Accepting Our Natural Hair: The Issue of Color

Color was something that had always terrified me. Hair color, that is. I had always wanted to try a color but was too afraid it wouldn’t match my dark complexion or would be too loud for work (basis office job). I can remember I would keep an eye out for dark skin women on the street just to see what color fitted them so that I could try it. But I was never brave enough. I am an over-thinker and thinking always got the better of me.

The first time I put color in my hair was when I shaved around my head and kept just a bang in the front. Even while putting it in I was skeptical. However, I thought the end result was pretty awesome. But that was just a bit of extension. Could I cope with the real thing?

Short cut w ext.

First time with color in hair

The first time I returned natural in April of 2010, I saw so many photos of awesome hair colors on TWAs and it was one sure way to spice up your hair. I wanted to try it; but I was too afraid. I relaxed and returned natural again in September of 2011. Again, I wanted to color but the fear inside me of looking ‘whack’ / ‘jacked-up’ / ‘ratchet’ held me back.

In August 2013 when I returned natural for the 3rd time I had had enough of the fear to experiment. I figured I was getting old and I had better not waste any more of my “youth” holding on to fear.

So I did it.

I colored my hair.

I asked for a deep burgundy and I left the salon with flaming red hair [hair was bleached and then dyed].

Red Hair-2

I tried to love it. I really did. But I didn’t; and so I dyed my hair back to black within 3 or so days.

A month later and I needed to try again. This time I wanted the deep dark blond that everyone was rocking. I ended up with a disgusting, washed-out looking orange head of hair that was blond at the roots (the new growth took the color but the original red dye job I got refused to budge) [stylist bleached, dyed and then bleached my hair again!!]

I tried to love it. I really did. But I could not look at myself in the mirror. I felt ugly… and within 3 or so days, I dyed my hair back to black – again!

You would think I would call it a day, right? But you gotta remember, I had 3 years of desire to color my hair…so the party wasn’t over yet! Each time I colored, hated it and re-dyed it black, I would get my sister to install my marley braids to give my hair a little time to recover (4 wks most). So my hair was recovering nicely but because my black was a dyed black and not my natural black, it was fading so at the end of December 2013 I wanted to touch up my hair with a black dye…but the haunted-ness in me planted my hand firmly on a chocolate color hair dye.

Brown Hair

Chocolate brown hair dye


My hair was a “blend-in-with-the-rest-of-me” brown and I hated it. So what did I do? YES! I went back to BLACK in early February 2014.


BeYOUtiful head of black hair!!

Over a period of 6 months, I put my hair through:

  • 3 bleach jobs
  • 7 dye jobs

The Lesson Learnt

I would never have been happy with my hair until I got the urge to color it out of my system. It was lesson learnt the hard and detrimental to my hair way; but I needed to learn it. Every person have to make their own mistakes to realize and appreciate the value of what they have.

I have now accepted that BLACK looks best on me and its the color I plan to stick with *pray for me curlfriends!*

I would never tell anyone that “color is not for everybody”. We express our individuality differently and we embrace what makes us feel pretty. I recommend to anyone that they do what they feel they must to ensure that they feel happy about themselves and not conform to the pressures of society.

I have a long road to recovery in terms of hair curl pattern and texture…but I am a tad bit wiser now. I can move forward loving and accepting my hair the color it was naturally intended to be. And, for me, that’s OK.

I will keep admiring those who rock color and rock it well. I will also continue to shake my head and laugh out loud at the whack dye jobs…but I will never ever discourage anyone who wants to try a color.

“Life is not measured by the number of years we’ve lived; but by the number of mistakes we’ve learnt from” – Nekisha CD Lewis

Happy experimenting and may beautiful hair be yours always…in whatever color it may be 🙂


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