Sunday, November 1
Afriware Book Store
266 W. Lake St.
To purchase a copy of the book:
Thank God I'm Natural--The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair
5 Myths about Natural Hair
So, you're thinking about going natural, but you haven't seen your natural texture in over twenty years and don't know the first thing about caring for your real hair. Well, not too long ago, I was worried about the very same thing. Growing up, I always thought (incorrectly) that natural hair was reserved for the Alicia Keys types. Fortunately, I came across the website www.nappturality.com, which dispelled the myth that women born with tightly coiled hair have no alternative to relaxers. Unfortunately, this myth is still widespread within our community due to lack of information about caring for our kinky tresses. In order to help you get a handle on such misconceptions, I've tried to anticipate most, if not all, of your concerns in. My hope is that this reality check will help to eliminate some of your worries and give you the confidence to get started on your own natural journey.
Myth #1 - Natural Hair is only for those with "Good Hair"
Chris Rock's new movie, which is set to debut on October 9th, will explore this old school belief, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Fortunately, times have changed. Turn on the TV and you can't go ten minutes without seeing a black woman with a twist out or a freeform fro in a national television commercial. Flip through the pages of Cosmo, Vogue, and Essence and you'll also see black women of all different skin tones and hair textures rocking the latest fashions! It doesn't matter if your curls are loose and wavy or tight and kinky. Natural hair is the look of the day and can be worn by just about anyone.
Myth #2 - Natural Hair is Unprofessional
I've heard this a thousand times before. Sadly enough, we as black women are more likely than our white counterparts to view our kinky tresses as unprofessional or inferior. I personally have not experienced any problems with being natural and working for one of the top law firms in the country. In fact, I have found it much easier to be myself around my colleagues and clients sporting natural hair rather than with perms and wigs. Go figure!!
Myth #3 - Natural Hair is Unmanageable
Nothing could be further from the truth. The media and relaxer manufacturers have done an excellent job of tricking us all into believing that our natural hair is difficult and requires a miracle simply to maintain. Check out the ads in this month's Ebony and I promise that you'll find pages of relaxer advertisements that promise longer, silkier, and easier to manage hair. It should come as no surprise that these corporations have profited to the tune of billions of dollars by perpetuating such myths and preying on the insecurities of black women everywhere. The truth is that natural hair is just as manageable as relaxed hair and often gives the wearer greater freedom and flexibility. Once you've mastered the basic grooming techniques and have found products that your hair likes/responds to, caring for your natural tresses will be as easy as A, B, C.
Myth #4 - Natural Hair is only for the Political/Spiritual Types
I love me some Angela Davis - but natural hair is for everyone. Although the Afro was once a symbol for political change, today, being natural is nothing more than a hairstyle. Natural hair looks just as good on women wearing their dashikis and head wraps as it does on women sporting their St. John suits. At the end of the day, you're an individual and natural hair can't take that away from you.
Myth #5 - Your Styling Options are Limited
Once upon a time, tight, braided styles were our only options when it came to wearing our hair natural. But times have changed. Now, there are so many looks to choose from. Not only do you have the option to wear your hair straight or curly - but you can also experiment with cornrows, flat twists, Bantu knots, comb coils, roller sets, and twist outs. If you're feeling modern and funky, you can rock a blow out or pay homage to Pam Grier, the original Foxy Cleopatra, and sport a big-a** Afro. For a look that is timeless and sophisticated, you can never go wrong with slicking your hair back into a bun. And, of course, I can't forget to give a shout-out to all the ladies with the Teeny Weeny Afros. Color is also a great way to spice up your look and give yourself more variety. Remember, variety is the spice of life and with natural hair, you're never short on seasoning.
Chris-Tia Donaldson is a Harvard graduate with a true passion for hair. By day, Chris-Tia is a successful lawyer for a software company. By night, she is a freelance writer and entrepreneur looking to launch her own product line for naturally kinky tresses. For this revolutionary book, Chris-Tia has interviewed hundreds of women -- from all walks of life -- about everything from the epidemic of hair loss in the black community to the historical effects of slavery on black women and their hair care practices. Chris-Tia currently lives in Chicago -- where she is active in a wide variety of civic, educational, and charitable organizations.