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Accepting Natural Hair Holistically

hair acceptance

Anyone who knows me, knows that my very being is rooted in the South.  I pride myself in being connected to every bit of what Southern Virginia and North Carolina have to offer.  So, it is no secret that how I felt about my hair reflects just that.  Long hair represented beauty and, if by chance, your tresses were long, thick and loosely coiled, you had “good hair”.  And you dare not cut it!  Oh no!  We southern girls knew that our hair was our Crowning Glory.  But just how much did we respect this glorious crown?  We pressed it, we pulled it, we braided it too tight.  But most of all we drenched it with harmful chemicals.  So, when I decided to go “natural” I went cold turkey.  Really, no LYE.  However,  I quickly learned that there was an obvious disconnect between being natural and having healthy hair.  Simply cutting the chemicals out of your hair regimen was not enough.  There is a holistic approach to caring for your hair.

The first thing people notice about you is your skin, your smile and your hair.  They are the tell tale signs of health.  Your hair will definitely tell on you!  It will reveal:

  • Your eating habits.  Are you getting enough good fats, fruits, and vegetables?  Most importantly are you drinking enough water?!

  • Stress & anxiety.  Are you thinning at the crown of your head?

  • Your ability to understand what your body needs to thrive.  Most importantly, your ability to pick up on the fact that your body is lacking something.  Specifically, do you need more iron in your diet or does your hair respond better to one oil over another?

I cannot stress enough that your body is a temple and the trinity (mind, body, and soul) must work together for its upkeep.  You get out of your body what you put in it.  With this in mind, it is important to understand how your body works.  What does your body need?  How can you help your natural hair be its healthiest?  For me, it meant preparing myself mentally for the journey ahead.

I chose to transition for a year before cutting off my relaxed ends.  My rationale was that I had no clue how life would be after the LYE.  So, during that year I did the following:

  • Researched blood type and what foods to eat according to my Type 0 Positive type.  You can read my detailed thoughts on this subject here,

  • Stopped using heat altogether.  When I did a roller-set, I designated a day I knew I would be in the house so that it could air dry.  While it did not yield super straight roots, my curls were bouncy and shiny.

  • Increased my fruit, vegetable and water intake.  I even adopted a vegetarian diet during this time.  I had at least two meals that were meatless but high in protein.  I also ate less cheese and stopped eating fast food.

  • Worked out at least 3 times a week.  However, I probably should have been in there everyday!

  • Meditated! I meditated every morning and at night after putting my little one to sleep.  It helped me remain at one with my body so that I could respond to its needs.

  • Began making my own hair products.  I found out what my hair liked and what it did not like.

For me, going natural was a process that signified a spiritual growth.  I no longer wanted long hair.  I wanted healthy hair.  My hair grew long but it was thin and not at its healthiest.  So, I prepared myself to care for my mind, body and spirit, and the health of my hair fell in line.  I wanted people to look at my smile, skin and my beautiful 4C locs and say, “She glows”!  After-all, they are a representation of me.

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