Natural Hair Stories of Black Women
- Written by Sunanda Sun
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I’d always had beautiful, long, permed hair, and I loved it…up until I was about a junior in college. Around this time, I developed strong feelings that a short natural crop would express the sassiness and flyness in me so much accurately. I thought about it for quite some time, but I messed up when I started sharing this idea with friends and family members. After talking to many of them, I was convinced to keep my long permed. Then my senior year hit, and I was about to turn 21. Natural hair was still on my mind, so I decided that as a present to myself for my 21st birthday, I would chop all of my hair off. And I did!
What was the hardest part of your journey?
The hardest part of me was convincing myself I could do the big chop amid all the strong opinions from people advising against it. My friends told me I would surely miss my hair if I cut it off. My brother told me I would look like a boy and my parents’ feared that I wouldn’t be able to get a good job after college. I went along with them for a little while but made a decision about two years later to cut it off. A short time after I did, the very people who told me not to do it ended up digging it.
And the best part?
I love that my hair gives me a unique look. I love that nobody can ever tell when I’m having a bad hair day. And I love the versatility of my hair. I can wear it wild and sassy or tamed and elegant.
What did your hair journey teach you?
One of the biggest lessons I learned was that people will place their limitations on you. If they can’t envision a change in or on themselves, they won’t be able to envision it in or on you. Now, I don’t tell many people if I’m thinking about doing something drastic. I usually keep it to myself until I’m comfortable and confident with whatever I’m considering.
Describe your worse hairdo and your best hairdo and please include a picture if you can.
I don’t know if I have a worst hairdo, but there is a style that my hair won’t let me do anymore…the wash and go. When my hair was short, I would love to wash it in the morning and leave the house with cute little coils all over my head. If I did that now, my hair would be a tangled mess.
Looking back, has your perception of your hair or black hair in general changed?
I think people, in general, are more accepting of black women who wear their natural hair. When I cut all of my permed hair off in 2001, natural hair was still pretty unseen and unpopular, especially on a predominantly white college campus. Now, there is a layer of commercialism that comes along with black hair. When I flip through magazines, images of women with natural hair are all over the pages. When I turn on the tv, every other commercial features a black woman with natural hair.
But as for me, I loved my natural hair back in 2001, and I love it now. I started my company, Goddess Zuri, because I wanted to wear tshirts that helped me celebrate my natural hair and wear it with confidence. Now my tees are helping other natural ladies do the same thing.
What is your favorite hairstyle?
Double-strand twist out. I love this hairstyle because I can make it completely free or controlled, depending on how I feel or what situation I’m in.
On the other hand, I love wearing double strand twist-out. This is probably my favorite style, and I call it “old-faithful.” I know that I can always get a fabulous look out of a double strand twist-out.
Can you please finish the following sentence:
I love my hair because ......?
I’m a goddess, and my hair is my crown.
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