Two mom’s take up challenge to lead by example…hair wise

There has been a lot of  buzz around Beyonce’s baby’s hair. At only 2 years old Blue Ivy has already stirred a lot of emotion all because her parents have decided to go the natural route with her. Okay so even I would stick a bow in her hair or puff it out but that’s my personal preference and you know what, they don’t owe me anything, so it doesn’t matter and neither does that stupid petition that someone started to get them to comb her hair – that’s more awkward than anything else. ALSO don’t we have bigger things to worry about? besides that girl can probably buy and sell me with her allowance, hehehe

Anyway all the drama around her hair made me think of my own and all the issues I had with it at school. My hair wasn’t what most people deemed beautiful so I was teased about it. Teased because I had too much hair, it was too long and it wasn’t straight enough and for years I fell into that trap. Chemically treating it and ironing it and when I went to the hairdresser the stylists would flip a coin to try and get out of doing it – not good for a young girl’s self esteem. Doing my hair was a whole day saga and now that I’m older I know why. It was a saga because I was going against my hairs natural tendencies…I’m finally learning to let my curls fly free, but if I have time I will straighten it because the point is it’s MY hair MY preference.

Since I don’t have a daughter – just a curly haired boy who has never had a hair cut and is clearly letting his curls fly free- I asked other moms what they thought about hair and their kids.

I then realised that I have two beautiful friends with the cutest little girls who were actually going a step further than Beyonce. Not only are they going natural with their girls (no heat or chemicals) they have gone through the big chop and are now natural themselves…in the interest of setting a good example and sending the message that there is nothing wrong with what God gave them…Although their hair type is different to mine and to each other I thought it would be interesting to hear their views…. here is what they had to say:

 My bud Busi and her daughter Lilitha (Aidy’s unofficial twin-born on the same day)

What is “going natural” to you?

Going ‘Natural’ to me means growing out my natural hair, free of any chemicals, relaxers, harmful creams etc.  Wearing my hair as an afro, in all its natural kinks & curls, its more versatile than most people think & one can always wear protective hairstyle like braids & plaits.

Why did you opt for this route?

Growing up I put my natural hair through a lot of chemical processing and this has had a detrimental effect on my hairline, not pretty at all! So keeping it healthy & giving its life back! Secondly – embracing my natural beauty,I do not need to have silky hair extensions to be beautiful, or relaxed straight hair..its important to me to have self acceptance & hair is a woman’s crowning glory….my crowning glory should not be a fake representation of my real beauty.

What has the reactions been like?

Surprisingly I have had positive reactions! My close friends & family & even social networking friends are very supportive and full of compliments! That was quite refreshing.

What is your plan with your little girls hair?

She will definitely be a naturalista all the way! Mommy will make sure not a drop of harmful relaxers ever touch that hair and scalp & I will teach her to love her kinky gorgeous hair. Regular organic treatments & natural plaits here and there (not pulled too tightly of course) & she will learn from me that we are gorgeous minus the extensions. I cannot wait to go on that journey with her.

What treatments have you put your hair through in the past?

I have done perms, relaxers, using hair dyes. I even went through a phase in High School were we dyed our hair plum red using food coloring! LOL! Imagine that foolishness…

Do you have any regrets?

Yes! Yes! Yes! I wish I hadn’t relaxed my hair so much & worn all those tight weaves that put so much stress on my hairline 🙁 I regret that everyday when I look at my sparse edges…..I’m working on forgiving myself and moving on by being good to my hair.
How important do you think hair is when it comes to self esteem?
It’s important because like I said ‘its a woman’s crowning glory’ BUT its also important to not put too much importance on it…alot of woman rock a bald head just as beautifully as a head full of thick locks of hair.  As India Arie once sang- ‘I am not my hair’ !

How does your daily/monthly hair routine differ not that you are “natural”?

OWWW…its more work! One would think it would be less work but no sirree its more work. I neglected my hair under the weaves & wigs, the hair on extensions etc is “dead” and doesn’t need much work done…but your own natural hair requires TLC to thrive.

What is the goal?

A BIG HEALTHY AFRO! lol

I’ve seen you with many different styles before are you not afraid that natural is limiting?

That is my biggest ‘concern’ because really i was very ‘busy’ with my do’s.  I love big afro hair though…even my wigs were like that recently. That is definitely going to be a challenge though but there are many natural hair friendly protective hairstyles..I will play around without causing anymore harm.

Who is your favourite celeb “natural”?

Janelle Monae , her hair looks so healthy and gorgeous!  & Tracee Ellis Ross! that big curly fro is the one!! Oh and a hair blogger called Taren Guy…she has the hair of my dreams!!! Ohh wait..that’s more than one! lol

My friend Tamara and little Bavuya – Tamara lives in Johannesburg and works in the newspaper industry

What is “going natural” to you?

It’s just doing away with relaxers and weaves and letting my own hair grow naturally.

Why did you opt for this route?

I can say I got tired of monthly routine of having to relax my hair and going for treatments every two weeks. And also I needed a change, the last time I went natural was my first year at varsity (about 7 years ago) So I needed to do something different.

What is your plan with your little girls hair?

To never ever put relaxers on her hair. I have seen a lot of mothers put their kids through the torture of relaxing their kids hair and sometimes the damage that it causes to the child’s hair and scalp is irreversible.

What treatments have you put your hair through in the past?

Just the cream relaxers and last year I dyed it dark red

Do you have any regrets regarding going natural?

None what so ever, but my family is against this whole idea

How important do you think hair is when it comes to self esteem?

Well, it is important because when I’m having a bad hair day I don’t really feel good about myself I tend to be reserved and don’t really interact with people. But when my hair looks good, I feel good

How does your daily/monthly hair routine differ not that you are “natural”?

Well I have been natural for less than a week now, but now it is easier to manage, I can wash it everyday if I want to, unlike relaxed hair. In the morning I just put on hair food and comb through. I don’t have to rush to the salon every month to get it relaxed, so I guess financially its very convenient as well.

What is the goal?

Try but all means to stay natural for at least 3 years

I’ve seen you with many different styles before are you not afraid that natural is limiting?

That’s what I like, I just like the simplicity of natural hair

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