Friday, July 31, 2009

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories (Shelley S.)

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories
(Shelley S.'s Story)
Background / I'm a Cleveland, Ohio marketing professional and freelance writer. I'm over forty. I enjoy reading, writing, photography, knitting and paper crafting.
Hairstyle / I wear my hair in its natural curly state. Technically, I have worn it natural, without the use of chemical relaxers for about three years, but in its natural curly state for one year.
Reason for wearing a "natural" hairstyle / First and foremost is convenience. I no longer have to add twenty minutes to my morning routine to curl or flat iron my hair. I now spritz or wet in the shower, put a little creme on and I am good to go. Second and equally important is the health of my hair. Before I went naturally curly, the stress of heat elements caused regular breakage.
Support of your natural look / Everyone is supportive, now. My husband was not happy at first, but recently admitted that he likes the new look. I also receive a lot of compliments from strangers and folks I haven't seen in a while.

Negative reactions / The only negative comment came from my husband when I first cut my hair and left it in its natural state, "It makes your head look big." Can you believe that? He regretted it as soon as the statement left his mouth. The only other slightly negative comment came from a former co-worker who said he couldn't run his fingers through my hair.

Response to negative commentary / Having not really had any, there has been no real need to comment. To the co-worker, I just told him that he wished he could have the opportunity--NOT!

Advice for women considering a natural hairstyle / Go for it--it is very liberating not to have to be chained to heating appliances and other chemicals to change the look of who you are. I have seen a number of women going natural and most have beautiful locks.

Any blogs, websites, books or print magazines, which deal with the subject of natural hair that you'd like to share or recommend? /, I use these products, along with, but I prefer Miss Jessie's.

Definition of a natural woman / I believe a natural woman is one who is true to herself and not constrained by the visions that others have of what her beauty is or should be. She is happy within.

If you'd like to learn more about
Shelley S.
please visit her blog

"Shelley S.'s Story" is part of an on-going series I created that focuses on African American women who wear their hair au naturel. Check the archives (see sidebar on the right) for past segments, features and profiles. If you'd like to participate in the series, please email me for details (go to my blog's profile page or visit my website for contact information).

Your feedback is always appreciated. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you might have about "Shelley S.'s Story," the "Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories" series or Black hair in general, in the section below marked for comments.

Thank You!


pjazzypar said...

As Shelley mentioned the great thing is that we can get up and get going without worrying about how are hair is going to look. I have never thought about all the time I save getting my hair together until now. WOW! Anyhow I am really enjoying this series. It is so wonderful and I am marveling at the turn out. Sisters can support sisters :-) Are there any men participating in this or is it strictly for women? I have a couple of men that would be willing to participate if you decide to expand.

Lori said...

Hey PJ,
I, too, am thrilled at how willing folks have been to contribute to the series and openly discuss their "hair journies."

I never really thought about including men in the series. For one, most brothers wear some form of a "natural" (non-chemically alter, unrelaxed) hairstyle. Of course, their are more guys wearing locs these days, so I could see approaching it from that angle.

If your know a couple of fellas who'd like to participate, feel free to pass along the questions to them or have them get in touch with me. I'm open to including a "special" feature for men.

Sharon J said...

Hi Shelley,

Your hair looks glorious!!! I love the color. I'm going to be brave one day and color mine.