I transitioned to natural a few years back. And although I did not experience the "big chop" like some of my Naturalistas sisters, I did undergo a process of transition. What helped me during the process was that I wore lots of weaves. But did you know there is a great debate going on about protective styling? What is a protective style to you? There is actually an argument out in the natural hair universe that if you wear weaves and wigs YOU ARE NOT NATURAL. Guess what, there is even an arguments that suggests, if you have color, use certain products, or straighten your hair YOU ARE NOT NATURAL. Before we move on let's dissect the meaning of a PROTECTIVE STYLE. We of course are going to use the definition from CurlyNikki's website:
"...protective styling is basically putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away from the atmosphere to protect them from damage..."
More traditional protective styles include braids, twists, cornrows, roll, tuck & pin, buns (debatable also LOL); as well as low manipulation styles such as twist outs, braid outs, and wash n gos. Here recently naturalistas have also been rocking natural hair inspired protective styles such as poetic justice braids, box braid, Marley twists, Havana twists, faux locs, wigs, and weaves. Once these styles started trending is when the great debate really went full force.
Remember the documentary with Chris Rock, "Good Hair"? Someone (clears throat, Nikki Walton) really needs to have a follow up interview with him because I remember him making fun of beauty supply stores not selling African textured weaves. And look at us now! There are so many natural textured extension companies out there taking over the hair industry. Companies like Private Stock Hair, Kinky Curly Yaki, Heat Free Hair, Curlkalon, and so many more.
During this shoot, this was one of the things that I was a bit worried about, although I am not per se a Naturalista advocate, I have gained knowledge on how to care for my hair. But before that I had the journey of accepting back my natural curls. I was and still am a BIG weaving fan. Like the average woman, I like diversity in my life. when it comes to hair I like to challenge my hairdressers and myself with new trends and out of the box concepts.
This look was sponsored by a young entrepreneur that has invested time and money into obtaining the skills that you need in order to become a weaves and wigs connoisseur. So much so that she has started her own line of hair: You can get more information by visiting her Facebook Page:
I am known for always doing non traditional things to my hair and I LOVE color. Which means I cannot tell you the last time I saw my actual hair color (and yes this is while being natural). many ask about the bleaching element, the truth is that once you have the proper post bleach care routine, your coils will be just fine! It is a fact that your natural hair has longer endurance and is more resistance to colors, bleach, heat etc than when your hair is permed.
Below is a YouTube link that will take you through the process of me dying my hair pink / purple last year December. once again I have an excellent hair dresser and I always make sure to follow her advice when it comes to post care of whatever hair style I decide to rock:
In conclusion, those of us that like wearing weaves, wigs, faux locs, box braids, etc. it is OK to rock such styles and explore the diversity within you. What you are actually doing is promoting our versatility and the ability that we as BLACK women have so many options, and none of them have to replace the other. It would only become a problem is if you are not comfortable going back to your true natural state. It is only problematic when you are not comfortable going back to your true natural state. If the feeling of beauty only shows up when you are wearing an alternative style, then there might be the chance that your hair is only PART of a rooted problem and that you might have to dig deeper to find your true self. Important is to admit and seek help with professionals or a support group, should this be the issue. We have undergo a long journey in arriving towards the destination of loving our natural hair (it took me some time for SURE). We have so many things that as black women we need to embrace, that hair should really not be that much of a challenge....