Between trying to learn about demarcation lines and the frustration that can come with dealing with two different textures, throwing in the psychology of transitioning hair can be unwelcomed stress you’re not ready for.
For many, transitioning is something that happens casually. But, my experience was different. I didn’t wake up one day deciding this was the day I would transition—I just wanted to omit chemicals from my hair regimen and manage my hair’s different textures. I wasn’t ready for the big chop, and I definitely wasn’t prepared to deal with the aesthetics of my natural hair.
The skewed outlook of what “beautiful” hair should look like did not sit right with me, because it was an image so far from my Mother’s beautiful afro of the 80’s which I envied and adore. So, I began my decade long transformation. When I finally started, I didn’t expect the coils of Tracee Ellis Ross (I wasn’t that “aesthetically naive”) but it had been years since I saw my natural texture.
When my true hair texture surfaced, I wasn’t prepared for all the kinks sans the curls. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have a single curl! Soon transitioning took its toll; I was no longer content with the idea of becoming natural. I did ANYTHING to manipulate them into a texture far from own. After my umpteenth bantu knot, I begin to wonder. Why did I feel the constant need to disguise the beauty of my kinks? I did not see my true beauty?
Like a butterfly from the cocoon, that “ideal standard” of beauty changed, and with it my confidence bloomed in a way I had never seen before. I was also more aware of my health. As I became cognizant of what I was placing on my hair, I became sensitive to what I was digesting. For some of us, hair is just hair and that is okay. Defining someone’s worth through the strands on her head is a game I want no part of, but for me, hair represented a physical transformation of the internal struggle of becoming who I was meant to be…me.
Cipriana Quann is a former model who transitioned 10 years of fashion industry experience into UrbanBushBabes.com, where she is Editor-in-Chief.