What are you kinky or straight?

kinky/straight…yes, that’s right, we are referring to the texture of your hair! What did you think??? Seriously my Sisters, the thought has often crossed our minds here at Khamit Kinks as we see the trends in hair come and go. As we watch and interact with the SBS (Strong Beautiful Sisters) who come into the salon, we wonder, does straight hair get you further in life or does kinky hair?If you have straight hair (perm, straight weave, press & curl) are you guaranteed to:-climb the corporate ladder faster?- find a good man faster/easier?-succeed?-get a job?-receive more compliments?Or do we achieve the same things in life regardless of whether we are kinky or straight?Write in and let us know your thoughts

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67 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by maturenatural on November 17, 2007 at 1:15 am

    I’m a kinky-haired sista and we are growing in numbers. It’s sad, but true that the mindsets of many have yet to evolve with us. These are the mindsets that choose to limit us, punish us, and reject us in the workplace, among our peers, and personal relationships. What you accomplish in life should be based on hard work and determination, not how you choose to wear your hair.

    Reply

  2. Maturenatural, it’s apparent that this isn’t the first time you’ve given this some thought. What you’ve said is very true we should not be jugded by externals, but the truth is that we are. I do believe we have made tremendous inroads, but we still have a ways to go. Thank you for your comment.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Chandra on November 19, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I’m a 27-year-old sista who’s been natural since the age of 16. I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s, a good job, a husband and daughter. I’ve been lucky enough to never have been criticized (to my face, at least) for having my hair the way that I do…and I have done all styles — kinky twists, two-strand twists, cornrows, weaves, afros, etc. My husband loves that I wear my hair natural, and so did the guys I dated before I got married. I get lots of compliments at work, more than I do when I flat-iron my hair or wear a weave. It might have to do being in the NY metro area, but who knows.

    Reply

  4. Posted by MsWebWriter on November 19, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    I’ve just decided to make the move to Locs (I’m headed to the shop this weekend actually!) and I weighed so many options before finally committing.

    I work in the advertising industry and often attend conferences, etc. where I’m the only Black person (let alone Black female) there. I was concerned about how I would be perceived. Concerned about whether choosing to not-conform to that standard of straight-haired beauty would force me to jump through even more hurdles. And you know what? If it does, then so be it.

    I’m so tired of the relaxer process. Tired of not being able to let my hair get wet, and the breakage, and the whole nine yards. I’m not putting down my sistas with perms — nor am I thinking that getting Locs will be super low maintenance, but I’m just ready to let my hair “just be” the way it naturally comes out of my head.

    I look forward to my first Loc experience!

    Reply

  5. Congratulations MsWebWriter,

    Deciding to Loc your hair is a very personal and I believe spiritual decision. It’s a decision that usually evolves over time and when you are ready, you know it. It’s not anything that you can be talked into or out of. The same is true with deciding to cut one’s locs off. It’s a gradual process and when the day comes you know it’s the day. I am on my third set of locs and I have enjoyed the process and experience with each set.

    Enjoy the journey and welcome to the club.

    Reply

  6. Chandra, your response struck a definitive cord with me when you mentioned being 27 years old. I realized that I began styling natural hair professionally, three years before you were born. At that tenuous time, Sisters were bringing lawsuits against their employers for discrimination based on their braided hair styles. We’ve come a long way Baby!

    You represent a new era. Your generation reflects a sense of entitlement; an era that exemplifies our decision to express and emulate our own culture and to be true to ourselves. Let me know when you’re stopping by Khamit Kinks, I’d love to meet you.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Chandra on November 20, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Anu, I’ve actually never been to Khamit Kinks before. The reason I was on the site was because I’m considering taking my hair to the next level with locs. It’s a decision that I’ve been mulling over for a while now. When I do decide to take the leap, I’ll be sure to come in and meet with you.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Chandra on November 20, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    And one more thing…I’m so glad that women like you have made it easier for women in my era to embrace our natural hair. It’s such an important part of who I am!

    Reply

  9. Posted by Michelle on December 4, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    I am 49-years-old and have had natural hair for most of my life. I went through a period of about 10 years after graduating college when I permed my hair, but I am much more comfortable with my natural texture. I think hair texture and success in different aspect of our lives has to do with how comfortable we are with ourselves overall. I have achieved a great deal in my career…MA, Ph.D….and the only time a comment was made about my hair was when, after having my hair cornrowed and wearing it to work for the first time, one supervisor asked me, “how do you wash that?” –suggesting that it would become dirty and smelly. I chalked it up to ignorance on her part and tried to educate her. I was a little nervous when I had locs, but I learned that how I felt about myself made all the difference in how I was perceived professionally. I could probably talk about this issue for hours because hair has been such a conversation piece in my life, but I’ll stop for now. 🙂

    Reply

  10. Posted by Michelle on December 4, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    P.S. when I said comment, I meant “negative” comment. Usually, I receive many positive comments about my hair

    Reply

  11. Great hearing from you Michelle. As we know, you’ve been through quite a bit more with you hair too. You have what most women would love to have, a tremendous amount of healthy, natural, hair. Take care!

    Reply

  12. Posted by bunny on December 4, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    i’m 42 & have been wearing locs for 7yrs now. i absolutely love them, but if you know me, you’ll know i’ve had everything done to my head w/the exception of a wig and a bald head. locs are the next best thing next to the afro!

    i get my share of the “dumb” questions from both my people and the other races: “does it hurt? do you take it out at night and rebraid it in the morning? how do you wash it? do you wash it?” you name it and i’ve probably heard it. i either shake my head in pity or laugh.

    relationships? i’m not in one right now, but i’m normally placed in 2 categories: the sistah who’s down for whatever or the hygienically-challenged militant who sits in a dark room in fatigues smoking weed with a rifle at the ready. for guys who “man up” and take a chance on me, they later admit that it was my hair that gave them the courage to say something. how it would feel against their skin, and blah, blah, blah. we actually have great conversations. true story: i met this clown on a blind date (should’ve told me something then!) who i warned prior to our meeting about my hair. he got silent and then tried to “man up” by asking if my hair looked like bob marley’s. i started to lie and say yes, but i was honest and we agreed to meet. well, he spent the first 10min of the date sneaking peeks at my hair and then had the nerve to say how fine i’d be if i straightened my hair and “we’ll work on that”. needless to say that was our first and last date!

    workwise my hair has been my blessing and curse. i’m sure i’ve been hired on some jobs because i more than fit the quota (black and female), but once the employer finds out i actually KNOW something, you can see the “uh-oh” look in their eyes. my hair has been my curse on more than one interview. you kinda get the feeling that you don’t fit in when the recruiter sneaks peeks at your during the interview.

    i think you have to decide for yourself. i chose locs because i was tired of spending most of my saturday in a hair salon only to return soon thereafter if the weather turned humid. i didn’t think the chemical were right for my body personally and this is something i wanted since high school. growing up with a press-n-curl mama and country daddy, locs was not an option. i love them personally and gladly encourage anyone and everyone to give them a chance!

    Reply

  13. Dear Bunny,

    It’s good to hear from you because you have had a multitude of experiences. I was beginning to wonder if the hair thing was really over in terms of women not being judged by their hair. But I knew that wasn’t true based on so many factors. But there definitely seems to be a trend towards long straight weaves in the media with celebrities etc. which I believe definitely influences young girls. All my young nieces are waiting with baited breath for the day they can perm their hair. Which is so sad in this day and time. But I guess they have to walk their own road and have their own experiences. I am having faith that they will eventually come back around to what’s true and best for them, their own natural hair.

    Reply

  14. I am approaching 50 and wore my hair in a short texturized ‘fro from 1983-2000. The freedom it afforded me not to worry about what to do to my hair was great. Since I have every hairstyle and i do mean every. It is important to me to be put together all the time and many of the hairstyles I have tried did not accomodate that without the drama and pressure of finding and getting to a hairsalon. I am going to take this weave out and go back to the microbraids on Sunday and I can;t wait! I love the versatility of the micro braids yet I sometimes get those questions and those looks. I took the braids out because I wanted a more polished look turns out I had it in the braids afterall.

    Reply

  15. By the way Anu, You are doing a fantastic job and I love your website and now your blog. Thanks for all the great advice you offer us! Happy holidays!

    Reply

  16. Hi Cheyl,

    Great to hear from you and see that you are taking care of that beautiful head of hair. Are you still with Odyssey Colour? Either way, I hope all is going well.

    Reply

  17. Posted by bunny on December 6, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    hi anu,

    yes i have had a multitude of experiences. but i’ve made up my mind that it’s God first, me 2nd! i don’t know if you’ve been checking out the scene or not, but more and more folks other than our own are wearing locs and other natural styles. unbelievable!

    i have an appointment scheduled w/khamit kinks in a few weeks (yippee!!!), but i thought i’d get advice from you beforehand. my locs appear to be thinning midway to the ends to the point where if i pull hard enough, they’ll break off. what can i do?

    blessings!

    Reply

  18. Hi Bunny,

    There are a number of reasons why your locs would start to break off. One reason could be extreme dryness from coloring your hair. Do you color your hair? Along that same line there could be the question of not moisturizing the hair enough. Do you treat your hair to deep conditioning treatments, hot oil, steam treatments? Another cause for breakage could be wearing the hair in the same way all the time, using rubber bands, or even pulling the hair back too severely.

    Reply

  19. hi there,

    well, I’m a hairstylist in LA. 80-85% of my cliental is natural and I wear locs myself. It is not totally changed, but we are getting there. I’m started to feel like people are understanding that straightening the hair is a choice not law. you can wear beautiful, wonderful styles with your natural texture as well and the versatility that exsists in locs. I must say I have received alot of positive comments on my locs as well. However there are still some that are a little trapped. The ones that longingly look at my clients wanting to go natural, but they are scared. One of the lovely children that feel that the straight look is natural and the natural look is “foreign”, my sweet cousin who looks like she wants to grab a pair of shears everytime I walk through the door.

    Great for me that I am in a field where I can be expressive, so it hasn’t hurt my job. And this is my second, but favorite, career choice, and I didn’t have a problem with the first.

    As far as men go……..natural, staright, it don’t matter. I love them, but that issue never changed either way I was . I didn’t understand them then, I still trying to now :-). but I think I get more compliments now no matter how long it’s been since I have had my hair done. with it straight, I got them after I left the shop, but that’s about it.

    Reply

  20. Carina,

    It sounds like you are definitely doing you thing out there in L.A. Keep up the great work. Please send me a link to your website. Sisters are always asking for a reputable natural hair care salon in L.A. and I never have any place that I can recommend them to.

    Reply

  21. Posted by Trina on December 17, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I am 47 years old and I live in the Central Valley of Northern California. I started wearing locs 17 months ago. My only regret is that I did not do it sooner. It is a joy to wake up every morning, shake out my hair, and go, knowing that I look special each day. I have a wonderful loctician whom I visit monthly.

    My colleagues are all fine with my hair, and I have had no issues on the job. I am a college professor. I don’t mind questions about washing and maintenance; I think of them as opportunities to educate, so I answer them cheerfully.

    Outside of my family, all of whom have supported my choice, the most compliments I have received on my hair have come from whites, and from sistahs and brothas who either also have locs or are considering them. My gentleman friend, who is white, absolutely loves my hair. He has seen photos of me with relaxers, and braids with extensions, and is very happy that I wear my hair natural.

    I can tell by the looks I get from many brothas that they are of the same opinion as Bunny’s blind date (comment above). They would probably try to get to know me if my hair were straight, but what they don’t realize is that I don’t have need of a relationship with a man of that opinion anyway!

    Reply

  22. Hey Trina,

    It seems you know what you want and went for it. Locking is a process. As I have often said, it’s not something someone can talk you into or out of. It’s a heart felt decision. Obviously you’ve also picked the right man; one who loves you for who you truly are.

    Reply

  23. Posted by bunny on December 21, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    hi anu:

    i recently got an appointment w/the locster herself (Ms. Jamillah) and she performed some serious magic on my head. she’s a gem!

    here’s wishing her, you, and the entire staff the happiest of holidays!

    blessings!!!

    Reply

  24. Posted by glenna on December 23, 2007 at 3:53 am

    hi anu!
    I just luv the fact that there’s so much versatility when it comes to afro-textured hair, whether deciding to wear it natural with or without extensions, or somedays just trying a new look with a wig…short, long, curly, etc…there’s endless style choices and all i can say is that it really is FUN…who cares if society says this or that; I say experiment! try it all and enjoy your freedom to wear your hair however you want.

    Reply

  25. Thank you Bunny! Jahmillah, is definitely a most talented Stylist.

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  26. Glenna,
    You have the right idea about our hair, it’s versatility and the creative ways in which we are able to manipulate and style our hair. Keep on doing it!

    Reply

  27. Posted by Katrina on December 23, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    I am desiring to go natural. However, I am NOT willing to cut my hair. Is there a transition process without cutting the hair. Can I just cut it gradualy…like as the hair grows, cut the ends the same amount as the new growth..I have very long hair and very attached to it. I would really love some feedback on that.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  28. Posted by Katrina on December 23, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Never mind..guess I should have read the faqs first…found my answer and was relieved..now I know I can do this. Thanks!

    Reply

  29. Yes Katrina,

    Your question regarding having to cut your hair short to go natural, is answered on our FAQ page. If clients had to cut their hair off to go natural, the natural hair business would have never gotten off the ground. Have no fear, this can be a very painless while stylish transition without cutting your hair. We look forward to serving you.

    Reply

  30. Posted by lilkemet on January 1, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I am a Natural sista. I have had a perm before and my hair kept on breaking. Since I kept my hair natural and took care of it my hair has grown back even longer and now I am workin my big afro. I don’t want to change my hair anymore because I love afro hair that just me.

    Reply

  31. Posted by Trish on January 3, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Hi Anu & Others,

    I “went” natural about 18 months ago starting out with a swing braid style that was similar to my perm-straight hair. Let me tell you that I am a fairly conservative person who is not completely adverse to change but can get in a rut and stay there forever! I had relaxed hair for 20 years before making the switch to natural. My hair began breaking off and there didn’t appear to be any way to stop it. With a baby on the way (I was in the second trimester of pregnancy) and a very active 5 year-old at home, I figured it was as a good a time as any to give natural hair a try and eliminate my weekly visit to the salon.

    I have never felt more beautiful or confident in myself as I do with my hair in its natural form. The whole process has been very cathartic – I almost feel like I was hiding behind my hair! I have not experienced any backlash following the transition at work or in any other area of my life. My husband, who has always loved my hair long and straight, has learned to love my braids, and most recently, gypsy twists!

    My 5 year-old always tells me how beautiful my hair looks (Thanks Sesh!!) and, while she and her little sister do not know what a perm is, one day they will and I hope that I can be an example for them and they will feel more empowered to say “No” to straight hair if they choose to.

    As for me….my next step will be to give color a try 🙂

    Reply

  32. Dear Trish,

    Isn’t it funny that something called a “relaxer”, can cause so much stress! The story of how the relaxer continues to break and damage one’s hair still prevails. The real relaxer is when we can relax in the comfort of being true to ourselves.

    I saw that confident stride in your walk as you sashayed to the “photographer’s chair”. Keep doing the what comes natural to you and setting a great example not only for your daughters, but for all sisters.

    BTW, the updated website is soon on the horizon with your pix on it. Stay tuned.

    Reply

  33. Posted by Margot Channing on January 9, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    This is such an interesting topic.

    Over a year ago, I made the transition from long beautiful locs (10 years) to a natural curly style big ‘fro with some sewn in tracks for enhancement (8 months) so my hair could grow (I didn’t want to go from having alot of hair to none), to my natural hair which I now wear straight via a dominican roller set and blow dry the roots and edges. I usually wear it straight, but I also wear it natural and curly.
    My stylist put a light neutralizer in the hair so when I work out I wouldn’t sweat out the straight look and so I could also wear it natural and curly. I have to say, I LOVED my locs, but I felt that I had them for so many years, they began to define me and I wanted to change up my style a bit.

    I felt that I change everything – my clothes, my job, boyfriends etc, but the only thing constant was my hair. The reaction to my 2 post non loc looks has been varied. I could write a book! The big ‘fro – people loved it, said they liked it better than locs – they could “see my face more” etc -some people missed the locs because they were so used to me having them. The straight hair look reaction has been varied – most people love it, especially in the corporate environment, and I even had an old boss (white) of mine tell me that I looked more “professional” yet other coworkers (all white) said I looked sexier and younger – all of which was hilarious and borderline offensive. Personally, I loved every hair style I had – locs, ‘fro and now roller set straight and occasionally flat iron straight. I love being able to change up my hair since for so long I felt I was in a rut, no matter the updo, style or cut of my locs, I needed a change. I am still the same person I was with the locs, but I craved variety in my look for so long while having locs because I am a stylish person, so for me, I made the change from locs so I could change up my look.

    Maybe one day I will go back to locs, but, right now, I am enjoying the versatility of a new hair do. Hair is no longer a political or personal cultural statement for me, which feels liberating…

    Reply

  34. Posted by NYC Editor on January 10, 2008 at 12:15 am

    When I locked my hair 15 years ago during college in a small southern town, people looked at me like I was crazy and even laughed in my face! I was an alien. Funny how some of the same ones who laughed the loudest then, have their hair locked now because it has become trendy. I’ve kept my locks and my nose ring for all these years and it has not prevented me from attaining my career goals. I think my education, experience and talent for what I do have spoken louder than the texture of my hair. I realize this isn’t the experience of everyone, so I feel fortunate and blessed.

    Reply

  35. Wow! I’ve gained a wealth of information here. I’ve been twisting my own hair with extensions for about six months now and often get a lot of compliments on my “long, natural “hair. My hair has grown out approx. 4-5 inches and I still have about 7-8 inches of permed hair. I am noticing that my already fine hair is very weak at the point where the natural hair meets the perm and feel I have to keep it in some type of twisted or braided style until it reaches a natural length that I’ll be comfortable to cut it. However, I’m wondering if it’s best to go ahead and cut it now for the sake of it not breaking off on it’s own. Is it normal for hair to be fragile at the point where unprocessed meets processsed? What do other people do while transitioning? Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Reply

  36. Also…..can you recommend a salon or stylist in the Dallas area that focuses on natural hair and transitonal styles? Thanks in advance!!!!!!!

    Reply

  37. Dear Shawndra,

    Yes, it is normal for the two distinct textures to be considered the weakest link. We address this issue on our FAQ page at KhamitKinks.com. But suffice it to say, if you can refrain from grooming those two textures and let you hair grow in braids or twists, that would be best. If you feel your hair is fragile or is being stressed by the weight of the extensions, you can either wear you hair styled up or I would highly recommend removing the weight for the sake of the health of your hair.

    Unfortunately, I am unaware of a natural hair care salon in Dallas. You might check out Essence.com for a beauty salon directory.

    Reply

  38. Hi,
    I just booked an appointment to have my locs groomed (on top, I have the back and sides faded) and have the sides and back started at Khamit Kinks. I had bee locing for 8 years when a thyroid health challenge made my locs weaken and break at the root last year. It was a difficult time in my life, but I embraced it with a funky style that is unique and so me. I LOVE my new look, but I’m also ready to begin locing again. I’m 36 and have been natural since 18. I grew up in NYC and I think the diversity always infused me with a sense that my natural hair was beautiful and I always embraced it more than when I had a perm. I’m successful and in a loving a relationship. I think the most issues I’ve encountered is more from sistas. For instance, when i cut the back and sides of my hair off, sistas have had the most negative reactions. Brothers have embraced my new do, calling me sexy, different and funky. Regardless, I always do me! And that will always be NATURAL!

    Cant wait to visit Khamit Kinks! and hopefully meet you
    –tb

    Reply

  39. Dear TB,

    It seems as though you’ve weathered the storm and did so with grace and acceptance! Now you’re back 100% and rocking it in the way that best suits you.

    We look forward to serving you and please stop by my office when you come in to see us.

    Reply

  40. Posted by sharon on February 7, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    I have worn my hair straight, natural, texturized, loc’ed, braided and now natural again. Though I get many positive comments about my hair, it still pains me that many of the negative come from my own people. I have even received feedback that it will keep me back in the workplace. Guess what? It never has. I think wearing our natural hair can be a very empowering and liberating experience. I wish people would stop worrying about what other people would think or how it might impact their career. Make the change if you want to. You may be surprised at how it impacts your life and self-confidence. Don’t be afraid, embrace the change!

    Reply

  41. Posted by Myisha on February 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Hello,
    I have been battling with my hair as my life is in transition. I have had every perm style you can think of. I stayed in the shop growing up. All those years of processing my hair has take a toll on it. I look in a mirror and I feel so sad. I want to have the courage to take that step into locing my hair. Everyone around has beautiful locs. My mother, all of my aunts a couple uncles and even my husband ( he really wants me to get them). The turning point that has made me want to go ahead with my decision is my daughter. She said she wanted hair just like mine. So I am ready to make the change no matter how scary. It may be because the end product is so beautiful.

    Reply

  42. Hi Myisha,

    As I have mentioned before, Locking your hair is something that you have to be ready for. You shouldn’t Loc your hair for anyone else or for any reason other than that’s what you sincerely want. It has to be for you and because you are internally ready to express yourself in this way. As I read your post, the decision to Loc your hair sounded like drudgery. There seem to be very little excitement or enthusiasm on your part. Are you sure you’re ready?

    Reply

  43. Posted by Tasha on February 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I just discovered your website. I think the designs and work your salon does is awesome. Unfortunately quality salons like yours don’t exist where I live. Anyway..I was wondering that once I grow out my relaxed hair to natural, will it be possible to achieve ”The Cola” look with my own hair? Can it be done now with two textured hair (my relaxed and natural hair together)? Thanks. I just love this style and always wanted to try it.

    Reply

  44. Dear Tasha,

    We are glad you like what you see on our website. You can definitely make the effort to have your own hair look like the Cola weave. Any time you try to get real hair to simulate extension hair, you have to realize you are experimenting. Have fun with it and let us know how it turned out.

    Reply

  45. Posted by Kymmie on March 3, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Hi, Anu. I have ben checking different websites for a while no and I hve been natural for about 2 yrs now. I currently have braids but I am very interested in locking my hair. I am just not sure about the regular locks or sister locks. what type of locks do you have?{which look great!!!!!!!!} Does your salon do sister locks and if not do you recommend anyone? I love the look of the locks but I do like my braids small. Can that be done w/ locks? thanks in advance. before this yr is out i want to do something with my hair be it sisterlocks or regular locks.

    Reply

  46. Dear Kymmie, I will be posting an article about Sister Locks this week. In the meantime, I am wearing my hair in the Sister Lock method. This is my third set of Locs. Each time I’ve had them for four years before wanting to do something different. However, I’ve had the Sister Locks for 5 years now.

    It’s really a matter of preference. I don’t think one style of Locking is better than the other. However, the Sister Locks do allow you to have much smaller Locs. Because the Sister Locks are much smaller there are more styling options. Initially, Sister Locks is a much more expensive way of Locking because of the time required to execute the technique. Your first session will run 6 to 8 hours with two Stylist working on your hair at the same time.

    Yes, we do offer Sister Locks at Khamit Kinks, with our certified Sister Lock technicians. Please feel free to come in for a consultation. We look forward to serving you.

    Reply

  47. Posted by Anthea on March 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

    In regards to your question…well lets imagine for a moment if this question of natural hair and, and the quest for acheivement was asked in the 1960’s. My mother confided in me that she permed her long natural hair to fit into a British society that already looked down on people of color. She also claimed that the straight look helped her to land a good job, that she would’ve not gotten otherwise. My answer to this very powerful and emotional question in 2008 is that I sometimes feel self concious when I wear my huge afro, but then I also receive more compliments from unlikley sources such as interviewers!! Many women are exploring their natural roots, and I feel that if maintained and coifed, your natural hair should RAISE you to the top of the ladder , because you will stand out amongst the crowd.

    Reply

  48. Thank you for sharing your story Anthea. It seems this story is the same whether you’re here in the US or anywhere else in the western world. I met a lovely Brazilian (Black Brazilian woman) who works at a Fortune 500 corporation. She wears her hair in an unruly afro (not shaped or even) and she says the only people who give her problems about her hair are the African Americans. She alluded to the fact that they seem ashamed of her hair whereas the white folk are fine with it. So the struggle goes on…

    Reply

  49. Posted by Nenia on March 27, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Hi,
    I cut all my hair off about 2 years ago to start the natural process. It was scary in the begining because I was afraid of what my male friends would say, especially since they like women with longer hair. As of right now, I have a 7 inch fro and I love it (smile). I get more compliments now that I am natural than I did when I wore permed hair. One thing I noticed about people is that they categorized me as a “black panther” or a “militant” because of my natural style and dark skinned color. I have learned to deal with the positive and negative in life. I am thinking hard about “locking” up. In the end, I will still be me the strong black sista that I am with natural hair (smile). I am 23 years old and have a Bachelor’s Degree in Science.

    Reply

  50. Posted by Nenia on March 27, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Hi again,
    One question: If I decide to get extension locs, will they stay in permanently or until I have reach my desired outcome?

    Reply

  51. Posted by Anedra on April 1, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve been growing my hair out of the perm since April of 2007. You would think that this means I am ready to wear my own natural hair. However I’ve been in the closet (hair closet) all of this time. Covering my hair with natural looking weaves, flat ironing, scarves, and even straightening the edges with perm! When asked by friends WHY I do not want a perm anymore — I never have an answer. After reading this blog I know WHY — FREEDOM. I have a hair appointement next week to finally embrace my Nappy Hair. This time I will keep the appointment. Thanks!

    Reply

  52. Posted by Bonita on April 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    i’ve always worn my hair very short and some shade of red. i’d receive many compliments on my hair color and the style, most saying you have a small head so you can wear those short styles. a few years ago i decided to let my hair grow and soon after i slapped on a really nice long straight ponytail, oo the men loved it, i could tell i was receiving more lingering looks. but it wasn’t me, so i cut it off. today i ordered the gypsy curl weave to have my stylist put in two strand twist for the summer. i like my hair in this style, not straight. this is easy to take care of and it looks nice. in my region men love the long straight hair real or weave. but i have to be true to myself either with the short or the twists. this is what makes me, me, i don’t have to have the media’s version of beautiful hair to be beautiful. all i have to be is me.

    Reply

  53. Posted by Nikki on July 8, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    i have recently went from permed hair to natural hair and at first it was seen as cute but as the hair grew out to a full blown fro….. not so much!! over the winter i had a weave and the drastic attention that i got was frightening to say the least. I would never noticed how much men didnt like the natural. i absoulutely love it. It can say that it hasnt effected my professional life but my personal life

    Reply

  54. Dear Nikki,

    You’ve said a mouth full! As a matter of fact, I’m putting together a hair history survey for our clients and I will post the survey here as well. It covers these same topics, how people respond to you based on your hair. It’s deep! As a matter of fact, I might want to use your post for my article. Let me know if that’s okay. And keep doing the natural thing baby. Those others just weren’t for you. It’s great that your hair style helps you separate the men from the boys…

    Reply

  55. Posted by melaniecheryl on July 8, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Anu,
    I discovered your website last night and I must say thanks for your vision. I have been natural for about 12 years (with a couple of texturizing mis-steps along the way). I am a registered nurse, married withe three chldren. I do not feel being natural has impacted my professional life at at all. am head nurse in a major pediatric intensive care unit in the midwest. Outside of work I receive compliments and what i perceive to be admiring glances, especially when I wear my hair full and out (very similar to your Bush Baby extended style). I have to admit however I sometimes feel a little self-conscious of the attention and usually wear my hair up at work (focus should be on my work, not my hair). Recently, tired of the maintenance involved with longer natural hair I have been tempted to cut it so I bought a long wavy drawstring ponys and convinced my self I was looking good. My caucasian coworkers and neighbors said they loved it but it left Sisters and Brothers less than thrilled. I was on my lunch break wearing that ridiculous thing when I came across your website. The beautiful images there inspired me to re-embrace my natural hair. I treated myself to a deep conditioning treatment and twisted my hair using your styles as a guide. I feel happiest when I am naturally me and a couple of hours a week is worth that good feeling.

    Reply

  56. I totally love your story! There’s nothing like moving away from yourself so you can rediscover the true you. Keep on doing it and enjoy the wonders of living in harmony with truth.

    Reply

  57. I am 18 years old and I start college in less than a month down in northern Texas but I live in Connecticut untill then. My hair has been natural for about 2 years now and I am very satisfied with it. Before that, I would always get relaxers in my hair and the part I really couldn’t stand was the fact that I couldn’t stratch my hair at all for about a week before I got it. It was very hard for me and then I’d stratch and it’d burn and so on and so on. Now, I’m very satisfied with wearing my hair just natural. Currently, my hair is in single braids, but I made a vow to not get any more extensions in my hair once these come out. I will wear my hair out in an afro proudly as I did a couple of times before. It is true that the most people who give us trouble about wearing out our natural hair is our own kind. I’ve heard many black girls and women just look at me in mocking discust and cruel laughter as I would wear my afro through out the day but it does not matter to me because I’ve got something they haven’t: The pride to show the world how God made me in all my naturalness, and not shame to have to cover it up (no offense to those who do).
    I’m just wondering on how to have my afro grow out longer and fuller. I use Nexus shampoo and conditioner, plus, I use a hot oil treatment and I also use this Olive Oil hair dress creme. I do not know whether it is healthy to blow dry my hair, or to just let it air dry. I also do not know exactly what to put in my hair to bring it out more fuller instead of it being so packed in. There is this website called Beauty 4 Ashes which offers products that I am considering. I have no idea if I should buy them or not. The products cost about $60- $100 and up. But it seems as if they really work. And the products contain things like honey and fruit and butter. The link to the products on the site is below:

    http://www.discoverb4a.com/7%20Beauty%204%20Ashes%20Ethnic%20Hair%20Care%20System%20for%20Naturals%20and%20Curly%20Heads.html

    I really want the best for my hair just like everyone else does, but I’m not that familar with what exact products or what exact brands are good compared to those that are not. Is there a certain ingredient a prouduct must have to work…? Or a certain price?

    I will always be confident in myself and in my hair no matter what and am ready to take the next step in my life and earn a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Mass Communications, with my ‘fro and all. =)

    Thank you for your time ^_^

    This is a pic of me with my afro:

    Reply

  58. Christina,

    You go on ahead with your bad self! I love your confidence and your strength to keep your vision despite detractors.

    In terms of products, I would recommend going with something made by Jane Carter Solutions like their Nourish and Shine- http://www.janecartersolutions.com or Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding – http://www.missjessies.com. I also really like Sebastian’s Twisted Taffy which can be purchased at Amazon.com. These products are a lot less expensive. And believe me, a high priced product doesn’t necessarily insure the results you imagine.

    If you braid or twist your hair at night with one of these products and wait until after you bathe the next day, to loosen out your hair, the twist or braids will stretch your hair out. Be sure to wear a shower cap to keep the water and steam from shrinking your ‘fro.

    Good luck and stay Khamitted to Kinky! The slogan to our new tee shirt which will be available starting this Friday!

    Reply

  59. Posted by Chelle on September 16, 2008 at 7:45 am

    I’m a year late, but I had to publish a comment. I went natural two years ago with my sister who was having chemo to fight cancer. She lost all or her hair, so in support I cut mine ( mid back length permed)completely off as well. I was apprehensive at first, but the freedom I’ve found in being perm free has been astounding. Our hair is now shoulder length and we wear it mainly in double strand twists. I work in a very conservative law firm so I sometimes get those looks as well, mainly from other sistas. I’m considering the sister locs as they are another beautiful extension of the versatility of black hair that will allow me have a wide variety of styles. My only wish is that you guys were in Detroit.

    Reply

  60. Dear Chelle,

    What a wonderful sister you are! And what a beautiful story. It’s inspiring to see how something positive can proceed from something life threatening. Honestly, I really want to cut my hair off, I have Siser Locks. In the spring I cut them to my chin. I’ve had them for 5 years now and I just want a change. But they look so great and everyday I receive complients, so I haven’t cut them off yet…

    Yes, we are in NY, but we certainly would be honored to serve you if you could make it here. We often have clients fly in for our services. So you might consider it. We also have a client here in NY who has a concierge business and she or even I could help find a place to stay or you could leave out on the same day.

    Best to you and your sister.

    Reply

  61. I’m in my 30s, and have considered going natural for years. Once, I even visited Khamit Kinks for a consultation. But each time my permed hair grows out, I run to the salon for a touch-up — as I’ve heard called “the creamy crack.” Gotta have it. Fry it and dye it, please. My (natural) cousin thinks I’ll never do it because when I see her hair, I tell her I’m going to do it — every year, I promise, next year, I’m doing it!

    I am from Arkansas, but reside in New York. Most of my family members shockingly do not support the natural. They have the fears of those listed here — the job market. This coming from those who are 60+ with hair thinning to bald spots from perms. Just think of how that sounds, “Don’t wear your natural hair.” Yet despite my perm in all of its straight grandeur, I was still discriminated against at my last job.

    I’ve noticed that on the silver screen and in the office, there are more and more natural sistas. All three black women I work with are natural. I envy their naturals.

    I look unnatural with a permed texture after the 2-week blow-in-the-wind period has passed, and it’s a dual-textured, stringy mess that has to be pulled back into a pig tail (like a kid), curled (until I go outside) or flat ironed to death — and I do mean to death. I imagine the hair folicles yelling, “What the heck are you doing to us?”

    As a natural co-worker told me, our features were made to match our textures. This is why natural hair looks so natural with our African faces, and straight hair looks natural for those with Nordic features.

    I fear spending $400+ and not knowing how I’ll like it, but as I sit here with a ridiculous pig tail that I created from pulling my hair up into a scruncy with gel and curling the heck out of it, only to look 12 years-old, I am willing to take a risk and go to Khamit Kinks for a natural makeover.

    Reply

  62. Dear Lillian,

    It seems you’ve figured out quite a bit on your own. But knowing something intellectually and experiencing in your spirit are two different things. As I have said many times in the past regarding natural hair and locs, it’s something you have to be ready for yourself. It’s not anything that anyone else can talk you into or out of. When you are truly ready, you will make that leap and feel sure about it.

    In the meantime, I would suggest coming in for a consultation so that we can help you decide which route to take. It doesn’t have to be $400.00 to get something that suits you. It depends on your preferences. Visit our on line consultation brochure for more information on the process. http://www.khamitkinks.com

    Reply

  63. Hi Anu,

    Thank you. Khamit Kinks has reached out to me to schedule a consultation, and I really look forward to it 🙂

    Reply

  64. First let me say, I am a huge fan of Khamit Kinks and have been for over a year! Hair can have a powerful stronghold on women of all hues. Some of my non-African American friends have the same angst when they are looking in the mirror that I do…this amazed me at first. But as I get older I realize we are all sisters really. I have recently gone natural at the ripe age of 38 and really medical reasons made me do it…the chemicals in relaxers were starting to bother me so I decided to take a break. I have been getting my hair professionally done consistently for a little over two years this has made the biggest difference in my hair. Because my hair is fine I used to think I could do it myself…WRONG! Without the guidance of my stylist my hair would have never been healthy enough for me to go natural…I work for an African American owned company and most of the ladies wear stratight styles and unfortunately I have gotten some sideways glances but we as a people have a long way to go until we undo generations of self-hate and unfortunately hair can be the root of that issue…thanks Anu for providing a space for women of color to be proud of who we are — Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  65. Thank you Kimberly,

    And keep the on doing it naturally!

    Reply

  66. Hi Anu,

    I went to Khamit Kinks and got the baby curl extensions style. My experience was fantastic, and I have gotten a lot of compliments.

    Question – Is it normal for the hair to feel a bit stiff? For instance, when the hair is resting on my shoulder for a while, it bends upward a bit like ‘hat hair’ re-shapes. I was told that it’ll look natural over time, so is this stiff, kind of ‘rope’ look a part of the early stage?

    Maybe it’s just taking time to adapt because I transitioned from a perm to this 🙂

    If it turns out that this isn’t the style for me after all, I feel confident in returning to Khamit Kinks for another that may suit me better.

    Reply

  67. Dear Lillian,

    I too recently had the Baby Curl and experienced what you are referring to at the ends of the curls. I use to just pick it out. I now have the Tom Boy style, which also uses Baby Curl hair and because the hair is shorter I don’t have that same issue. It’s just one of the quirks of that hair, which is minimum compared to other curly hair textures. You can dampen the curls with a leave in condition or plain water and gently pick the curls out.

    Enjoy your Baby Curl Twists.

    Reply

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