I can’t recall how I met Sean exactly, but it was definitely via the interwebs. Sean’s bright smile and positive attitude caught my attention immediately. She’s one of those bloggers who (I feel) wants to bring about change and her cheerful energy encapsulates her readers from the get go. Of course I needed to feature her on my blog. This is Sean’s story, in her own words. Enjoy!
Hair has always been a big part of my life.In my head, it’s the most definitive physical distinguisher. I don’t always remember a name, but trustthat I will definitely remember what their hair was doing that day. This fixation started in my childhood. I was raised in a small town within the Indian community. The food is great, and so are the people but the beauty standards are rigid and unyielding. Colourism within the Indian culture is prevalent as well as “hairism”. There is a certain archetype a woman must fit into in order to be considered pretty: light skin, a perfect pert little nose, and of course the thick flowing pin-straight hair.
One of my earliest hair-related memories is of my aunt pulling my hair straight with the paddle brush and blow dryer in her lounge. I insisted on getting my hair straightened because I kept getting teased by my friends in school- Indian, African, Coloured, the consensus was the same: Sean, your hair is too kroes and you need to straighten it to be pretty. This continued all the way into my teens, and became increasingly damaging to my hair. I have done it all in the pursuit of “good hair”- relaxer, actually ironing hair with a clothes iron, GHD, reverse perms, Brazilian blowouts… If it existed back then, I tried it. It worked, but it never was quite the same as ‘proper’ Indian hair.
Even with the straight hair, I never was fully accepted. Your teens are infamous for doing a number to your self-confidence, and the fact that I did not look like everyone else just compounded that. My father is part African, and my brother and I inherited a lot of features from him. These are features that I love now but it took me a long time to learn how to.
Straightening my hair to within an inch of its life, even on concrete practical days XD
In 2014 I experienced scary amounts of hair fall and decided enough was enough- no more heat, no more chemicals, just my natural hair from now on. I rediscovered hair oils and experimented with deep conditioners. I started seeing my own wild curly hair as beautiful in its own right, for the first time in my life. I study at UKZN in Durban, the India away from India XD Not many people here are natural, and I’m very excited when I do come across a fellow naturalista 🙂 However, the support for my natural journey is definitely present- I get a lot of banter about the ‘fro, and I’m always up for hair talk. My mother (who has the hair I used to lust after) benefits from my natural knowledge; Jamaican Black Castor Oil is her firm favourite, and her hair has never looked better. My extended family is still drinking the straight hair lemonade unfortunately but we’ll just add them to the prayer list.
The transitioning period
I thought this was simply about getting healthy hair, and for a long time it was. Only once I realised the unseen changes: the comfort I felt with myself, the lack of hair envy, the way I could look at a girl with a wild untamed afro and see the beauty in that- then only did I realise just how much deeper this natural journey goes. It changes a fundamental part of you. I look at my kroes hair, my African nose, my thick lips and I LOVE them all! I am at a place in my journey right now where I can look at a beautiful woman and appreciate it without feeling the need to change myself- which is good, because the natural community is chock full of bloody gorgeous women who slay me every time I go onto Facebook “:D Initially I was length-obsessed and glorified the perfectly defined type 3 hair #guiltyascharged. After my big chop however, all of that changed. Any curl gets me excited, and I’ll forever envy the twist out definition only type 4 hair can achieve. I’m actually more into my shorter hair, plus I get to save on hair products #sorrynotsorry #studentlife
A few months post Big Chop, LOC in formation 😉
I love the versatility of curly hair. Perfection isn’t required- frizz and all, it still slays. I love how I can go to the beach and not worry about ruining a blowout. I love that I can work-out and deep condition at the same time! Naturally kroes hair is not a burden but rather a blessing 🙂 My only regret about going natural is that I didn’t do it sooner. I could have saved myself so many years of insecurity, not to mention the hours of working that GHD XD More than anything, I love how amazing the natural community in SA is: I’ve met the most supportive, friendly, FUNNY, and just all-round beautiful women in SA from Facebook groups alone 🙂 In all my years of looking for straight hair, not a lot of women would share their secrets to their sleek tresses- which is the complete opposite of us naturals! When we find our holy grail, you WILL hear about it XD The support from this community is unparalled and a boon to any new natural.
Experimenting with protective styles, something I never would have had the confidence to do before
This is my home, these are my people and I have finally found the acceptance I never received during the ‘straight hair days’. Going natural is the most liberating thing I have ever done and I will never go back to the creamy crack #byefelicia.
Go with the ‘fro
Details about my hair regime and transition into natural hair can be found at my blog: https://seangoesnatural.wordpress.com
I love talking about hair, so don’t feel shy about contacting me on any social media platform!
Good luck on your her and blogging journey, Sean. I am always here to help wherever I can. Remember to…