Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012: Spotlight: Gilroygal

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

My current hair status is natural.

If you are natural, how long have you been?

I have been natural for roughly 8 years.

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?


Why did you go natural?

I went natural because I was tired of “having to” treat my hair with chemicals. I felt like it was unfair that Black women HAD to alter their hair, unlike other ethnicity. I wanted to be able to embrace the hair that I was born with, rather than having to feel that my hair was somehow a “mistake”.

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

I often wanted to fit in with my step-mom and stepsisters, who had long hair, so I would stretch my hair out in braids or twists to make it bigger. Whenever I was around them, I would often feel insecure about having short hair.

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

I didn’t really have any expectations for how my hair would look though I DID hope to have a “big” fro. I had NO IDEA how much shrinkage I had in my hair, though! I was really just hoping to learn how to manage it.

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

I LOVE my hair! It’s part of me in the raw! I want to be an example to other Black women who feel that natural hair is “ugly” or will keep you from getting a job, a man, etc. I have all of the above, and I am SO HAPPY!

What does natural mean to you?

Natural means unaltered texture. If it’s kinky, curly, WHATEVER, just as long as the texture is kept intact!

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

The hardest thing for me has been other people’s reaction to my hair. It’s not always what IS said as much as what isn’t. For example, if I wear a straight wig or people see pictures of me when I had a relaxer, I get compliments galore. With my natural hair, not so much

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

Each head of hair is as unique as the person whose scalp it is growing out of. No two heads of hair are necessarily alike nor will they always respond the same way to various products. Embrace the characteristics of YOUR hair and don’t worry what others may have to say about it. Remember WHY you want to be natural. Don’t expect others to validate your journey.

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

I tend to be more health conscious these days, and I believe that happened partly as a result of my going natural. One of my goals is to be a pioneer in helping to abolish the good/hair bad hair mindset so prevalent in the Black community.

 You can find the lovely Gilroygal on Fotki or posting on Nappturality.

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