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By Sabrina of SeriouslyNatural.org

Now, first breathe…breathe and calm your worried nerves about what I just said.  I know many in the natural hair community hate that statement….

Natural hair ain’t for everybody.

Yea, too many of us have heard this, and most would not agree, but I’m here to really delve into this feeling that many relaxed black women have vocalized.  Maybe it’s not for everybody, and I’m here to tell you why.

Going natural is a personal journey… a private journey that one must decide on for themselves. Some are pushed into it due to hair loss, illness, bad perms and a whole host of reasons.  But the vast majority decide to go natural even though they don’t have to.  It’s a conscious decision, and some do not realize the real work that goes into it.

Work? I mean actual WORK.  Yes, there is work involved because many of us haven’t seen our natural hair since we were little girls, and even then we were not fooling with it. Our mothers were doing our hair.  My mother dealt with my hair in its natural state, and then started getting it flat-ironed.  By the time I was 13 and my sister 12 we had gone to the beauty salon and gotten our first perm.  It was a freedom I had never felt before as my hair was silky, flowing and blowing in the wind.  Then came the bad hair maintenance mistakes that plagued me until high school, where I finally mastered my permed hair.

Many of us have been permed for years, decades and even applied weaves, color and the like to our hair.  Pretty soon we were experts with permed hair. So why do many feel that — given all those years dealing with permed hair — that then learning how to deal with natural hair will be easy? Because whether you big chop or transition you will run into problems.

If you transition you must work two textures of hair and only one is familiar to you.  If you big chop you must instantly learn how to work with this new hair that grows out of your head.  You probably had never even seen or remembered what your natural hair looked like.  There are pitfalls along the way and if you aren’t willing to work through them all…you will fail. If a transitioning woman does not want to fool with new techniques then she will fail.  If a transitioning woman doesn’t figure out what products work for her through trial and error she will fail. And if a transitioning woman is only willing to deal with one type of natural hair, more than likely she will fail. See the pattern?

If you are not mentally prepared to learn a new way of doing your hair then you are not ready for being a natural haired woman.  If you will only be natural as long as there is a weave covering your head then you are not ready to be natural.  If you are not willing to wait for your natural hair to transition from relaxed or straight styles and come into its own then you are not ready to be natural.

See it’s not that Natural hair ain’t for everybody. Rather, not everybody is ready and willing to become Natural. 

This journey is a beautiful one. A change in style for some but for me and quite a few others it’s a change within. My hair is more than just hair to me.  What I was willing to do to get to where I am now (8 years natural) had its own ups and downs, but I wanted to be here.  Not everyone is ready or willing to do that.  We as hard core naturals need to accept and respect that.

So, the next time you hear that annoying sentence just remember what they are REALLY saying.

It’s a beautiful Natural journey,
Sabrina

For more of Sabrina’s writings, check out her website Seriously Natural.