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Tuesday, June 16

Road to Natural: My Hair Story

My hair was dark, relaxed, long and lovely. Whether it was styled up, down or to the side, I got tons of compliments from people about how beautiful my hair was. Honestly, I loved it silky and straight, too, up until I was nineteen. I was a sophomore in college when I started contemplating the idea of going natural. There was something about a short natural crop that I felt conveyed my personality, style and attitude so much better than the straight hair I was rocking. But I couldn’t quite commit to cutting it all off.

After months and months of unsuccessful internal deliberation over what I should do with my hair, I began asking those closest to me what they thought. I quickly found out that they were all were less than excited to hear about my contemplation to go natural. My parents told me not to do it because I would drastically reduce my chances of getting a good paying job. My brother told me I would look like a boy. My girlfriends told me that my long, relaxed hair was beautiful and that I would surely miss it if I cut it off. And my guy friends told me I would never enter a committed relationship with natural hair because most brothers liked long hair that blew in the wind. I was convinced they were right, so for two more years, I visited the hairdresser every six weeks to get my chemical. Deep inside, though, I wanted my hair to be natural.

When I was a senior in college, natural hair was still on my mind. But by this time, I was wise enough to keep these thoughts to myself and not disclose to anyone what I had made up my mind to do. For eight weeks I grew my hair out, and as a present to myself for my 21st birthday, I cut the perm. All off! I had a half inch of hair on my head, and I loved it. And ironically, so did the very people who were initially skeptical. And for the record, I got a great job after school. I didn't look like a boy. I didn’t miss my perm, and I had no issues with men, especially black men.

It took me two years to figure out that my hair didn’t define me. I defined it. It didn’t matter if it was long or short, kinky or silky, curly or straight, light or dark-- I was still a goddess. So, regardless of what hairstyle I decided to sport, it would only be an accessory to the personality I exuded. In addition to this, I learned many other lessons in this process that I want to share:
1. You are the only one who can make decisions about you. Opinions can be nice, but
the last word should always be yours.
2. Don't let people place their own limitations on you. When people can’t visualize a specific change in (or on) themselves, they typically won’t be able to see it in (or on) you.
3. Change is the only thing that’s constant. So, it's ok to make changes.
4. Be confident in what your intuition is telling you. Because it's usually right.
5. Relax. It’s only hair.


Solomon said...

Your hair looks great in the picture, you shouldn't change a thing.

Candace Avont said...

thanks so much Solomon!

hotredsly said...

great blog

Candace Avont said...

thanks so much hotredsly! Hopefully, I'll keep evolving it and making it better.

Kikunda said...

I love your little hair bio. I can't completely relate to it.