I hadn’t gone to the salon to get my hair done for about 5-6 months. It was intention to go back and get my usual relaxer and style every two weeks. However, because I was on a limited budget (due to my decision to leave my full-time and work for myself), I didn’t have the money to indulge in my every 2-week hair ritual. I complained all the time about the fact that I couldn’t get my hair done. Then, God stopped me one day and said, “Stop complaining about what you don’t have and embrace what you do have.” From that point, I decided that I would grow my hair out and see what my natural texture was. I received my first relaxer at age 3, so wasn’t sure what my natural texture was.
I decided to go natural. I began watching videos on YouTube and that gave me the confidence to do the big chop. The day after Thanksgiving, I did the big chop. I felt so strong and liberated as I did it. A few months later, Nappturalite Radio was born. If I had not stopped my complaining and decided not to embrace my natural hair, I would not have the opportunity to host a show that helps so many other naturals.
Name: Dawn Yerger
Location: Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland USA
Profession: Host of Nappturalite Radio and President & CEO of Nappturalite Media
What was the hardest part of your journey?
The hardest part is reading or hearing negative comments from others about natural hair. Fortunately, the negativity doesn’t last long for me, because I’m confident about my hair.
And the best part?
The versatility. I have tightly coiled hair and I love it because I can literally achieve any style that I want, where others with a looser curl may have a more challenging time “holding” a style. It’s funny, because most feel that it’s the other way around. No texture is better than the other. They are all beautiful.
What did your hair journey teach you?
My hair journey has taught me that my natural beauty is enough. That I don’t have to change my hair to fit an ideal, in order to be beautiful.
Describe your worse hairdo and your best hairdo and please include a picture if you can.
My worse hair do was right before I did the big chop. Because I had both natural and relaxed textures (and I didn’t know how to take care of it), my hair got tangled and matted. I was wearing it in a short ‘fro, but the relaxed ends were so tangled.
My best hairdo is my two-strand twist out. I love it because the twist out can be used to create other styles, including up do’s.
Looking back, has your perception of your hair or black hair in general changed? Please elaborate.
My perception of black hair has definitely changed since I’ve gone natural. I believe that black hair is so powerful and unique, not only because of the history behind it, but because it has been subjugated all over the world. Usually, when someone discourages something or puts something down, they don’t want the power of that thing to be known. I believe that’s why black hair has been so maligned. However, the tide is changing, because so many people are embracing Black natural hair.
What is your favorite hairstyle?
Flat twists up the back, with my hair pinned up into an afro puff. I love styling my hair like that after I’ve done a twist out as well. It’s easy to maintain and is good for thedaytime and the evening.
Can you please finish the following sentence: I love my hair because ….
it defys gravity. It reaches up toward the sun. It grows up and out. It is the most unique hair texture in the world, and it is the connection between me, my people, and my heritage.
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