The natural hair era is one of the greatest things to happen to women of color in decades. This wave swept in and reminded us that we are all dope AF. At a young age women are told that their hair is their pride and glory and so when we began to see that our hair did not mirror the images depicted on TV we began to question and even become ashamed of our pride and glory. So we relaxed and extended and dyed and relaxed some more, only to find out these fads were all temporary. In just a few weeks we would have to endure this process again the burning, the praying that our hair did not fall out from all the chemicals, and most importantly hoping the relaxer took. Translation: it smoothed out every kink we struggled to comb through. So then came along the movie entitled Good Hair at first many people raved about how it portrayed the hair industry in a negative light, but slowly you begin to see more and more women transition their hair to natural and more healthier products. Then bloggers began to tell us about amazing products designed to help us manipulate our hair with ease and more and more of us boldly committed to the big chop. We were no longer defined by our hair or what society deemed as the correct way to tame it. Our swag is different now, we knot our hair because we are not just our hair, we are so much more and our liberation began with this movement. So join us and these beautiful women in our KnotYourHair photo series.
(Photo series presented by and directed by Shod Harris of The Rebel Society)
What’s the hardest part about being natural?
Oh my gosh. It’s not easy lol. Especially for me because my hair is extremely thick. It’s time-consuming for sure. But its beautiful and well worth it.
When I big chopped, I asked my then 6 year old son what he thought and he said, “Mommy you look like a boy!” And went upstairs as if I disappointed him.
“Yes, being natural has added definition to my life. It’s given me the ability to explore with setting my own standards about what is beautiful, for me and being fearless. It was a risk, especially because I did “the big chop”.”
“Honestly white people were the only people complimenting me which I found odd. Why didn’t black people accept their hair as is? I feel like natural is me, it’s me at my best.”
“It’s a lifestyle for me. From nightly twist outs to big chops over the last few years it takes too much dedication to be a trend.”
Being natural is very expensive to maintain. Products that target us and are more concerned with profit than actual benefitting our hair
“The transition from relaxer to natural! It was hard waiting for my hair to grow out without having to do the “big chop”.”
Why did you choose to go natural?
Why did you choose to go natural?
My hair was damaged. It was always something I wanted to do and I had no one to impress because I was finally single.
The freedom of being able to style, and lack thereof, my hair and not giving a —- about anyone’s opinion of it. There is so much flexibility with natural hair you can manipulate your hair to do whatever you want it to and I love it.
I remember how crazy long and thick my hair was as a kid and how a perm ended that in pretty much one swift application. I want that back. Plus the burning scalp and chemical burns as an adult just got really old.
“I think it’s sad when women who are natural are envious of other women who are natural. Not everybody has the same curl pattern, length, thickness, etc. …but I definitely know that self acceptance and confidence starts from the inside first. “
“It hasn’t added definition but it has built my confidence. There was a time I feared wearing my natural hair now I hate the idea of weave.”
“My hair felt limp and stringy. I love my hair big, curly, and healthy. Nothing compares to the freedom of it.”