Natural rocks current trends

| September 1, 2015

On hot combs, hair weaves and extensions so that their hair can also be classified as beautiful.

The current trends in hairstyles has ignored long held misconceptions about African hair as many women have switched to keeping their hair natural and appreciate it more. One of the many women that have embraced their natural hair, Onalethata Pillai, who’s based in Malaysia, explained that she decided to go natural for the first time in her life in 2012.

She said that the decision was influenced more by the fact that she was at the inception of living a healthy lifestyle.

“I hated that I was doing everything to reduce toxins in my diet while putting them on my head through cream relaxers and other products,’’ she said.

Pillai also said most of the people around her were not used to her natural self, therefore they were shocked by the decision she took to shave off the relaxed hair. However, that did not make her regret the decision she took of going all natural with her hair.

She said that being natural to her meant that she was being healthy because she no longer had to introduce harmful toxins that may end up causing health problems. She also explained that it meant that she was accepting and appreciating herself the way she was created.

“Well I was not born with long silky hair and if I renounce the hair that I was born with as not good enough, then I am renouncing myself and that does not settle well with me,’’ she added.

Pillai explained that African hair is not difficult to maintain as perceived by many. She says the difficulty might be in the reason that most of the black girls have only been taught to manage relaxed hair compared to their original God-given African hair.

She explained that being far from home has been difficult for her hair as she does not find African hair products easily in Malaysia and thus she has resorted to using coconut, castor and olive oil for her afro. She added that products like aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, honey, rosemary, lavender, jojoba serum, coconut milk and bananas have also been helpful in keeping her hair healthy.

African hair has been defined in so many words like nappy, stubborn and kinky. It therefore is not a surprise that Pillai has named hers afro queen coils. She explained that she calls hers afro queen coils because it does not bend to anyone’s will, but rather it is a ruler in its own realm. She says that her afro, like any other hair type, has a personality, explaining that it always shows when it does not agree with a certain product.

“It will become dry, brittle and shrink; it will even rebel so much that I can’t even style it,’’ she explained.

Pillai was quick to add that the majesty of her afro comes to full light when she is using the products that her hair approves of. She says that when products have been deemed as right by her hair, queen coils will always stand up regal and proud and ultimately demanding total attention and admiration from everyone around.

She says that rocking a big afro in a silky haired country has definitely been a spectacle because she always stands out from the crowd and the daring ones always ask to have a touch of her afro.

The African hair fanatic pointed out that women of colour have hid their beautiful hair under weaves and hair extensions so much that when other people from other races see black hair all in the open it becomes difficult to believe that is it all natural.

“My colleague from Kazakhstan once asked me if she could cut a small piece of my hair to take home and show her family because they did not believe that there is hair that looks like mine,” she said.

She emphasised that African hair is all beautiful and desirable just the way it is and she found that out because everyday women with silky hair showered her with so many questions about the methods she uses to make her hair afro.

“A lady from Bolivia didn’t believe me when I said my hair was in its natural form. She got so mad at me because she thought I was being selfish with my secret to having afro hair,’’ she said.

Pillai said that her hair doesn’t define her in any way, but the fact that it is part of her identity as a black woman makes her feel proud to be a woman of colour and to be of the only race with this type of hair.

Her way of explaining that her hair does not define her as a human being, but rather identifies her as a black woman, will remind a person the words that were once uttered by Ossie Davis when he said that he found being black as ‘a thing of beauty, joy, strength, that it is a secret cup of gladness, a native land in neither time nor place, but in every black face.’.

One lady who also has tapped in being natural, Smolly Nkobodo, who is keeping dread locks, said that as long as she could remember, her family has always been supportive of going natural as it is not demanding and expensive. “Locks are easy maintenance, I use less than P200 to twist and style my hair,” she said.

Nkobodo, just like Pillai, explained that before she locked her hair three years ago, she used to call it kinky mad afro. She said it was because some days it would be so easy to comb and style her afro however she desired, but some days her afro would just would become so hard and painful.

She explained that her locked hair, which she pet named crazy flirt, does not define who she is in any way, but rather compliments her bubbly character.

“I am naturally an energetic person, so I see myself so much in my dreadlocks because they have a way of brightening my day with their liveliness,” she added.

Both ladies said that it is not wrong in any way for women of colour to use cream relaxers, hair extensions and weaves to elevate their beauty as everyone is entitled to making choices that are suitable for themselves. They however emphasised that black women should not be afraid to give their natural hair a chance to glow them.

They said it is actually not a bad thing to give one’s hair an opportunity to be natural as many celebrities in the likes of poetess Berry Heart, and radio personality Lesego Kgajwane have done with theirs.

They encouraged black women who want to go natural to adhere to their desire because one will never know the beauty of their natural hair until they have given it a chance. The two ladies also said that black girls should be taught at an early age how to care for their natural hair so that their confidence in keeping natural hair can be boosted.

Category: General

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