CurlyNIkki on calming your nerves when revealing your natural hair for the first time.
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The holidays are quickly approaching, and I have no idea what to do with my hair. I Big Chopped three months ago, and this will be the first time many of my family members see the ‘new me’ because I’m away at college. I’m a little nervous. Help!
CURLYNIKKI'S RESPONSE: First of all, congrats on your Big Chop! It’s been three months, so while I’m sure things are still pretty fresh, you’ve probably settled into a routine that works for you. Below, find some tips to help you manage your hair, your emotions and the reactions of those around you so you can get into the spirit and enjoy the magic of the season unfettered.
Tried and True — Most curlfriends will tell you the night before a big event, or in your case, the unveiling of the ‘new Julissa,’ is not the time to try out new stuff. Stick to the techniques and products that yield the most consistent, predictable results, so you’re not left frazzled and stressed, trying to salvage a hair fail. New color, cuts, styles and product experimentation should be reserved for those times in your life when you can afford a surprise or two. However, if you’re the adventurous type, throw caution to the wind and do you!
Accessorize — Many in the #TeenyWeenyAFroClub look to accessories to glam up their look. Headbands, earrings, clips, even funky colored bobby pins are all options to take your TWA to the next level. Also, honing your makeup application skills will help with the ‘FACE, FACE, FACE, ALL THE ATTENTION IS ON MY FACE!’ factor of the cropped fro style.
Confidence — It takes loads of self-confidence to rock natural hair! In most cases, you must fake it till you make it. Pretty soon, the real confidence will come in – and not only will you notice, but everyone around you will too. Hold your head high, walk into that room and own it!
Comebacks — In a perfect world, we'll only hear wonderfully uplifting compliments, but the reality is there will be a backhanded comment or two. How will you respond if Aunty asks, 'when are you gonna relax again?', 'why did you cut your hair... are you depressed?,' or, 'what are you going to do with it?'. Already working through your response, whether you choose to check folks or keep it moving, will ease your mind. I hope this helps to manage your first trip home with your natural hair!
Good luck and Happy Holidays!
Nikki "CurlyNikki" Walton is a successful psychotherapist and creator of one of the most credible online sources about natural hair care, maintenance and decoding the psychological ties between black women and their hair. Visit her at her blog CurlyNikki or follow her on Twitter @CurlyNikki.