute you are surprised at how much you actually like it.  And quite freeing.


Trying natural haircare products


So you start trying different natural haircare products from Miss Jessie's, Karen's Body Beautiful, Kinky Curly and follow helpful suggestions from the many advocates of natural hairstyles on YouTube.  Or if you like me, a girl on a budget .  You opt to research less expensive products that will give equally satisfying results.  Like things right out of your kitchen.  Be careful not to become a product junkie ( lol)


Trying new natural hairstyles


Once you get some growth and length then you try some of the two strand twists hairstyles along with the braid outs and twist outs. Once you get a little braver you decide you want to actually wear a Afro puff.












The reaction from others


The response you get at work is mixed, now you finally feel the full affect of being different, standing out and not fitting in, you even face a little criticism from your closest friends, Hey why are so many people opposed to you wearing your hair natural and kinky?. You will go through some soul searching this will test your faith and your belief in yourself.


Questions to think about


Can you handle the pressure? Will you continue despite the odds against you?  Will you just throw up your hands and say forget it and put back on the wig or start straightening your hair again? will you allow outsiders to continue to shape who you are and rob you of what can be one of the best journeys of your life?


What it all means in the end


See that is how your natural hair journey will be different from others who experience these types of issues and setbacks, some it makes them stronger and more solid in their convictions, for others it causes them to not really want to live so boldly. Either way however you choose, just know that there is no right or wrong way, or good or bad. Its about how you feel about yourself inside and how you want to share and express that confidence to others.







Like they say "do you", and love your hair showing nothing less than complete confidence !!






Its not about HOW you get there, its just about GETTING there! no matter what your journey is.


So , share with AuNaturale your natural hair journey , we would love to hear from you ! ( smiles).





 

6 comments:

Slipstitches said...

As Salaamu Alaikum,
ok, I'm going to try my best to make this brief lol (I don't think I can though). I went natural 2 times before some yrs ago, but w/lack of good understanding and knowledge, so this time I am 2 yrs into my journey w/just the opposite mentality. My dh was very supportive and actually did my big chop when I transitioned 4 inches from my permed hair, and it has been the most wonderful and rewarding and freeing experience this time around for me. And everything I use on my hair and body, I can eat lol. That's b/c I've gone natural in almost all areas of my life now. I design and sew my own feminine reusable protection, I use Original Listerine for doedorant (I still use antiperspirant occassionally-rarely), decreased my sugar intake dramatically, make my own all natural bath and body products (still working on soaps to eliminate sls), I eat healthy foods and bevs (no additives), I drink water 98% time for a bev occasionally I will drink a cup of green tea or apple juice, never sodas of any kind, and exercise/vitamins. I feel much healthier, livelier, stronger (mentally, physically, emotionally). I no longer feel I need to fit in, I feel like I'm a leader and an inspiration to myself if not anyone else (see what ya did, now my tears are flowing lol, but they're tears of sheer joy).
All of this has also done tremendous wonders for my self acceptance and self esteem. I've become an advocate and example of this lifestyle and many muslim ladies who may see me uncovered at times will ask about my hair or what I use on my face to keep my skin clear (to me, my skin doesn't look so clear, but ok if u say so-lol). I see things differently now, and all of this has also brought me closer to a better relationship with my Lord, the Creator (Allaah) and I thank Him so much for creating me and what he has given me is a benefit to me, and for allowing me to see this while I'm alive and well is overwhelming. I realized also that like my mother did a yr ago, I will also return to Him (Allaah)one day and I want to return having been grateful for the way he had fashioned me (hair and all), and I want to get a reward for taking good care of myself.
several months ago, I learned that all the hair that I thought was shedding, I was actually pulling it out (sigh) so I no longer comb through my hair, just retwist and when I have to comb a part, I comb carefully using the crown and glory method (it works yall!) and I now see 90% less hair shedding and the strands I do see are few and are natural shedding from the scalp so that's Great! and I am now seeing my hair growth retain so much. Sorry I can't explain in detail, but it's amazing me.
Thank you for allowing your viewers the opportunity to express their journeys and forgive me for taking up so much space here lol, but the sad part is that I'm sharing the "1/4-part-version" of my journey lol.
Allaah bless you "Z" and shukran (thanks) again.

zainab1 said...

slipstitches : Walaikum salaam, Thank you soooo much for your hair journey , very inspirational. LOL, I truly understand its hard to share such an AMAZING hair journey ,or any thing that brings such joy in short. I love the spiritual connection on this journey it truly is or can be overwhelming. And , oh the tears welcome home girl ( LOL). Shukrn ( thank you) for stopping by and allowing us to share in your wonderful experience. And support from our husbands is always a plus. ( smiles)

umm muhammad said...

Salaam sister,

I first relaxed my hair at age 10, it grew out naturally and then by age 14 I started to relax again and never looked back.

I first started to think about going natural a few years ago I would go to sites like nappturality or naturally curly forums to get inspiration. I wanted to do the big chop but I couldn't bring myself to do it, so I tried to transition but I couldn't do any transitional hairstyles like braids so my hair would knot up and I would relax.

I started to wear hijab which gave me a type of protection of what others would think plus wearing my hair in the pony tail rut was getting old, so after reading your post that you did yours I did mine, now I just have to find a private hairdresser that knows how to cut my hair:)

I feel an inner peace now that I have embrace what God gave me, not everyone is overjoyed about my decision but now I don't care.

zainab1 said...

walaikum salaam wa rahmatullaah umm Muhammad : shukrn ( thank you) for sharing your encouraging journey. Iam so glad to hear that you did a big chop, it is truly a sense of inner peace I totally agree with you. Continue to embrace your naturale and enjoy every moment of it. Thank's for stopping by. Please do so often you are always welcomed here ( smiles)

103hotdegrees said...

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah:

MashaAllah, it is interesting to read hair stories written by Muslim women because the world would think we don’t care about our hair because we cover it. I used to texturize my hair for many years only knowing I did it because my mother did it to my hair. And it seemed “more” acceptable for women around me to have straighter hair. As I got older and turned to a healthier lifestyle, I knew I did not want to keep putting any chemicals in my hair even though I only did it a couple times a year. So I decided I was ready to stop chemically treating my hair and I guess you could say I “transitioned” for a year. I didn’t really do a big chop because I cut off my ends a little at a time as it grew mashaAllah. So now that I have been chemical free for going on two years, I am happier with my hair and I love the way it looks. MashaAllah my hair has grown so much and it looks so healthy. It is just a lot of misinformation out there and along with that, you have the European standard of beauty that sadly has gripped women in Africa and the Middle East. But we have to learn to love ourselves , how we look and most importantly, we have to love those curls Allah made to come out of our head biithnillahi ta’ala.
Muslimah Sukhnah

zainab1 said...

Wlaikum salaam warahmatullaah

Muslimah Sukhnah : What a wonderful hair journey , thank you so much for sharing that with us. I couldn't agree with you more there is soooo much misinformation out in reguards to natural hair. And as to Muslimn woman , in the way of due to use covering our hair , perhaps we don not take care of our hair, etc. Yes, because we know for certain all that Allah ( SWT) makes is nothing less than sheer beauty, Thank you sister for stopping by ( smiles)