When I was young girl, I had a friend who lived one block away from my house. Her name was Sandy. That it what we called her, but her full name was Cassandra. I remember her like it was yesterday. She had long beautiful natural hair and I recall her wearing two long cornrowed braids, often. We used to love to play handball together. We would get our handballs, rush to the park, call next and throw down on the court. Sandy was better than I was at the game because she could play equally well with both her left and right hand and when a ball came down the middle, she would say "I got this" and slam it! We were an excellent team, I must say and we would beat most guys or girls on the court. We used to go to our favorite park, which was St. Albans, and then we decided to venture out to other parks on our bicycles. I also remember that on one holiday (I believe it was Easter because everyone got new clothes even if they weren't going to church), we got new matching outfits. They were khaki colored, with short sleeves with a red stripe down each side and a gold zipper in the front. We wore those jump suits to the park and played handball in them. That was so fun. What a memory! I wish I had pictures but there were no cell phones or selfies then and there are no photos to my knowledge.
In recent years, I reconnected with my friend Sandy on Facebook and I was so excited about that. She has beautiful daughters and they, along with Sandy, have determined that Natural Is Cool Enough for their hair. So below are their stories and photos. I hope you will enjoy them! N.I.C.E. is definitely the reality for these beautiful sistah's!
|Sandy's Daughter Tara|
I wore my hair in a pony tail with a bun. It was natural. Then I got a perm when I turned 8 and still wore my hair in a pony tail with a bun but it was easier to manage. I came to wear my hair naturally when I went to the salon and they permed my hair but they must have used super because my hair was super straight. It was straighter than it ever had been. Then it started to get thinner and thinner and no matter what conditioner I used it would not get soft. Then about 15 months ago I did a big chop and wore it naturally but when it got a certain length I put blonde dye in it. This was in February of this year and all of it started to fall out so I just cut it again. This time I'm just gonna let it grow without wanting so much color. It is now very thick and healthy but I had to start all over again. It feels strange at times because I get tired of the same old style afro. I don’t want to manipulate it yet so I just leave it. I just twist it up then take out the twist but I do not add heat or straighten it. I will say that wearing braids makes my hair grow faster and I am taking biotin but it does not really speed up the growth. I have gotten used to my afro and don’t mind when people look at me strangely. I just wish it could grow 3 times faster than it's growing but, all in all, I love it and would never get a perm again.
|Sandy and her daughter Najah|
|Sandy and Najah|
As a child growing up my mother did not perm my hair, but occasionally she did run a warm iron comb through it. As I got older I got my hair permed and for years I have been wearing it that way until 2013. During the month of July I stopped perming it. My daughter Najah begged me to stop putting chemicals in my hair, but the real reason is my hair was thinning out from the edges and it became noticeable. Now I can see improvement in my hair. Each month I would cut my ends because unlike my daughters I didn’t want to cut off a lot at one time. People stared and some asked me about my hair (white people of course). They asked how did I get my hair this way and I would smile and say this is the state of my natural hair. I just stop putting relaxers in it. I love my hair this way so much that I can slap myself for not doing it sooner. Today all my daughters wear their hair naturally. I was the last one to join them.