It seems funny to me now to think about. The idea came when I was on a curly hair website, one I had been a member of for several months, and I noticed that the âµnappyâ¶ hair types, like mine, got little love. The conversation about our hair type always ended up with how to straighten it, defrizz it and burn it into submission. People were categorizing their hair too much using letters, numbers âto the detriment I think, of our personal perceptions. It was good hair/bad hair all over again. I kept getting into arguments with people when I would ask why they just donât try the natural way for a while. It became frustrating.
Not in a million years. I still cannot believe the growth. I have all the figures from the website since that day and the growth has been phenomenal. Unfortunately, sometimes to the detriment of numerous shut downs by hosting providers who could not continue hosting the website because of the high loads. We are now dedicated and upgrading yet again to a faster server in April. I am so proud of the Community which has come together to support and help each other. Itâs gratifying to see so much love and itâs what keeps me motivated.
From the emails I get, I know that Nappturality is having a profound effect on the way women who find the website are thinking about their hair. I get emails from women who stumble across the site after searching Google for Black hair styles and decide, AFTER reading the articles and joining the Community, to stop relaxing. That is an incredible feat for a website, and I am happy to be able to do this for our sisters.
I can only dream that Nappturality can be an instrument in the turning of the tide of the majority. Maybe not in my lifetime, but eventually I would like to see women make INFORMED choices about their hair and what chemicals they decide to put onto their bodies and their daughtersâ bodies.
I get asked this question a lot. And over the years I have sought answers from history as well as through my own personal experiences. The reason the vast majority of Black women straighten their hair is because it is TAUGHT that we HAVE to do it. Itâs that simple. Itâs no mystery.
On boy, do I have to tell? OK â I was a habitual user for over 20 years. Itâs a wonder I have any hair left on my head at all. I straightened because it was the done thing. The school I went to as a child had a dress code that said I had to straighten my hair (in the 60s and 70s it was). My mom used the hot comb on me, then I graduated to the relaxer in high school. I remember trying to rebel in 8th grade and NOT straighten my hair. It almost got me suspended. Such were the 70s.
- âµWhy do I hate my hair?â¶
- âµWhy am I so afraid of my hair?â¶ then finally and most importantly:
- âµWhy am I so ashamed of my hair?â¶
Well, as I already said, I never really physically transitioned my hair. It was in braids and I wasnât even considering not getting a relaxer, when they were removed after I had enough length.
My happiest nappy memory is the first time I went outside with âµnakedâ¶ hair. That is, an unadorned BAA (big azz afro). That day I really felt like the chains had fallen off.
I used to be a product junkie, now I am very simple with my hair care. It is so healthy it pretty much takes care of itself without the need for lots of product.
I only wash my hair once a week, or a week to ten days, and then only with a herbal/oil infused castile shampoo. (which I make myself). I always condition with a rinse-out. I donât use leave-ins.
I felt that my nappy hair had a spirituality all its own. Itâs the earliest hair on the earliest human and that is a powerful thing. Itâs the closest to creationâ SOâ I combined
Nappturality is more than a part time hobby although it started out that way. Itâs now a very important part of my daily life and it takes up a large amount of time. At least 6 hours every day, sometimes more.
In real life I work in the horse industry. (Yes, Iâm a Black cowgirl). I live on a 100 acre farm in the Snowy Mountains (in the Man From Snowy River country) where I keep my horses and other animals.
Most of my work is outdoors and the UVs are extremely high and dangerous up here in the mountains so I always wear my hair in a protective style like a French braid and totally covered with a hat or scarf. I notice that if I donât cover, the damage I receive is noticeable, even after a couple of days. The climate is extreme, dry and harsh so I have to pay extra attention to my skin and hair up here.
In a word? No. J Seriously, I do have a garden which I love getting into. Whenever I get stressed out I go out there and pull a few weeds or plant some seedlings. I grow vegetables and itâs a great thing to be able to grow your own food. Nothing tastes as good as a home grown salad. I love the simplicity of living in a beautiful environment and I love the challenges it brings.
Yes, Iâm very aware of the trend with natural hair websites. They either disappear one day without explanation, implode from infighting or the web owner deliberately keeps her audience small in order to be able to afford it time-wise or financially.
With Nappturality, I did not start with any grand vision to save the world from the relaxer. LOL. It was intended to be a simple portal to other Black hair websites. But what I didnât realize is that there werenât really any other Black hair websites people wanted to visit on a regular basis. So they asked for more, like a message board they could join. I gave members place to upload their own photos and they made Nappturality their home. It grew from there. When all these elements came together it just âµclickedâ¶.
It is not easy to answer this question at the moment. Nappturality has a big future. Iâm aware of that and making plans for it. My original goal has not changed. It is to inform and enlighten as many Black women as I can about the beauty of their natural hair and to stop them using caustic, damaging chemicals on their heads in order to conform to a Eurocentric standard of beauty when we have our OWN beauty to aspire to.
It was great! I was honored to be asked. I am sure that your book will be a staple in many womenâs bookshelves. It is comprehensive and full of honest, practical information. It is wonderful that you put so many pictures in there because we need to SEE how to do things with our hair.
Sisters, your hair is beautiful. Nappy, Napptural, kinky, coily, zig zaggy, wavy hair is beautiful. Itâs a gift from our ancestors. Itâs yours and its unique. Celebrate it, and you will find that freedom you never knew you were missing.
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