My name is Fiona Brown, I am 47 years old and live in Nottingham, UK My ethnic background is Jamaican
From the age of 19 years old, I began treating my hair using chemicals. I was literally relaxing it at least 3 – 4 times a year, for over 20 years.
I originally started relaxing because l thought my hair looked too thick and if l am honest everyone around me had thinner and flatter looking hair, and I fell victim to the hype. Plus, l do remember an occasion of going to a hair salon and the hairdresser used thinning scissors on my hair so she could manage it bit better (her words)
As l got older, I noticed my hair was starting to look thin and wispy. At the time l thought it must be because l was getting older as by this time, I was in my early 40’s and actually thought it must be a premenopausal symptom. I then decided to cut my hair and start again.
From 2017, I decided to go natural. For about 2 years l wore braids and weave and eventually noticed my hair was growing longer and stronger than before, and I finally appreciated how thick my hair was and actually wondered why I ever started relaxing it.
Since starting my journey, I have noticed a lot more women are either on the journey or starting. I think women are now starting to educate themselves and becoming aware just how damaging relaxing, perming and texturizing can be for them both externally and internally.
If l am honest l am not aware if there is a natural hair movement in the UK, it is something that l do need to look into, mainly to gain ideas of hair care, styles etc and would be nice to meet others.
There are a lot of natural care specialists in the Uk and seems like a lot more are upcoming as they are now realising that more and more women are going natural.
I still think we have a long way to go in society with people accepting your natural hair. I have heard many stories were men and women with Locs are treated different, especially in work environments. I myself once went to work with my hair out, literally just washed and blow dried, and not tied up. I walked in and my employer said, oh ok l see someone was in a rush this morning. I said what do you mean, they looked straight at my hair and said oh nothing just messing. Anyway the following day I had put the straightners through my hair and tied up in a ponytail, only to work into work and be told “oh that looks better”
I find myself looking at lot of Ghanaian pages on Instagram, to try and get inspiration and ideas.
I now finally think that black women are embracing their natural hair and are wearing it big, proud and unapologetic are not worried what the rest of the society thinks and its exciting and l am proud to be part of it and look forward to educating myself .
Just to add going natural was the best thing l ever did, my hair is so much better, it looks fuller and so versatile