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    Posted June 10, 2009 by
    RIchmond, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Black in America: Hair-story

    I'm breaking out of the comfort zone


    I've always, ever since I can remember, worn my hair permed or pressed, in a long false ponytail or a weave. Anyone will tell you,   I love to do my hair in different ways to get a different look.   I would always get lots of compliments on my hairdo from all races, black or white.  I loved it.  And I always felt that how my hair was styled was my way of expressing myself. I thought I was 'doing me'.  But whatever hairdo I had, it always had to be long, straight, and shiny hair.

    Well, a few weeks ago I decided to break out of the comfort zone of my " long, straight, and shiny hair rule". So I started searching online for a more naturally african american looking style, just to try something different.  When I came upon some pics on the internet of women who had their hair done in kinky twists, I thought they were absolutely beautiful.  Thats what I wanted! I called up my friend and told her I was thinking about getting kinky twists. Now, normally she'll be all for it when I tell her about a particular style I'm thinking of doing.  But this time there was some hesitation in her voice.  She didnt like this idea so much.  Kinky Twists?  Me? Ew..  thats just 'too' natural.

    But I went ahead and made the appointment anyway to get my hair twisted.  This is crazy, but I have to admit, I could not sleep the night before my appoinment, because I was so worried about what other people might think of this new natural style I was about to try out.  I'm so used to being told that my silky straight hairstyles were pretty.  Now that I decided to get this natural look, how would people respond?

    I went in the next day and got my hair braided, and the African girl who did them,  did a beautiful job.  When she finished and I looked in the mirror, I absolutely  loved them!!....That is, until it was time for me to step out of the salon.  I have to say that I actually surprised myself at how aprehensive I was to walk out of that salon with this new, beautiful, natural, kinky look.  Though the twists are superb, and the hair that was used to create the twists is the same texture as most african american hair...I was scared that people would think it was ugly.  That moment was a wakeup call for me.  I'd been conditioned by society for SO long to think that hair is just not beautiful hair unless its long, straight and shiny that now I was scared to be natural!

    I hated myself for feeling this aprehensive, and I immediately became determined to change my attitude about it.  Because you know what? Kinky twists are beautiful.  Its a natural, African look, and it looks good on me.  The braids are not long, they are  not straight, and they are not shiny.  They're beautiful. And I am going to love every minute of having them in my hair.  I dont care if some people dont like them.  So what.  I actually feel better now. I feel a sense of pride now.  And when I walk down the streets and I'm getting many more smiles and nods from my fellow african americans than I did before, it makes me smile inside.  I can almost picture what they must be thinking when they see me in my kinky twists: "You go girl!"

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