I decided several years ago to eliminate processed foods and other unnatural products from my home. It’s been a gradual process for us to break the addiction we had to things like shower gels and household cleaning products. Instead we use baking soda, vinegar, water, lemon and other natural ingredients. I also found a wonderful natural soap made from goat milk. Instead of lotion we use mixtures of natural oils like jojoba and Shea butter.  However, the strongest addiction to break were the processed chemicals we used on our hair, particularly perms. As I transition out of my perm I began to realize the standard of beauty I had set for my children; my girls in particular.

For black women, hair is such a big deal. When a baby is born, the first thing we ask after we know the baby is healthy, is “how much hair does he/she have”? We care how much and how “good” the hair is. Since I’ve never known anyone to have hair that’s gone to jail, I guess we all have “good” hair. As a culture, the more straight and manageable the hair is, the better it is.  As I think about this, it saddens me that our children are subjected to this rejection of their natural beauty.

As soon as a female child is old enough, we slap a perm in their hair to make it straighter. We rob her of the ability to embrace what God has given her and to see it as beautiful. What I am finding out through this journey of taking back my natural beauty is that if you are patient enough to find products that work for your unique hair type, it too will be manageable.  I am falling in love with my hair all over again and it’s beautiful.  We must teach our daughters to love what is pure and natural about them.

The image of beauty should not be learned from the media or school; it should be learned at home from women who look like them.  I challenge you as you read this to embrace something that is naturally yours and accept it as beautiful.

Until next time, stay strong, smart and powerful.  For more discussion of this topic, visit my discussion forum on Facebook on the fan page TiffTalks.




11/17/2010 12:30am

The man who has made up his mind to win will never say "impossible".

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