We all pursue beauty, but in my humble opinion, no matter how hard we try to achieve the perfect look with enhancements, it never compares to the beauty of just being natural. Here is my natural hair journey...
Tons of experiences have shaped my professional life, but the one constant has been my love of hair. As a child, I wore two braids until the first time I got my hair pressed. Then I was thrilled to flip my hair and play with it all day…until it reverted! My aversion to reversion gave me reasons to learn how to control my hair. I begged for a relaxer at age 12 so that I could swim every single day. As a result, my long lush hair quickly looked ragged and rough.
Although I loved my hair, I began to feel uncomfortable because I was not taking good care of it. My once thick hair was now thin with split ends. I was still of the opinion that length was more important than the health of the hair. This was the last time that I endured the pain of split ends!
Becoming a high school pom-pon girl gave me the impression that I needed to express my Black pride with a humungous afro. Not knowing how to properly care for this style landed me in the stylist’s chair to repair the damage. The result was a short bob and a strong relaxer.
This was the middle of the ’70s and I decided to let it grow out again and so I could blow dry my Farrah Fawcett layers for maximum attention and impact. A few years later, I was the first one on my college campus to get a short-feathered cut that dramatically curled toward the middle in the back.
I was happy, but short hair left me with very few options.
Flexibility for me happened soon after I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With my freshly minted diploma in hand, the only job available was at a luxury hotel. I also learned that my hair needed to be coiffed very neatly at all times because I was representing the hotel’s brand.
Then I started a career in Advertising that ended with my position as Media Director on a huge haircare account. I loved getting my hair done with the newest products developed to control my now long, thick, kinky, hair.
It made me feel good to test new products and give honest feedback to the developers.
While my career was flourishing, I became a wife and mother. My son was a scholar and an athlete from pre-school through graduation from the Howard University School of Business.
Throughout the years, my hair went from relaxed and highlighted to naturally curly and grey. But during the years when I was raising my son, I thought I was doing all of the right things with my hair.
I had regular appointments for relaxers and color and highlights. Year after year, my hair began to lose its shiny and lush appearance. It took me a few months to finally figure out what I was doing wrong.
Although I retired early, I have never stopped working and networking. I recognized the bond of sisterliness found among naturalistas and it was very familiar.
I am a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I started a group on Facebook called 4Sororities that currently has 18,000+ members. Natural hair is very diverse and it all requires the proper treatment, products, and maintenance. All of my friends, family and Sorors love to look their best.
My hair journey has been truly amazing. Please join us each Monday as we discuss natural hair, products, maintenance, joys, and challenges in our digital meet-u