The best encouragement that I found when I was transitioning came from other women that went natural. They had the best advice, best product information, and gave me the push I needed to do my big chop. So, when I see other naturals that have beautiful or interesting hair, I must know what they are using, what they think about being natural and so on and so on. So here you have it! The NATURAL DIVA OF THE MONTH.
Name: Amey Parsard
Natural Since: 2006
YFN: So how long have you been natural?
AP: I have been natural since the end of 2006.
YFN: Tell me, what is your favorite part of being natural?
AP: Well, I don’t have to deal with trying to be something you’re not. I don’t have to force your hair to be straight when it is supposed to be kinky. I don’t have to try to conform to what society wants me to be or fit into a certain stereotype.
YFN: Why did you go natural?
AP: My hair just wasn’t healthy.
YFN: Yeah, I mean when you look back on it, you have to think to yourself, how could my hair be healthy when its being chemically straightened every, what, 8 weeks!
AP: Exactly. It felt like the right thing for me to do. Chemically processed hair just wasnt me. Although I, much like a lot of African-American girls, was brought up to believe that permed hair was good hair. That was the way my hair was supposed to be. I had to break out of that environment mentally and physically and realizing that society is wrong. It is the assumption that good hair is permed hair and nappy hair is bad hair. You have to feel like natural hair is good hair. Permed hair is hair without our natural goodness. You have to be able to say that was one way of thinking and this is a new way of thinking. And that’s hard especially if you’re not surrounded by positive energy.
YFN: That makes sense. I struggled with the same issue. A lot of young African-American and other ethnic girls are brainwashed to believe that straight hair is good hair. Our natural state is not considered beautiful. And if you are in an environment where everyone is still in that state of mind, you’re right, it does make it more difficult. Do you look down on people who choose to continue to perm their hair or look at them sideways like their brainwashed?
AP: No. Everyone has their own reason why they perm their hair and some people may not even know their reasoning. They probably feel like that’s just what they have to do or that’s just how its. But people who step outside that box are people who realize that maybe this isn’t the best way to care for our hair.
YFN: Some people I know say that the reason they have to perm their hair rather than go natural is because they dont think that they will like their texture. Its to kinky or nappy. What do you think about people who feel like they can’t go natural because of their hair texture and how to get over that and keep it going?
AP: In some ways I’m nervous about my hair texture too. But, I know i do not want a perm. I’d rather re-lock my hair than get a perm. My hair always felt like a stranger when I permed it but now that I’ve had locks and now that I am natural, I feel like… it’s weird to say but I feel like it’s finally apart of me. It truly felt like a stranger before. Have you ever felt like that?
YFN: At first when I used to perm my hair, I loved it. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I would see girls that would go natural and always say to myself that these girls must have a lot of strength because I refuse to cut off all my hair. And length was always the number one reason. Like, I was petrified to lose the length of my hair and I know a lot of people who will hold on to dry and damaged hair because of length.
AP: Yeah, you will have thin and dry permed hair but cut that permed hair off and you will have thick gorgeous hair.
YFN: When I decided to go natural, I was online looking for hair colors and stumbled on a video blog of a girl talking about her natural hair journey. And I was like wow. They make it look so easy. I don’t have to cut off all my hair down to the root tomorrow. I can transition and I started that transition and never looked back. Looking back on my permed days, there is no way perming your hair every month to a month and a half can be healthy.
AP: It’s hard to be happy in your own skin. We make it harder than it has to be.
YFN: Well, your hair is beautiful. Tell us, what is your favorite product for your hair?
AP: I find that a raw shea butter mixed with essential oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, or mango butter works the best on my hair.
YFN: Any advice for new fabulous natural divas?
AP: Separate yourself from the stereotypes in society. You have to feel like your natural hair is good hair. You have to be able to say that’s one way of thinking and this is my way of thinking.