Being Natural with Nay-saying Family Members


For some us the decision to go back natural was not just a physical change but also an emotional roller-coaster. You might struggle with the fact that you need to relearn everything you knew about your hair. Getting use to the “new you” can be a challenge and having a support system behind you that encourages the decision to go back natural can be essential.

I always tell people be yourself forget what others say but I know it can be easier said than done. I was blessed to have two supportive parents that never actually wanted me to relax my hair in the first place so they were thrilled to hear I decided to go back natural. I also have the sort of attitude where I generally don’t care if you like how I look or not as long as I am comfortable in my shoes. While I was transitioning I walked around looking a mess because I didn’t know what I was doing or how to style my transitioning hair. I thought I was the ‘ish! Looking back at photos 5 years later, I probably should have cared a little LOL but I survived.

This is for those of you that might be on the fence about going back natural, facing challenges and those that do not feel like you have a support system. The first thing to remember is that they know not what they say! Family members that might not be supportive or even completely negative towards your decision are not saying these things out of hate or meanness. A lot of the times it is usually (usually) the older generation that have a hard time trying to understand why you would want to go back natural because of their past. They sort of “relive” the thoughts, things said, things they saw and so on. Our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles etc. might remember what their normal was and their norm wasn’t curly, kinky, coily hair.

Another aspect is a lack of knowledge about natural hair. Back then they didn’t have access to online sources, books about natural hair, forums, YouTube Videos, blogs etc. They could not reach out to other naturals for advice, the only thing they knew was how to “deal with” natural hair in the form of relaxers.

At the end of the day, the hair that grows from your head is your own. You wake up and go to sleep with your hair therefore it is your decision. If you’ve tried convincing them that you know what you’re doing and need their support without success simply let it be. You cannot force anyone to accept something they don’t understand. What might look like “a mess” for your Grandmother is cute kinky curls for you and I say hold your head up high and strut your stuff! Sooner or later they will come to understand that your decision is final and if you are standing with your head up high they will come around, even if they do not fully understand. At the very least at some point they will get tired of saying the same thing over and over again.
Do not let other influence your decisions. Like I said no one wears your crown except you so stick to your decision and do so with pride. Your crown your glory!

For those of you that might be teenagers living under the roof of your parents, it might be hard to try and convince your parents that you no longer want to relax your hair. I am a member in a natural hair forum and we had a teenager that wanted advice on how to convince her mother that she wanted to go natural. She ended up doing a mini project to present to her mother about why she wanted to go natural. She showed her all the background information she researched, showing her she was ready for the commitment. It was a slow process but with time her mother caved and let her take charge of her hair. That might be one solution for you. What I do not recommend is going behind your parents back. The last thing you should do is to chop off your hair to “show them”. They will let you know that you disobeyed them and you might hear something along the lines of “you broke our trust”. The only thing you can do is wait. Wait and try and convince them. Do your research, prove to them that you know what you are talking about. You have all the time in the world to go back natural so don’t do something drastic that will upset your parents. In the very least you will have all the knowledge you need when you do get the chance to go back natural and will have a much more easy going hair journey.

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