Definition of “Going Natural”

I’ve been asked quite often lately about what does the phrase “going natural” mean. I’m going to try my best to clear up the confusion.

See “going natural” does not indicate that you are in rebellion to something or joining some type of secret society or you have a point to prove. It simply means that you are no longer altering your hair with a chemical process.

I’m wearing my hair naturally now because chemically processing my hair was not to my benefit any more (it probably never was). I was in pain and I was extremely frustrated with the process. I never went to a dermatologist to get my scalp analyzed but the proof was in the pudding. Even my personal anxiety that would build up as it got closer to getting a touch up was crazy.

Most people don’t realize that black women get perms to straighten out the hair for manageability, maybe style preference or even to smooth out their curls. My reason was because my un-permed hair is thick, course and untamed. It’s wild!! But it was for those very same reasons that almost aided me to keep on getting perms and enduring the pain for the sake of manageability.

I like to research before I do anything. Before I took the plunge, I spent about 4 weeks researching how to take care of natural hair. I had to figure out what were the maintenance steps, what types of products to use, how to style it, and even what websites offered the most support. I even did some soul searching to make sure I would be okay with the stares that I knew I would get from people I knew and those that I don’t know. People are funny when it comes to change. Not everybody reacts the same to change. I actually had people stop talking to me when they first saw my Big Chop. I was the same person, just shorter hair. But one conversation with my husband, squashed all those fears of what others would think. He supported my decision so it doesn’t matter what others thought. He matters most.

This topic is going to be an ongoing category for me. There is no way I can explain everything in just two posts. Today I want to share a close up picture of my scalp taken on January 29, 2012.

Snapshot of my hair and scalp before my “Big Chop.” The wavy part is called new growth or un-permed hair. The straight part is chemically processed. The touch up process chemically straightens out the wavy new growth.

If you have questions on this topic, please don’t hesitate to ask. I love talking about this topic. My next post will be about how I maintain my hair and what products I use.

On Going Natural

My family and I went on vacation in December 2011 to Myrtle Beach, SC.  I didn’t have time to perm my hair before I left so I decided to take all my supplies with me and just do it during our down time. On December 26, 2011, I put the perm in and it was the worst perm application ever! My head was on fire.

This is not the first time that a perm had had an adverse effect on me but it had to have been one of the worse ones. I had open soars and when I even touched my scalp it was sensitive to the touch. With the state of my scalp, it actually altered my participation with my family. They wanted to go swimming in the resorts’ pool. That typically is never an issue when we go on vacation but after a perm with open soars, that chlorine in the pool would have caused my hair to fall out. It would have just floated away in the water. I was so disappointed that I had to sit on the side and watch them swim. I was missing out on all the fun.

I had thought about going natural before and had even tried it once. My natural hair is really thick and tightly curled. But I didn’t have any other option. I was so mad and finally fed up that I decided to take the plunge.

I waited a couple of months to get some new growth and on February 8, 2012, I went to see my beautician and I got the “Big chop!” It was so hard to make that decision but I was currently wearing a short style so I hoped it would be ok. I walked out the salon with a close to bald head and a new attitude!

This photo was taken February 11, 2012. I couldn’t believe how short my hair was. It wasn’t even enough to comb.