Mark and I planned to visit countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. I assumed that I would be able to find hair dressers in Africa who would know how to take care of my hair. I was not so sure about the situation Asia and Latin America. So I started thinking of alternative hair treatments.
What I saw when I looked to the women with kinky and curly hair in my own environment, was chemically treated or short cut hair. Cutting my hair was no option for me. Nor was straightening because of the planned world trip.
So I started asking around and visited hair salons for information. Braids, s-curl, and other forms of texturizers were suggested to me. None of them really sounded like viable options to me.
Magazines that I used to read, like Glamour, didn’t offer any solution either. I only then realized that mainstream beauty magazines were not catered to women with my type of hair. So I started to search the internet. That is when an entire world opened up to me.
I somehow landed on a website about natural hair. All of the sudden I was seeing women wearing their kinky hair in a natural way, without being treated with chemicals, hair rollers, or heat. Not only were they wearing their natural hair, they were looking absolutely beautiful.
I had not before imagined it possible for young women to look as beautiful and fashionable with unprocessed hair. Hack, I think I even never really considered the possibility of young women wearing natural hair. But here they were, these beautiful, fashionable women, with natural hair dos.
These women were not only sharing their looks, they were also sharing their knowledge. Women like Nikki Walton on curlynikki.com, and my then favourite, Maeling Murphy on thenaturalchica.com. They all shared their experiences with different types of products and hair styles.
I learned new terms like the big chop, twa, hand in hair syndrome, protective style and so on, and so on.
I spent hours and hours surfing on the world wide web. Each hour being more surprised by the beauty that was in natural hair.
The more time I spent online, the more I learned on how to go natural and how to treat natural hair.
I remember thinking that the visuals I was seeing should be more mainstream; that any little girl with kinky hair should grow up knowing that she can be beautiful, fashionable, attractive, eloquent looking with natural hair. Natural hair as a real, equal option. Not as a must.
Based on what I have seen in the last 9 years, I like to believe that we are actually moving towards that reality.