>Learning to Appreciate Natural Beauty

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Eight years ago on my Birthday, I spontaneously entered a hair salon with shoulder length hair.  A few hours later, I strolled out sporting less than a half inch of hair.  I felt liberated.  I could drive my car with the windows open and truly not care about my hair. No more hair appointments, touch ups and long hot days under the dryer.  Hello to the barber shop for a quick and cheap trim.

OT my barber and Sally’s home texturizing kit was my routine for eight years.

In June, I was inspired by ShidaNatural to go all natural.  Since then I’ve learned that leaving the house with hairs (quite a few) out of place won’t cause the world to stop revolving.  I have yet to receive the award for the most jacked up hairstyle of the week.  Women- some of us spend countless hours trying to get every strand in place and for what?  To walk outside and have the wind modify our hair in a matter of minutes. I am in love with the wild yet tamed look of the big natural hair.

ShidaNatural is teaching me to appreciate my natural hair and how to maintain a healthier head of hair.  I  am learning how to use the best products for my hair and the importance of using the proper technique to achieve the desired style.

More importantly I am learning to appreciate my God-given natural attributes that I’ve disliked and tried to mask for most of my life.  Starting with my hair.  I’ve always hated it.  Always wishing it was something other than what it is- darker, heavier, better texture-  buying into the hype of what’s “good hair” vs. “bad hair.”  In learning how to work with what I got, I am actually having fun!  Every day is a surprise.  Some days I adore my do.  Some days I cringe, but wear a smile anyway. Other days, I share a hardy laugh with me and the mirror at 5 in the morning.

For most of my life, I’ve worn acrylic nails.  Not because I couldn’t grow nails, but because I disliked my natural nails.  Always hated my hands.  To me they always looked ten years older than my actual age-  Maybe it was the blueberry picking during my high school years. Perhaps it’s genetics. Regardless,  fresh looking nails always made up for what I didn’t like about my hands.   After two months of digging deep for courage, I soaked the acrylic off of my nails.  I did it myself because each time I went to the nail salon, I chickened out and got a fill.  

After nearly three months, I’m still acrylic free and doing my own nails. Visiting a nail salon is not an option yet because I don’t trust myself and might submit to a fresh new set.  It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, but I still get the urge when I encounter someone with a nice new set.  Awe… it’s like a drug, but I’m holding strong. 

Internalizing all of this has me thinking. Is this because I’m at the half way mark to 50?  Is this just one of those phases that women my age go through?  Am I a late bloomer?  Have I been superficial for most of my life?

I have no idea, but I’m enjoying my new way of thinking and welcome what ever else is down the road. Surprise! Surprise!

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5 thoughts on “>Learning to Appreciate Natural Beauty

  1. >Sista girl, I too used to be very mindful of my hair once in the element but I recently cut off my shoulder length mane and am now sporting a very short and might I add, easier style. All I do is wrap it and to bed I go. When I rise, do-rag removed and off I go. I haven't gone natural BUT I perm, wash, flat-iron my own hair, I am a kitchen beautician. No longer have the patience to sit in anybody's shop, NOT. I was also a slave to the nail salon but I only got them polished because my nails always grew very long & strong. Like you, I do them myself. I say all this to say…..you're not a late bloomer at all, it's called maturity and when you reach it it's about you and I don't care what others think of my hair,nails etc….you know the term I'M COMING OUT…well that's all it is girl. You just hang in there and continue to do YOU, for YOU.

  2. >Valerie, "Kitchen beautician," I love it! I appreciate your insightful words of wisdom. You're right on point- I am at point now, where I don't care what others say or or think about me. I'm being true to me and am enjoying every minute. Thanks for encouragement.

  3. >Hi Tanya, Funny you should mention not liking your nails and hands. I've been so ashamed of my hands for years. My nails are not pink. They are a dark color. I always hold my hands a certain way to conceal my finger nails. And my hands themselves – Too Big!! I've said more than once I have big hands like my father's. I envy women with slim, petite hands. People trying to be kind have said no, your hands are fine. But then on one episode of Sinfeld, Jerry liked a girl, but couldn't get past her hands. He described them as "Man Hands" When I saw that show, it gave a name to the malady of my hands – Man hands! Yuk! The good thing is that at 64 years old I don't concern myself about this problem as much as I used to. In another 10 years or so, I may not remember who I am, much less be aware of my Man Hands and dark nails. Yolanda

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