The decision to go natural is a unique one for every person who makes it. For some it's to improve the health of their hair, for others it's to make a statement, and for some it's purely for aesthetic reasons. My primary reason for going natural is this:
This was my thought at the tender age of 19, when I wore my hair in a long, past my shoulders perm: Every other woman in the world is allowed to wear her hair as it naturally sprouts from her head and it is considered acceptable and beautiful..... why can't I?
Of course, there are a myriad of reasons why natural black hair isn't generally considered "acceptable" in our society and why hair product companies make billions of dollars every year off of black women trying to make their hair straighter, longer and shinier (i.e. more in line with European standards of hair beauty). But I didn't care about any of those reasons. I simply wanted to prove that I could be just as beautiful with my God-given hair texture as I could with my chemically altered (and by this point, damaged) long straight hair.
My transition into natural hair from shoulder blade length perm went something like this: I didn't perm it for a few months, then I chopped it all off down to about 1-2 inches. Yes, cold turkey, a.k.a. The Big Chop. My sister was with me as I sat in the chair at the salon while the whole shop looked on in horror as my "long pretty hair" hit the floor. And I never looked back.
Since then I've proven both to myself and others that natural hair can be and IS beautiful and accepted in society. I get WAY more compliments on my natural hair than I ever did with a perm, from minorities and non-minorities alike. One time I actually pressed my natural hair out straight, and I hated it because I just looked so..... plain. Like everyone else. I like how natural hair gives me a sense of individuality.
But.... isn't that kind of sad? And backwards? Wearing my hair as God designed it is being different......? Unfortunately, it is. And that is why I hold fast to my original purpose behind going natural, to prove that I was made pretty, too. And now I've made it my mission to show other women (and men) that they too can be beautiful just the way God made them.
Welcome to my mission.