Help! My Family and Friends Hate My Natural Hair
29 Jul 2015
“How you gonna get a job like that? Yuck, will you wash your hair? Oh God, are you one of those militant people? Fight the power, girl! Now, white people will be scared of you. Do you think your hair may be reason you can’t find a job? Girl, men don’t like that natural stuff! Forget that natural crap; slap a perm in that nappy hair!”
For over 20 years, I’ve worn my hair in its natural state. I could go on and on with the anti-natural hair comments that have tainted my ears! However, I fondly recall a thoughtful young lady, who I didn’t know, warmly greeting and encouraging me to let my natural hair blossom. With her in mind, I am gratefully paying forward the natural hair inspiration.
So today, let’s talk about the bad, nasty part about going natural. For me, the worst part about going natural were the hurtful comments, delivered as tough love wisdom, from my cherished family and friends. I know what it feels like to start on a new life journey and not feel supported by your family members. It’s hurtful to hear your loved ones make comments that can be deemed nothing more than ignorant. These days, negative natural hair comments just roll off my back; it’s no sweat!
My natural hair evolution has helped me realize that damaging anti-natural hair comments are really a mirror to one’s soul; a unique opportunity to witness first-hand the polluted reflection of my naysayer’s inner-most thoughts. Sometimes I can joke about it, sometimes I get angry, and sometimes…I get sad.
As a natural hair stylist, I meet many prospective clients who have recently gone natural. Their decisions to go natural vary, but they all seem to have one thing in common: their decision to go natural was influenced by their lifestyle. Whether it’s a new health routine, a new baby, desire for healthy hair or just a need to personally reinvent themselves for the better. No matter the reason, it’s all good. To this end, I want to offer five inspirational tips for remaining strong along your natural hair journey.
1. Take the high road!
People only change when they want to change. There is little you can do to change their opinion. So, take the high road! You love them right? Try respecting their vision of beauty. Also, congratulations; you are now your inner circle’s first reference point for natural hair beauty. Perhaps, you will become the influence that causes them to embrace the concept of self-appreciation along with the cultural relevance of natural hair.
2. Do You!
Yes Boo, do you! I’ve learned and witnessed how physical beauty changes can help boost mental changes. Learn to love your natural hair. Do you want a diva cut? Do you want a wild afro? Do you want a punch of color? Do you! You are creating the new person you want to become. Always know, when you start to see yourself as beautiful, so will the world.
3. Learn great natural hair hygiene and properly care for your hair.
During hair consultations, prospective clients express concern about good natural hair hygiene and healthy hair. It’s funny when people say to me your hair looks so clean. Or if they ask to touch my hair, they say it’s so soft; it just feels like hair. While I am frequently amazed by the comments, I must emphasize that good hair habits will go long way in breaking down those negative natural hair stereotypes. Always, remember the Octavia’s natural hair care experience mantra, good hair + good food = beauty.
4. Remain strong.
It will take a village to help you remain dedicated to your authentic self. Plug into the world of natural hair care online and on social media.
5. Find a natural hair stylist and chat with the stylist’s clients during routine visits.
Your natural hair stylist is your friend and champion. They are living and breathing natural hair. These stylists talk to many natural hair enthusiasts, and they hear their fair share of positive and negative natural hair comments. Ask your stylist to share their experiences with natural hair. The stylist may offer you some helpful advice and energizing perspective. It’s a resource that you can and should use.
Ultimately, I promise you will learn to laugh at those negative natural hair comments. Hopefully, your friends and family will begin to show love for your new hair. Ironically on several occasions, I personally witnessed my client’s naysayers inquire about my work and confirm a consultation with me. So, don’t be surprised if it happens to you. Know you are trailblazer in your network. A trailblazer’s road is never easy. Stay focused, stay strong…do you!
If you love being natural, share your selfie photo with me, or share your favorite natural hair mantra.