I remember when I first thought about locking my hair. My newfound hair choice was causing me so much conflict. Would I be pretty? How will I maintain my hair? Would I get a boyfriend? My inner voice shouted, you will be ugly!! Oh, I will never forget my best friend’s career challenging question……..”how do you expect to get a job like that? I thought you were going to be the businesswoman?”
I contemplated locking my hair for almost 10 years. My final epiphany came while attending an Alvin Aliey dance performance. Oh how, I admired the dancers; their grace, style and finesse. I wondered, how did they decide to dance for a living? I was raised to believe the only “good” job I could get was a doctor, teacher or lawyer. But these dancers were different; they were disciplined, professional, traveling the world and getting paid! I admired how they dared to dream. The dancer’s style exuded so much freedom. In my mind, their freedom allowed to leap in the air with so much flair.
In that moment, I knew I wanted the freedom to BE Octavia Hooks. So, I took the leap and locked my hair. My decision to lock my hair meant freedom…..Freedom to be.
The cost to be a Natural Hair BOSS!
In that moment, I knew I would be judged differently based on my hair. But, I also knew that I did what was right for my spirit. In the end, I am “being myself.”
These days, more and more individuals are wearing their hair naturally. However, I am disturbing, surprised when natural hairstyle wearers are in an uproar about comments from close family members, dear friends and the mainstream media. I recall when the commentator, Don Imus, referred to a group of young African American basketball players as “nappy headed hos”.
Today, I want to shout loud and proud, STOP being outraged!! Think about it, why are you outraged? Why are you surprised that your ancestral hairstyles are the focus of criticism? Stop being outraged! Stereotypes are normal.
It’s great that natural hair naysayers are talking about, criticizing and sharing their locked hairstyles perceptions with the world. On a positive note, these talks inspire conversation that will potentially break down the barriers. These conversations can stimulate change and amend the social norm. So, why get offended? You are strong enough to wear natural hair, and you are strong enough to trail blaze breaking down the old natural hair styles perceptions. Locks aficionados are all over professional world. Lock wearers have a seat at the corporate table, walk down the Oscar award’s Red carpet, run with speed and power down the professional football field, and heal patients in hospitals…..just to name a few.
Be Yourself, Everybody else is taken! Oscar Wilde
You have the opportunity to break down the stereotypes and be a great example. Showcase your best natural hair style image and strut all the greatness in you. Most important, be sure your natural hair image is your best example of being you! Even if means, you like smell like herbaceous, fragrant essential oil blends. (Its’ true, oils are so beneficial for healthy hair. Smile.) You are a proud natural hair enthusiast; you officially belong to the enriching community, stay strong in your creative voice, and make an impact by demonstrating professionalism, creativity and your passion for being you. Together, we can begin to breakdown the perceptions and begin to build a new reformed idea.
As a practicing as Locktician and Natural hair stylist, I’ve grown to realize that wearing your Natural Hair inspires one of life’s greatest lessons….confidence.