Friday, October 1, 2010

A Happy Nappy Affair's October Inspiration of the Month: Risse

What’s your current hair status, Natural, transitioning, or thinking about it?

My current hair status is natural. I do color occasionally. Going natural was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

If you are natural, how long have you been?

Ten years and proud! I will tell you all one thing. Although I was natural it took me many years to transition from my Big Chop cut. I was proud of being natural but not so sure how I’d be received with a full-blown-fro.

If you are not natural, would you ever try to transition?


If you are transitioning, how long do you think you will transition, and what methods are you using to help yourself while you transition?

Not transitioning but I was so excited that I went for the BC!

Why did you go natural?

I went natural because I was so curious about the new growth that I would see every time I got braids. Oh, how wavy and curly. I was also so tired of the burnt hair smell, hair all over the sink, floor, and my shirt. I work out a lot and grew tired of looking awkward after my exercise. I envied the natural women I saw and wanted to stop running from cloudy weather. I wanted to be able to wash, go and change styles whenever I wanted without depending on my stylist. Most importantly, I was tired of hating myself.

Do you ever feel the need to alter your hair to fit in better with family, peers or a loved one?

Now that I am natural, I never feel the need to fit in better with others. The military, however, wants to put me in a box. Although natural, I am professional and always welcome the challenge of anyone that may want to question my hair.

Did you have expectations of your hair looking a certain way when you made up your mind to go natural?

I think we all have expectations of how our hair will look. Will we look like Tracy Ellis-Ross, India Arie or Celie from the Color Purple? I had an unreal expectation of sleek edges and no frizz.

What has been your consistent driving force to continue on with your natural journey?

My consistent driving force is God. He did not make any mistakes when creating our beautiful kinks and curls. I am also driven by other women that desire to do what I did by going natural; and of course, haters envy that we can wash and go. Our hair always fits us and is always different.

What does natural mean to you?

Natural means freedom, beauty, pride and love.

What was one of the hardest things that you have or are struggling with as you walk down this natural journey?

One of the hardest things that I struggle with is moisture and the notion that my hair always has to be sleek or defined. I am recently beginning to accept my hair and its wild ways.

What if anything can you share with someone going through transitioning their mind and hair to natural?

Transitioning the mind must happen whether you BC or gradually grow out your relaxer. This journey is also a self-loving and spiritual one. On the other end of the awkward stage is beautiful, beautiful hair. You will be surprised at how many compliments you get!

What goals do you hope to achieve for yourself that you didn’t have prior to becoming natural?

Prior to becoming natural I struggled with the ideas of beauty. Removing my relaxer was like removing scabs from my brain (an enlightenment). I have learned that men really don’t like all the weave, wigs and unwashed hair. I hope to be an example and mentor for other women that are like me. I hope to achieve more knowledge of myself and our history.

Check this wonderful woman out here for more pictures and to take a glimpse of her past and present journey  Risse

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