Being Brave

Every now and then people, mainly Black women, ask me how long I've been wearing my hair natural. (Non-chemically processed hair.) I've been natural for 20 years now. I am always surprised when women respond that I am brave for making the choice to go natural, especially when it wasn't as popular. I didn't understand why I was considered brave for it. It's just my hair. But now I'm beginning to comprehend this "brave" perception, especially when some people, mainly Black people, still ridicule each other for having "nappy," "kinky," "too thick," "slap a perm on that, can't come through" hair. If a young girl has been consistently attacked from her own family, friends and community for something as natural as her hair, something she was born with, I can understand why it is considered brave to fully embrace and wear what she has been ridiculed for. Fortunately, I was not made fun of and natural hair is completely embraced and worn in my family, so my experience is different. We Black women have all types of hair, from extra thick to kinky to wavy to curly to bone straight. And to differentiate what is "good" and "not good" based on something as simple as texture is low level thinking, in my opinion. To go into why our culture thinks this way is a bigger history and media lesson I won't post here, but it's deep. However we women want to wear our hair is totally up to us, natural, pressed, relaxer, weave, wig..have at it! I think it's great to have choices. I'm all for hair health, management and presentation. And every now and then, I do wake up with my afro flat on one side. It is KINKY AND VERY THICK and when I wash it, I need some serious detangler to comb through it. But you know what, I LOVE IT! I don't wish for another experience, another hair. It's mine, it's healthy, and it's GOOD! And for all the women who are considering "going natural" and are afraid because of people's opinions or even your own, I say do it afraid! EMBRACE YOU!! BE BRAVE!!!