This guest post is brought to you by salon owner Renee Prophet. Enjoy!
Natural Hair and Confidence—What’s the real deal?
As of late, this natural hair thing has exploded! Textured tresses are everywhere—commercials, college campuses, runways, and boardrooms. Mainstream acceptance of natural hairstyles has certainly been the catalyst for many women of African descent returning to their curls. Many celebrities are even sporting their curly texture for the first time in their careers.
I’m glad that so many women are freeing themselves to wear their God-given texture, and feel free to do so. But what about women who have interest, but are afraid? Those who started transitioning but “went back to creamy crack”? Where do they fit into the discourse?
I’ve heard from many, many women over the years who have shared that they want to wear natural hair, but someone in their life is actively discouraging them (often a boyfriend or husband, but let’s save THAT discussion for another day). Or they may just literally state that they’re afraid. My interpretation—they’re afraid of not feeling attractive, not being accepted by friends, and perhaps not moving forward in their careers. It is indeed sad that black women for far too long have had a mandatory mask on of sorts, where hiding our true hair became the standard and anyone who dared to do otherwise was burned at the proverbial stake.
Yes, there are some who would like to but feel that they simply cannot. This is where a natural hair care specialist can really be a gem. Those who are transitioning or currently natural can receive a personalized plan that will help them feel beautiful, but also address any pitfalls or challenges, an advocate who can “talk them off the ledge” when they’re feeling weak. Videos have their place, but never underestimate the power of personalized care!
There is also real power in becoming a part of a natural hair community, either in person or online. A community doesn’t have to consist of thousands of other women, sometimes a couple of “curlfriends” who are natural/transitioning together can make all the difference.
It’s also helpful to be prepared for verbal negativity. Have your comebacks in your back pocket! So when a co-worker says, “I liked your hair better the other way”, you can say, “Yeah, I thought you looked better before you gained that last 15 pounds, but I didn’t say anything because I thought it would be rude”. Sometimes you have to go there!
And of course, keep your wardrobe, make-up, and accessories on point. Good red lips can save a bad hair day for sure. And who can resist a sister with short and sassy hair, big hoop earrings and confidence? Absolutely no one!