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Aug 14, 2009

Readers Emails Answered

Dear Writing Addict,

I've been doing a lot of reading in the last few months on going natural, and today I stumbled upon your blog. I was all relaxed/permed out until the perm just had my hair breaking off like crazy. About 2 1/2 years ago, I got a half weave, and then 6 months later, it was full. That's what I've been doing, and now it's time for me to start wearing my natural hair. Not because I necessarily want to, but that's the fear talking I'm sure. I don't know WHAT I'm going to do when the time comes, but I'd like to do it by December. You've mentioned in your blog that you wore weaves, and I know you understand where I'm coming from. I have so many questions, and I'm hoping you wouldn't mind answering a few?

Hi Going Natural,
I don't mind chatting you up a bit about going natural! Of course it is a scary time I understand completely. Do me a favor and email me your vision for yourself. How does Chrystal Baker look to you in the very near future? What is her style like?
Also tell me what you do professionally if any (you'd be amazed why this question is important).
Writing Addict,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon and this morning watching more and more videos on Youtube of girls going natural, and I don't know if I feel anymore relieved or ready! I've given a lot of thought to the current and new me, not just in terms of my hair but also my own personal growth. I know that as black women those are important parts of the equation to have in mind. Let's see...

I currently work for a boutique ad/marketing agency in Los Angeles as a project manager. It's a small office of three people, and we do not regularly take client meetings here, although I do meet with them every once in a blue moon. The catch is that I hate my job, and I'm actually interested in starting my own business in the food industry. Right now, I'm working on a book, turning my food blog into a veritable website and one day creating a packaged food product. I would love to quit soon and become a full time entrepreneur, but that will take a little more time. I'm not worried about how my hair would be perceived in terms of where I work now, though. Of course, if you have thoughts about it, let me know.

My everyday style is very casual, a little conservative. That has always been one of the things that I've wanted to change. I love clothes, shoes and looking cute, but most of the time, I'm pretty casual in jeans, t-shirts and flats. I've been wearing a short weave for a while now. Although I first had the weave put in 3/2007, I didn't get it cut short until 12/08, and even that was scary for me! And it wasn't even my real hair! It's funny when I think about it. I attached a few pictures, so you can get an idea how my hair looks now. My face is very round and full, so the idea of having no hair REALLY scares me.

I do want to feel more comfortable with my hair. Though I love the ease and no fuss of unwrapping my scarf and being done with my hair, I don't like when folks touch my head (those who don't know it's fake, I mean), it starts to look crazy when my hair grows out, I feel like I can't workout the way I want to or it'll sweat out faster, and it's expensive! Plus, like I said, I want to start feeling more comfortable with me, where I am in my life, etc. I feel like I need another big change, and there are a lot of arrows pointing at the bob on my head.

Perhaps you can clarify this for me...I've been without a perm for 2 1/2 years, so technically I've been transitioning, right? I should be done. :) I've seen my hair out when I get the weave removed, and it makes me feel like I could have a panic attack. It is very thick in the middle, and although I cannot speak on hair types and everything, it definitely does not have the wave or curl pattern I've seen most natural girls with in the Youtube videos. It looks very thick and feels very coarse, somewhere in that deep 4 range. I keep thinking that if I were at home, I wouldn't know the first thing to do to work with it. I'd need so much guidance and help.

It looks like most of the perm is gone. I wouldn't be surprised if all of it were gone at this point. In all of my weave wearing time, I've never had the hair fully blown out and straightened, so I have no clue what it's going to look like. My stylist now says I'll need to 'tame' my hair with frequent pressings to keep it straight. She suggested coming into twice a month to have her deep condition and press it, but I don't know if pressing's a good idea either. I'm not sure if I need to go natural all the way and switch stylists or try to be somewhere in between. I do know that even with a necessary good trim, my hair may hit just above the middle of my shoulder blade, which is very long for me. The only bad part is that the front (near my forehead) and sides are shorter than everything else, so I'm afraid that removing the weave now will mean I have to cut all my hair off to even it up. I do not necessarily want to do the big chop if I don't have to. If there is any way to avoid cutting it all off, I will look into that. I'm using this root stimulator serum now to hopefully get that to grow out in the next few months, but I'm not sure if I can depend on that.

I do have a timeline for this change, and I hope to have it completed by New Years. I want to go into 2010 with a new look, a new attitude, a new mindset. At the same time, I have to keep in mind that I the new attitude will probably be a result of my hair cut, not the reason for it.

Sorry to have written such a huge long email, but none of my friends are natural, and I have no one to ask questions or really talk to about it. I'm just reaching out to anyone who's been through it.

Thanks so much!
Dear Going Natural,

Well now,

Hello there gorgeous! You have a full round face which is evenly complimented by a deep rick skin tone, beautiful eyes, and the prettiest smile ever. You are indeed hiding your natural beauty with that security blanket in which you call a weave.

I will be honest with you and give you a lil story (no moaning now, it'll be quick). When I first started dating my hubby I rocked a cute short relaxed cut. Then we had our son and it turned into a chin length bob. Which turned into a long weave, colored contacts, nails, name it. My husband never hinted to anything. He never said a word. Then one day Lauyrn Hill came onto the television and I became mezmerized. She was everything a beautiful black woman was in my mind. Natural in the face beauty, artistic, and a Queen! I wished deep down I could be like that. Then she came to our city for a concert. Knowing how much I loved her music my hubby surprised me with tickets and took me to the concert. She walked on stage and he took a deep breathe, seemed mezmerized and said to me..."She is so beautiful, I love how she looks. She is naturally beautiful." I was stunned! Here he was talking about her being beautiful, when I just spent about $150 for the flyest weave, getting my nails done, etc. I was flabbergasted. I enjoyed the concert, but it taught me something that night. Whoever I was trying to be? Apparently I wasn't doing a good job at it because I secretly wanted to be a natural beauty, and my hubby would have appreciated the real me all along.

I say all this to say, dear you are living in extreme fear of being disliked, or unpleasing to ones eye. When we do this we are actually displeasing God because you are esentially telling him you do not appreciate how he made you. You have real goals, aspirations, and desires that will only come into fruitation when you decide to let go, and be yourself. Once you come to terms with who the lady is on the inside, will you become the true Queen on the outside.

So that thick type 4 coiled hair you have? Is a crown, and no mistake. God has blessed you with a thick and luscious mane of gorgeous hair that you rock in a myriad of styles. If you have been relaxer free for 2 years, that means you are a natural under there and no other transition is needed besides the transition of your mind.

If you are uncomfortable in facing the real and beautiful you in the mirror who else will be comfortable? No clients, no friends, no one. You have to take that security blanket out, and stare at the woman in the mirror and say:

I am more than enough,
God don't make no junk
I am a Queen, and as such I will treat you like one.

One more thing, honey I don't mean any harm but you need a new experienced stylist who can find the perfect style for you and help you become comfortable with yourself. Anyone telling you you NEED to have your hair pressed is not the right one. You just tell me when you are ready, where you live, and I will find you the perfect stylist to help.

I am here for you when you need!

On the Road to Queendom is your new family!

Stay Blessed & Happy Locing!


Lady Kinnks said...

u provided words of wisdom as usual! I love the new artwork...very cute!

Melinda said...

Very good encouraging advice Toshia, I really hope that she listens with her heart. I almost stopped reading when she mentioned that her stylist suggested that she come in twice a month to "train" her hair as if it is an animal of some sort and represents a species of it's own. Thank you Toshia.