"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fro Talk With Precious!


The beautiful Precious H. herself


Hi everyone!

I have the uttermost honor to introduce to you this month's host for Fro Talk! She is a young, beautiful, inspirational natural sister with a lot to share!

Enjoy!




1. What is your name, age, gender and nationality? (if you have a blog, a twitter/facebook account or youtube channel, please add it)

My name is Precious Henshaw, I'm 17 years old, female, and Nigerian. I am the owner of a natural hair blog as well, Precious Curls (http://precious-curls.blogspot.com/)



2. Do you have natural hair/transitioning/thinking of going natural?



I have natural hair!



3. What is your experience with natural hair?
- Is someone you know natural?
- If you are natural, what are the responses you've got so far?
- Do you live in a city (or town) where there are a lot of natural men/women?
- What are some reactions you've noticed towards natural hair?

- I do have a few natural friends, even more relaxed friends, a few "natural but hiding it under a weave or a wig" friends, and plenty of friends who are indeed natural, but do not have my hair type (they are naturally straight, wavy, loosely curled)
- Fortunately for me, I have gotten mostly very positive responses. One of my friends who is natural but hiding it under weave, says she loves my hair, it's so thick and full, and insists that I wear it out (I am a devout protective styler, lol). My mom is natural but she wears a wig to work every day. She says she loves what I'm doing with my hair and wishes hers were soft and manageable and that she had the time and patience to care for it the way I do (she rarely takes my advice because she claims it's too time-consuming). Others have very nice things to say about my hair, especially those who do not have my hair type. The only slightly negative comment I have ever received because of my hair was not even said to my face. My mom had told me that my aunt proposed that I would go back to perming my hair as soon as I went to college. At first I was a little upset, because she was clearly trying to see if I would bend. But after a while I smiled it off and decided I would prove her wrong. Why would I bend a few months from now if I haven't bent in the last two years I've been natural? Comments like these really make me appreciate all of the positive comments, because it definitely boosts my confidence, and I also makes me feel proud to represent team natural. It isn't easy to be the one to not conform to the "straight hair" norm. My proudest natural moment was when I was someone else's inspiration to go natural. When I used to go to dance school, I was the only natural there, besides this other girl who had looser curls than I did. In the midst of all the permed girls there was one girl, a very bubbly, outgoing girl, with very short permed hair. I could have guessed she had probably had to cut most of her hair off because of all the damage. One day, this girl comes up to me, pats my hair (which was in a bun) and said she loved my "nappy roots", lol. I didn't feel offended in the slightest. In fact, I laughed. To make this long story short, about a year later, this girl begins to grow out her permed hair and gets a big chop! She is now sporting a lovely TWA, and I am so proud of her and of myself for representing natural hair and being someone's inspiration.
- Actually, I live in a predominantly white town. The Blacks that do exist in my town, however, are mostly relaxed. It really would be nice to see more natural hair around me, but being a natural around straight haired individuals doesn't make me uncomfortable in the least. In fact, it is making me prouder to be the "different one." 



4. What is your opinion towards natural hair?

I LOVE natural hair! It makes me feel so happy and proud when I see a fellow natural, because I know how hard it is to dare to be different and not conform to the norm. I feel that I and those with hair like mine were fearfully and wonderfully made by God Himself, and being natural really has to do with an acceptance of my fearful and wonderful creation. It is also an acceptance and an realization that God does not make mistakes! Tight curls, coils, and kinks are not a mistake, and yes, they may take a little more effort to care for, but research and education is the answer to hard-to-manage hair, not damaging chemicals and heat!



5. What do you think about the growing natural hair community?

I think it's wonderful. Like I stated above, it's never easy to step out of the comfort zone of conformity. It takes a lot of courage to be natural after years and years of our hair type being looked upon as aesthetically inferior, unmanageable, unattractive, and a big one, unprofessional. 



6. Please choose at least 2 statements to develop (a paragraph or a few lines is fine) and argument:

- "Natural hair is a trend"
Every trend has a trendsetter, the pioneer who initiates the movement. Tell me, then, who is the trendsetter for natural hair? The answer is: nobody. How can you be a pioneer of having natural hair? That's like saying that you are a pioneer of having a brown complexion or of having brown eyes. Isn't the hair and the skin and the eye color that we have due to our genetics? Trendsetting is usually associated with a creation. No person "created" natural hair, we know that! Every human that has existed since the beginning of time has had natural hair, thus there is no trendsetter for natural hair, thus the argument isn't even valid! Lol. Choosing to go natural is exactly that - a choice, not a bandwagon. It's more like relaxed hair is a trend, because obviously, someone had to create the relaxer. No one created natural hair; that's something we were given and we may choose to embrace it, or fight it.



- "Women with perms are ashamed of who they really are"
Not everyone who has a perm is ashamed of their natural hair. Some people actually choose to perm their hair because they think it is less time-consuming to manage permed hair than it is to manage natural hair. In this case, these permed women are not ashamed of their hair, but they indeed are miseducated. 



- "It's hard for women with natural hair to find partners"


Umm *raises hand* I strongly beg to differ! I have a partner who loves me and my hair very much. I will say that it is definitely harder to transition from permed to natural with one partner than to find a partner when you are already natural. Most guys don't take change very well (from my observations) and they might react harshly or negatively to seeing you with natural hair if they have associated you with permed hair for so long. My S.O. met me with natural hair, loved it, and we are still together. But not every guy is in love with natural hair like my guy is. You just have to remember the cliche statement and make sure this guy "loves you for YOU," and that means ALL of you, including your hair.

7. Would you be attracted to someone from the opposite gender wearing natural hair?

Yes :) Most guys are natural anyway. You don't see a whole lot of jherri curls and perms on guys *anymore*. Most of them just keep their hair very short. It's still natural anyhow, and yes I love it. I love all things natural whether it be a buzz cut, a TWA, or a huge afro!



8. What would you do/say if your partner suddenly went natural without consulting you?

This wouldn't apply to me, as my partner is natural. The only thing I will say is that no one needs consultation in order to go natural. Going natural is a personal choice; you should never feel like you need anyone's permission to do so.



9. What are your views on "beauty" and "self-esteem" and the general image of women that is being portrayed these days by the media, music industry, hollywood, etc.

I think that these days the portrayal is a lot more diverse. I see all types of hair, all types of skin, and all types of people. I do think, however, that the images definitely need be improved in terms of how women are being portrayed as these sexual animals *ahem, Nicki Minaj ...* I think the industry needs improvement in that respect definitely, but their portrayal of light skin, dark skin, straight hair, curly hair, different facial features, etc. as all acceptable and beautiful is overall decent and is, hopefully, steadily growing.




10. What are your thoughts about the way men perceive women with natural hair (please answer the question even if you are a man)

I really wish that I could talk to guys more about how they feel about women and natural hair. Being a student in an all-girls school, I can't say that I have had too many experiences with the way in which guys perceive girls with natural hair. I can say, however, that I have heard other stories and there seem to be more negative views than positive views on women with natural hair. Guys who have been surrounded by girls with relaxers and texturizers and straight hair all their lives are going to take a while to be used to natural hair, and that's understandable. It is hard to step out of the norm, but it is also hard to accept what is not the norm. 



11. What would you say to any woman thinking of going natural but is very afraid?

I would say that it is completely normal. It isn't very common to step out of one's comfort zone and be suddenly different from everyone else without feeling some discomfort or fear. I would keep encouraging her to overcome her fears with self-pride and confidence, to do lots of research, join natural and transitioning communities, follow blogs like mine and yours that talk about celebrating, caring for, and embracing natural hair, and assure her that when she does finally go natural, she will feel so proud of herself for being strong enough to do so. 



12. What does a woman's hair say about her? (please try to speak out of experience i.e. people you've met and interacted with)

When I answer this, I am thinking about the time when I was contemplating going natural. I kept asking myself, why am I doing this? (relaxing). The answer to my question was, I was doing it to fit in, and because I was ashamed of my natural texture and did not want it to be seen. That being said, I think that anyone's hair says, simply, "This is me." Having your hair say something about you goes along with your reason for wearing your hair a certain way. If your reason for wearing natural hair is to show off your confidence, then your hair says, "I am confident." If your reason for perming your hair is because you are ashamed and afraid of its natural texture, then your hair says, "I am not confident." Confidence has no gray area. You are either confident or you're not. You can't be kinda confident. It's just like equal. Nothing can be almost equal or kinda equal to something else. It is either equal or it's not, right? If you are confident in all other aspects besides the texture of your hair, and your reason for doing a certain thing to your hair is because you are not confident in it, then you are not 100% confident, and thus, not confident! I do straighten my hair sometimes, and my reason is for a change of look, not because I hate my hair texture or because I'm trying to fit in. I do think straight hair is fly as well. So, my hair would say, "I am fly." You must have a reason that does not show denial or rejection when it comes to changing something about your physical appearance in order for whatever it is you're changing to say something positive about you.



13. Do you think wearing an afro is suitable for this time and age or only suitable for certain places and circumstances (please say which ones and why)

First of all, we've got to understand that an afro is not the only style that a naturalista can wear! You don't have to sport an afro to be natural. Our hair is so versatile. There are many more styling options other than an afro. Alright, I think that the acceptability of hair has to do with each person, organization, etc. Everyone and every place has their tolerance. So in some places, people may enjoy seeing an afro, while in other places, especially more conservative places, people may not enjoy seeing an afro. It all depends on people's exposure to natural hair as well. Many people are still surrounded by predominantly straight or wavy hair styles and types. So, suitability? It really depends on where you're going. A fun, relaxed, laid back place? Sure, why not? A more conservative place? Try a more conservative style, like a bun. Don't ever feel that just because you don't wear "out-there" styles like afros (especially if it's huge!), you aren't fully natural. Remember that natural has to do with the fact that your hair has not been chemically (permanently) altered, not with the fact that you aren't wearing very showy styles.



14. Finally, what hair style do you love the most on the opposite gender?

I love dreads, braids, afros, pony's, and the like. I feel like guys are always being brought down for having longer hair. Every time my friend's boyfriend's hair starts to get a little long (one inch, geesh!), she says, "Time for a haircut! It's starting to look untidy!" It's hard to imagine "hair oppression" with the opposite gender, but there actually is a lot of it with the males! There definitely is the notion that long hair on guys is socially unacceptable. Not true! Most of my friends hate to see guys with hair longer than an inch, but I think that guys should be free to wear their hair as long or as short as they want. That's why I love styles that guys can do with longer hair; it just shows more girls that no, their hair isn't untidy - it's fine just the way it is!


Thank you so much Precious for taking your time to share with us! I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have and that you have also learnt a thing or two!  Be sure to check Precious's awesome blog out here
Now it's your turn to join the discussion! To join, all you need to do is add a comment and tell us what you think! Do you agree with Precious? Or do you share her experience? Please let us know!
If you want to host a discussion, please follow this link

Stay blessed and funky sisters!

3 comments:

  1. Hi Precious! You've said so many interesting things about your natural hair journey. And i'm really glad you finally grew out of feeling ashamed of your natural hair. Keep encouraging those who might be in the same position you were in!

    I would like to put a few of my own opinions in if you don't mind.

    You keep mentionning how permed hair is the 'norm' and how many ladies perm their hair because they want to 'fit in'. I think this is true for a percentage of women, i think some of them might have felt like you did. But I, myself, perming my hair, it has NOTHING to do with norm, what's in or not. And it certainly does not have anything to do with feeling ashamed of my 'natural' hair. I believe we are wonderfully and fearfully made and that God knew EXACTLY what He was doing. But wearing my hair permed does not mean I believe otherwise. That's like saying because you pierce your earlobes you are not proud of the fact that God created you without them! We have the choice to choose to leave our hair natural, to perm, to straighten, to cut, to grow our hair long, to dye it...etc. But it's the reasons behind the choices we make that matter. I believe people with natural hair look really good. I love the coils, i love th creativity and I love the products, I even use them! But I wear my hair permed simply because it is personnaly easier for me to keep MY hair healthy that way. You mentioned how chemicals damage hair. This is true if you don't treat your hair in order to keep it from being damaged by the chemicals. Ignorance usually leads to hair breakage both for natural hair and permed hair. Why wear my hair natural when I know I probably will not be able to take care of it like I should? Here, I would like to pull your attention to a common misconception. Some people believe just because you perm your hair your hair is certainly unhealthy. Not true! Others believe natural hair necessarily means your hair is healthy, this is not true either! Others go natural just to prove a point, as if it was a caracteristic that puts you in a certain category. I remember growing up, wearing bagging pants showed you 'belonged' to the hip-hop group and wearing straight pants with big shoes meant that you 'belonged' to the skater group. If going natural is a way to prove a point to others and show that you 'belong' to a category, then I believe your reason is as bad a reason as perming your hair because you feel ashamed of natural hair. I also believe it is wrong to go natural because you want to be 'different' and feel like you're better than those with permed hair. People that find themselves in any of these categories still have a lot of confidence to grow. All these examples why people go natural is just to show that it's not the act that counts but the reasons. And it would be wrong to label 'permed hair' as generally being the result of being ashamed of natural hair. It would also be wrong to label 'natural hair' as generally being the result of being proud of your natural hair. I believe people have the freedom to do what they want with their hair without having to fit into labels. Like I said earlier, some women only perm their hair because they believe it's prettier and they want to look like some 'straight-hair-weave wearing' insecure hollywood actress and because they're afraid to look different than those around them. Well, I say shame on you to women like that! But not EVERY hair perming woman as a misconception about natural hair and it's maintenance.

    Another point I would like to bring to most people's attention (and that I cannot stress enough) is that hair is hair. No hair is better than the other if it is well taken care off. Permed hair is certainly not 'better' than natural hair and natural is not 'better' than permed hair. It's all about preferences and like I said, about your reasons for choosing one or the other. Personnally,

    ReplyDelete
  2. Personnally, I love both! I admire people with natural hair, I admire their zeal and creativity. And seeing them as made me grow out of my ignorance about permed hair and brought me into awareness. I have been inspired in so many ways to take care of my permed hair (using natural products and doing other stuff) and I have also been taught that having natural hair is not necessarily a pain-ful and frustrating journey if you know what you're doing.

    I am thankful to God for blogs like these that actually awake people from their ignorance (I know I was awaken) and that actually also serve people that choose to perm. I'm more content with my hair and feel less guilty about neglecting my hair. I even felt less hopeless - yes, ignorance can make you feel hopeless about your hair.

    Having said so much, I hope you understand where I'm coming from. Have a good day and God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Funto for taking time out to share your thoughts! Your comment is much appreciated! Your point of view is very welcome sis!

    ReplyDelete

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