If you have been on the campus of Francis Marion University (FMU) for more than a year, you may have noticed the increase of African-American females who wear their hair in its natural state. From curly coifs, kinky coils and full-out “‘fros;” the natural hair movement is taking our campus by storm.
With natural hair myself, I find the increase in women with similar hair textures comforting. Even though there are those who joined our ranks as attempt to follow the crowd; I like to think that every time I pass a fellow natural that we subconsciously give each other a high five. I guess you could say that’s my weird side showing.
I did the big chop back in high school when the idea natural hair was not very popular. Weave was the standard, and those who did not wear weaves wore relaxers. Personally, I had gotten relaxers from a young age and could barely remember my natural hair before.
My relaxed hair was fine, thin, broke very easily and would not grow past my shoulders. I actually did not realize that I could opt out of relaxers until my junior year.
It was not until I had a series of braid extensions that I noticed that my new growth had an actual pattern. At that point my hair had a loose curl to it, and I became curious as to what would happen if I never relaxed again.
I know, a shocking thought that I decided to look into, and by “looking into it” I mean I researched for weeks. Then, when I was finally convinced that this is what I wanted, I transitioned for about four months. Eventually my mom got fed-up with the 2 textures that I was rocking and talked me into cutting off most of my hair.
The change was a big adjustment to say the least; No one else had hair like mine. After having my whole face exposed for the entire world to see and dealing with feedback from everyone I came into contact with, I considered going back to what I was familiar with.
But I didn’t, I stuck with my all natural look. Now, natural hair is what is familiar; it’s the new normal. I get a little more acquainted with it every time I walk to class. It makes me happy to see African-American women becoming more comfortable with their natural hair.