Sep 17, 2010

Posted by in My Natural Hair Journey, Self Love | 4 Comments

My Freedom!

My Freedom!

I finally did it!

Through all of my indecision, issues, and revelations during this natural hair transition, more than anything I just wanted to be ALL NATURAL.  August 11, 2010 is my date to remember!

** Check out my previous posts “Authentically Me” and “I Am Not My Hair…Am I?” to get updated on my journey. **

Cutting off the bone straight, dead weight, permed ends of my hair was definitely a liberating experience.  (And yes, as more of my natural hair started to grow in, my permed ends really did feel like dead weight especially when washing my hair.)

As a new natural, rocking my TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro – a term coined by the natural hair community), I have gained many forms of freedom…

Freedom of attachments: My first revelation during this process revealed that I was entirely too attached to the hype that my long, straight hair defined my beauty.  Now that my hair is the total opposite – short and curly – every time I look in the mirror, I see that I have officially redefined my beauty.  In my delusional days, I would envy women that could wear any hairstyle and still exude such beauty and style, completely detaching myself from that type of versatility.  I had not yet embraced the totality of my own beauty.  It feels good to know that I am naturally, effortlessly and interchangeably beautiful.

Freedom of mainstream society: Although I’ve heard and read that “going natural” seems to be the new trend these days, that was certainly not my reason for doing it.  My intention is to live by my own God-inspired rules instead of societal standards.  One of the new rules I’m following and my reason for going natural is to gain more unconditional self-love and acceptance. So if the new trend to “go natural” incorporates that rule I’ll gladly jump on the bandwagon!

Freedom of judgment: Recently a loved one made some comments which reminded me that the same flaws I was afraid to expose by cutting my hair are, in fact, revealed.  The good news is, I was totally unphased!  I simply accepted my flaws, knowingly, and went on about my day.  The beauty in my new attitude is defined as radical self-acceptance (as so eloquently put by my good friend Lila.  Check out her article “Radical Self-Acceptance”).  Every time I look at my new short, natural hair or my revealed flaws I say, “This is me!”  Releasing self-judgment allows the judgments of others to effortlessly roll off my back.  This definitely causes a boost in confidence!

Most of all, I AM FREE TO BE ME!

It feels great!

I must admit.  With all the greatness involved in becoming natural, there is definitely a huge adjustment period.  As you can see, it’s taken me over a month to reveal myself!  I’ve definitely had to get used to this short, natural hair.  Adjusting to the two drastic changes at once forces me to fully embrace my freedom statements so that instead of proclaiming them I am truly living them.  That is one of the main things I love about this whole process.  It ignites true authenticity and commitment to change.  Many times we proclaim we want to be different, but not until we physically thrust ourselves into a drastically different situation do we redirect our mind’s focus enough to truly create that change in our lives.

Change is GOOD.

As I delve deeper into acceptance, I must say, I love my natural curls!  I can’t keep my hands out of them!

Closeup of my curls

In regard to recruiting more naturals, I have been trying to figure out my position on this.  Here is what I’ve come up with:

Do you.  Love you the best way you know how.

Embracing my natural hair, I’ve learned to love myself on a new, deeper level and I’m loving it!  If you want to experiment with new ways to love yourself and would like to try the natural route, by all means, join me!

Different looks with my new hair!

Share your thoughts in the comments: What do you think of my ‘do? What are some of your freedom and self-love stories?

Peace, Love & Freedom,

~Alexis~

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  1. sharon gantt "Ms Sharon" says:

    Hello Ms. Alexis! I pray this message finds you well and a happy girl! Let me first say that i am sitting here with my mouth wide open after reading “your” words. You are an exceptional writer with a gift to share, please pursue the writer in you! Secondly, you have always been a gorgeous young lady, but i now see the Queen in you. I look at you picture and i can’t believe how much you have evolved in the short time since we worked together. Please baby always “DO YOU!” I am so excited about your new journey and i look forward to following you on it! Much Love and Respect!

    • Thanks so much Sharon. You have no idea how much your words mean to me. I have always had so much respect and admiration for you. You are truly treasured and I feel honored to share my journey!

  2. Awesome post! I’m also growing out my hair (the last time I had a relaxer was March 2011). This is my second go at it. The first time I had dreadlocks (from ages 23 to 27). I loved them…but I was also starting out in my professional work career. I snagged a great job with them, but self-doubt seeped in and other Black female co-workers started to remark that I would look “more polished” without them. So I drank the Kool-Aid and cut and then permed again. For a while, I was totally digging it…hitting up the Dominican salons every other month to “get” my shiny, bouncy hair. But after several years, it all got very old. I became so dependent on others to do my hair. Running from the rain…spending too much of my hard-earned money. So I’m giving it up again. Instead of cutting it off (I’m not that brave sadly), I just opted for weaves. But yeah, the “mix” of natural and permed hair is such a challenge. I can’t wait until it’s all gone!

    Anyway you’re so inspirational & gorgeous…keep us posted!

    • Thanks Shona! And thanks for sharing your story. I totally feel you about drinking the koolaid. My long straight hair became my identity, so cutting my hair was something I really needed to do, not only to go natural, but to find my true beauty. When I look back now and see how short my hair was, sometimes I can’t even believe I did it. But I am so proud of myself for doing it. It’s been a year and 4 months now since I’ve done it and my hair has grown a lot. I will have to do an update post, because this natural hair journey has definitely been interesting. I still love my natural hair, but I’ve definitely had some up and down days with it. Congrats to you on your journey and I wish you happy and healthy hair! :)

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