The Naptural Bill of Rights

Natural hairstyle by Lydia O
Natural hairstyle by Lydia O
Natural hairstyle by Lydia O

Background

Naptural Roots is all about physical, mental, and emotional health.  It really is about so much more than just hair.  After reading a couple Naptural Roots articles and looking through the pictures, I came across The Naptural Bill of Rights.  The Naptural bill of rights really stood out to me.  Article 2, “I have the right to pursue excellence in health, wealth, and personal welfare without man-made limitations, judgments and obstacles” stood out to me in particular.  This is something that I strongly believe.   From starting out on my own at the age of 17 and working 2 to 3 jobs just to get through school, to attending a full-time Master’s program while running my non-profit, the past couple of years have been challenging.  However, no matter what life throws my way, I have always strived for excellence and it is my right to do so.

Life is too short not to pursue excellence and the key to achieving excellence is by pursuing excellence  in ALL areas.  You must take care of your mind, body, and soul in order to achieve excellence and reach your full potential. There have been times that I have focused so much on school and work that I’ve lost touch with friends, family, and a good night’s sleep.  I’ve definitely learned, and am still learning, that nothing beats taking care of my whole self.  I am at my best when I take care of my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs.

 

This week was exceptionally difficult.  I have 5 million things due and then my computer crashes.  Perfect timing 🙂  This challenge was also very difficult because of the time constraint.  Nonetheless, I put my best foot forward to create a shoot that is unique and speaks to its viewers.  I want to show the world the diversity of natural hair.  Thus, I put a great amount of effort into portraying a wide array of activities.  I want to prove to everyone that you can live a full (if not fuller) life with natural hair and disprove the idea that expressing your naptural roots confines you to a certain look or lifestyle.

 

Photo 1: Naptural hair girl 1

For this photo, I wore my hair like the Naptural Hair girl (left side of the T-shirt).  To achieve this style, I took my hair out of the fro-hawk that I created for last week’s shoot, wet it, and combed it out into an afro.  I modified my Naptural Roots T-shirt by stretching out the collar and pulling over one shoulder.  I then folded the bottom 4 inches of the shirt under, pulled it to the side and twisted it into a knot.

 

Photo 2: Naptural hair girl 3

To create the bantu knots, my roommate wet my hair and twisted it into knots.  We used hairpins to secure the knots that didn’t want to stay in place. 🙂

 

Photo 3 & 4: Naptural Roots Earrings

After my hair dried, I gently took out the bantu knots to create the curl pattern seen.  I then pinned up the sides of my hair like I did for the fro-hawk.  I did profile images for these two photos to highlight the earrings.

 

Photo 5: Umbrella Free!

I don’t have to worry about an umbrella so much now that I am natural!  My roommate and I were walking out from the store the other day and it started to drizzle.  As we watched people scurry to the building for cover we said the exact same thing: “I’m so glad I’m natural!”  

 

In this image, I am portraying how I don’t really need my umbrella so much now that I am natural.  I haven’t really thrown my umbrella away because it can pour really hard down in New Orleans, but I can honestly say that I don’t use it as much as I used too.

 

For this style I simply took out the hairpins and pulled my hair back into a ponytail.

 

Photo 6: Sport Friendly Hair

Being able to play my favorite sports without having to worry about sweating out my hair is one of the many things that I love about being natural.  I can focus 100% on the game and 0% on my hair!

 

Photo 7: All about the books

Being natural has allowed me to save money, work less, and focus on my studies more.  Perms and flat irons are expensive and time consuming!  I struggled with my hair for a bit when I first stopped perming it, but now that I’ve been natural for a few years I’ve learned how to take care of it and style it without spending too much time and money.

 

Photo 8: Dressy up-do

Natural hair is healthy hair and healthy hair is beautiful.  Natural hair can go with any style–both casual and dressy looks.  For this photo, I simply folded my hair over into a bun and secured it with a scrunchi.

 

Photo 9: Modern Africa: Fierce & Fabulous

My natural do’s have been a wonderful complement to my modern African wardrobe.  The shirt in this photo is from Ghana.  Africa has a lot of up and coming fashionistas and I really enjoy promoting their work.  I love how these artists use traditional fabric patterns to create trendy, eye-catching, and modern pieces.  To create this hairstyle, I pulled my hair into a side ponytail, folded it over into a bun and secured it with a scrunchi.

 

Photo 10: Pool Party Ready!

I don’t have to stress about how to wear my hair at the beach or at a pool.  When my hair is in its natural state, water isn’t going to really do anything but get it wet.  Swimming is a great exercise, it allows you to exercise all of your muscles and it isn’t as harsh on your joints as some other sports.  Now that my hair is natural I can enjoy this sport much more!   I’ve also come across some natural remedies for removing chlorine.  You can dilute ¼ cup of lemon juice in a pint of  water to neutralize the chlorine left in your hair after swimming.

 

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This challenge of America’s Next Natural Model is ponsored by Naptural Roots Magazine

 

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