Monday, October 12, 2009

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories (Teowonna C.)

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories
Teowonna C.'s Story
Teowonna C.

Background / Teowonna C. is a 36-year-old self-described "nappy head" living in Columbia, SC. She is a communications specialist for an insurance company by day and a writer, newspaper editor and radio talk show producer by night. Busy girl! But she always finds time for her passion, blogging! She unleashes her opinions or theories on the world at: thatteowonna.com
Hairstyle / Right now, I wear my hair in locs, but I take pride in showing the versatility of locs. Many people think you can't do much with locs . . . boy are they wrong! February 2010 will be 6 years of having locs, but I've been natural for about 7 years.
Reason for wearing a "natural" hairstyle / I am very much a free spirit an independent soul. When I first considered locing my hair about 10 years ago, I knew I'd catch the devil from my husband. I had a relaxer at the time and was ready to go back to the low fro I had when I was in college. So, I wore braids for a few months to let my hair grow out. I told my husband, who was 17 years my senior, that I was going to get my hair cut down. He really didn't have much to may until he came home from fishing one Saturday morning and saw that I had made good on my promise. He was livid! He said, "I can't stand a nappy-headed ass woman!"
When I went to church the next day, my sorority sister told me how nice my hair looked. I told her, "Please, don't say anything about my hair . . . I almost got a divorce over this damn hair!" To my husband's credit, he told me months later, after he got used to my hair, that my short fade looked very nice on me.

My husband passed away suddenly a year or so later. On the anniversary of his death, which also happened to be my 31st birthday, I loced my hair. I don't know if that was an act of celebration (of my birthday) or of deviance (against my husband's previous wishes). Either way, it is one of the best decisions I've ever made. Today, I'd like to think my husband would approve of this nappy-headed ass woman!

Support of your natural look / Actually, everyone. Everyone pretty much knows that I'm gonna be 'me.' Other than my husband, everyone else has been cool!
Negative reactions / My hair is kinda of bronzy now (courtesy of Sunkissed Bronze from Dark and Lovely), but while I was searching for the right color, my hair was 'very blonde' . . . not platinum, but pretty dang close. I had a job interview and wore my locs as conservatively as I could . . . but how conservative could I be? I mean, they were blonde locs! I got the job, but months later, my White manager said, "I hired you even though you had blonde hair." I told her, matter-of-factly, "You should have . . . I would have hired you with blonde hair."
Response to negative commentary / I don't get too many, but as you can see from my response above, I'm a pretty quick comeback!
Advice for women considering a natural hairstyle / I give these two pieces of advice all the time: 1) Locs are not a hairstyle, they are a commitment. If you ain't ready, you just ain't ready. 2) Don't get locs because you want them to look like mine. Because they WON'T look like mine, or anyone else's. Love and accept your locs for what they are . . . an extension of you!
Additional commentary / If you go "natural" don't be surprised if you start to make other life transformations. I think my locs made me more 'me' than I have ever been before . . . hence my blog. A lot of people don't agree with my theories, but most acknowledge that they are 100 percent That Teowonna!
Definition of a "natural woman" / A natural woman is one who is true to herself. She does what makes her feel good. You don't have to rock a natural do or be make-up free to be a natural woman. You just gotta be YOU. That Teowonna, is a natural woman.
Teowonna C.
If you'd like to learn more about
Teowonna C. visit her blog
"Teowonna C.'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 "Teowonna C.'s Story," the "Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories" series or Black hair in general, in the section below marked for comments.
Thank You!

4 comments:

Sharon J said...

You look beautiful! You also are a very strong person to have overcome losing a husband, especially on your birthday!

God bless you.

Shellshock said...

I know first hand about the husband's initial negative response. They do always seem to come around. Your locs look good! Continue to be you!

Adrienna Turner said...

Okay you are right. Most people think they can get locs and be lazy. I like those that are well-kept. I see you can dye it too. Some people believe that locs is dead hair. Yours look alive and well done. You make me change my view on locs. I met a woman in person who took care of it. I am not sure how I will start it and keep those up. I have curly/wavy hair naturally! Maybe I will settle and get the ones that you can braid/weave in.

I love your hair and color. Yes, I am trying to figure out what is a good dye to use, I am tired of the blonde when I want brown (light/sandy).

ThatTeowonna! said...

Thanks for the feedback, ladies. My hair has been a journey but one that I welcome and absolutely love.
Andrienna, I just want to caution you in particular... your locs will probably be fluffly and a little wild looking because of your hair texture. They may not be as solid as some others. But guess what, they will be beautiful! So when you get ready, go for it. Right now, it doesn't seem like you are really ready. You'll know when you are!