My natural hair journey started when I was nineteen years old. I completely stopped processing my hair. I corn-rowed my hair until I had about 6 inches of natural growth and then cut off all straight ends. It was a great feeling; I had to form a relationship with this crown that was growing on my head. At 19 years old, I was on a path of self-discovery, and my crown was part of my developing identity. I treated her like the royalty that she was. She was thick, curly, and strong. She was me, and I was her.
Why is Natural Hair Considered Unprofessional?
There were lots of negative comments about natural hair when I was growing up. It was frowned upon to an extent and deemed unprofessional. I remember when I applied heat to my natural hair to straighten it and wore it to my office; one of my work colleagues said I love your hair; you look more professional. That spoke volumes to me; I politely smiled and moved on. I am upset now that I did not press her to find out exactly what she meant by her statement. God gave me my crown; this is how he designed me; what is so unprofessional about His design?
My Natural Hair Journey – Starting Over!
In 2019, I had to sever ties with my crown; she was so broken. I had neglected her for two years after having my twin girls. There was no time for her. She required attention and grooming, and that time was dedicated to my twin girls and my older daughter. They needed help with their crowns. I decided to try a style requiring less maintenance, so I cut my crown to a stump. That, too, was a great feeling. I gave myself the rest that we both needed.
The Crown Act
In 2020 because of the pandemic, I was forced to delay the new journey that I had promised myself – my lock journey. During this time, I learned of the Crown Act. The Crown Act was passed in July 2019 in the US to “prohibit workplace discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin.” I could not believe that our hair needed legislation. I felt the need to get my new journey going faster. I would wear my crown boldly regardless of the legislature in place.
My Natural Hair Journey – The New Chapter
In 2022, with most of the pandemic behind us, I consulted with a loctician. A loctician is a hairdresser that assists with the transition; my loctician specializes in sisterlocks. Sisterlocks are thinner than traditional locks, and a certified consultant should install them. There was so much to learn about the entire process. I was a little worried about missing my afro, but I was sold once I saw how my hair would look. It’s been almost one month since my hair has been locked, and my only regret is not getting it done sooner.
One Last Thing
As a natural hair woman, I aim to raise my daughters to love their crowns. My three girls have lots of curls, and hair day is quite busy with washing, detangling, and combing, but they love and embrace their hair. They do not see it as anything else than it is, and that is beautiful. We are our hair; we are strong, and we are beautiful. We accept our crowns as given to us by God.
Statistics show that more black women are rocking their natural curls. More of us are saying we are not conforming to the stigma regarding our hair. My greatest motivation at the moment is Kentanji Brown Jackson. I see you, sis, sitting as a Supreme Court Justice, rocking your sisterlocks. From where I sit, you look pretty professional to me.