How the Mouse Snatched My Wig: Story Behind Why I Decided to Go Natural

why i went natural

 

Baby Me

Short Hair Made Me Feel Powerful

I never had long hair and it never meant much to me. In the black community long straight hair is some precious accomplishment that randomly gets brought up in conversations about anything but hair. I never got it and never cared to. What I have always loved was seeing really healthy hair, at any length. That was something to envy. I wanted big hair that curled and lifted by a little wind. But, never cared to be that girl flicking just below ear length hair behind her, because she thought it meant something. If anything, I always knew if my hair was never big and curly I wanted hair like Halle Berry. Short and cut to perfection. So, I tested the waters first. I use to wear those 27 piece quick weaves for years. I loved those things and I’m not ashamed. Short hair always made me feel powerful. I had nothing to hide behind and I liked it that way. It was something about being the few young girls with a bold cut when bold cuts weren’t a trend. This was high school after all. I’m not saying I was only one, but it definitely was an uncommon move.

When I wasn’t chopping off my hair and irritating my grandma for it, I was weaved up. Sometimes I would change my weave twice in one week. This was before virgin Malaysian grade 5A or whatever, was a thing. These girls won’t tell it, but I will. We were all buying weave from the Asian beauty supply store, nothing too fancy either. So it was nothing to switch it up. Especially, since I became a self-proclaimed expert at quick weaves. What I didn’t know then that I know now is how much damage I was doing.

Quick weave in Cayman Islands

Avoiding Being Called Ghetto

Throughout the years I’ve experimented with my hair as much a black girl could. It’s a very new thing that black women get to experiment the way they do now. We couldn’t go out with blue hair unless we wanted to be called hoodrat or were in fact a hoodrat. No offense to anyone , but hoodrats are people too. Crazy thing is, it seems like I’m talking about 15 years ago when I’ve only been out of school for 6 years. I’m not sure why it took so long for people to accept that black women want to express themselves and not be ghetto for it. Because, of this I kept it pretty tamed. I had blonde hair and never actually wanted to be white contrary to popular belief about black women and blonde hair. I’ve worn wigs and weaves of all lengths, shapes, textures and I’ve actually never been bald underneath it all. With all my experimentation came lots of damage that wasn’t noticeable at first. I think this is a big problem with many women. We don’t notice damage until it’s too late or we actually experience healthy hair. All that bonding glue and tight or heavy braids does damage when you don’t prioritize taking care of your own hair. After years of relaxing, dyeing , bonding and threading I decided I needed a change.
Selfie before work years ago

How the Mouse Snatched My Wig & Why I Went Natural

At first, I was inspired after my sister made her big chop and I decided I should give it a try. After considering this decision for some time, I decide my hair needed it. I remember living in Orlando during my Disney College Program internship and going through hell with my hair. There I was among thousands of college students I’ve never met until those 6 months and my hair decided to act a fool. I bought this lace wig before moving, thinking it was the perfect protective style. This company promised me quality hair would that last as long as I took proper care. However, in that first week it gave up on me. The hair matted up right before my eyes. So with no money as college student, I lost my only protective style and went back to my relaxed hair. At this time my relaxed hair was the healthiest it had ever been. That was until Disney assigned me to be a housekeeper at one of their best resorts. Not only did that job stress the hell out of me, I’m convinced the chemicals ruined my hair. The back of my hair broke drastically, which was probably related to the friction from the horrible uniforms we were forced to wear. So when I moved back home, I got a tapered cut and dyed the top blonde. This was mostly out of rebellion to Disney’s very strict cast member ( employee) rules. After seeing my sisters hair healthy and flourishing I decided to make the big chop. My hair was crying for some TLC and I had to give in.
Graduating from Disney College Program

How Dare You Love You

The big chop was the best decision I ever made. Being natural forces you to face your hair problems. Think about it. If you’re going to go through with going natural and all the things that go with, wouldn’t you put in 100%. Everyone wants to know why you would ever want to wear what god gave you. Now you have the pressure of not just accepting your texture, but proving to others there’s reasons why you love it. I don’t want to prove to people that my hair is pretty dope but, it comes with the territory. So I find myself making the effort to love my hair the way I didn’t when it was relaxed. I had to take care of it, because there was no more chemicals to hid behind. I still found myself cutting my hair thorough out my first natural hair journey and I’m still not obsessing over growing long hair. Now after my second big chop I’m trying to accomplish getting it thick and soft. I figure once I get it healthy the rest will come.
About a week ago…

Shanae WIldgoose

Lifestyle Blogger, Mom of 2, Bahamian, Creative

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