By: GG Renee Hill
Transitioning to Natural Hair Completely Changed My Life; It Inspired Me to Quit My Job and Write a Book…
When I was a little girl, I LOVED big hair. I was a late 70’s baby and was always drawn to the freedom and the wild abandon of big hair. I would watch Diana Ross and Donna Summer concerts on TV and dance around the family room with a blanket on my head.
As I got older, I tried to fit in with the flatter, more frozen styles of the 80’s and 90’s but my hair never truly conformed, even with a relaxer. Still, I persisted. I fried, dyed, and laid it to the side for years and years, trying to keep it straight and flat.
My decision to stop relaxing my hair was triggered by an emotional transition that I was going through in my late twenties. It was 2006 and I’d spent most of my adult life feeling lost and uncertain about everything. I just hit a wall. I was tired of making all my decisions based on what other people told me I should do. I cared so much about what other people thought that I had no idea how I really wanted to live my life. I began to question everything. I gradually began the slow process of deprogramming and learning how to think for myself. I had to stop living for the approval of others.
One of the first things I did was stop relaxing my hair. I would play with my new growth and admire the texture of it and I decided that I wanted to see more of it and more of it and more of it. The longer it grew, the more I fell in love with it.
I think my love of hair, even back to when I was a babe, has to do with some part of me recognizing it as a way to let who I am come out. For me, it’s a way to express myself without saying a word. I’m free-spirited, open-minded, sensitive, rebellious, contradictory and goofy – just like my hair. Transitioning was truly a journey that occurred from the inside out and it taught me how to love my whole self and not just the parts that people praised me for.
I try to channel that freedom through my writing. Through my blog, All the Many Layers, which embraces the layers of being a woman. That includes the things that make me feel scared, awkward and unpretty.
Even more recently I published my first book, The Beautiful Disruption, and I credit my transition to natural hair as a huge catalyst for my writing career. It inspired me so much that I started writing and blogging and I discovered a passion for inspiring women to express themselves creatively. In the summer of 2013, this also lead me to quit my job to pursue my writing career full time.
We are drawn to things for a reason. It may take a while for us to figure out why, but it’s worth the journey. As I learned to love my natural hair, I began to reconsider other things that I never liked about myself like my idealism, my sensitivity and my, now beloved, awkwardness. These things have become my biggest sources of creativity because I am no longer afraid to be vulnerable and show myself. I encourage any woman who has transitioned or is in the process of it to go beyond the physical transformation and allow it to reconnect you to the core of who you are and the empowering freedom of self-expression.
GG Renee Hill is a first-time author and the creator of the lifestyle blog, All the Many Layers. She writes for the crazy beautiful complex free creative weird love drunk woman. When she’s not working on a book or writing for her blog, you can find her sprinkling love dust on Twitter and Instagram @ggreneewrites.