The following post was written by Asia Monique Mays. It originally appeared on her website Beautonomy under the title of “Confessions of a Natural: Power in the Strand.”

By: Asia Monique Mays

If they only informed us sooner what it would be like discovering your actual curl pattern, and if you ever truly paid attention to it. There is power in that knowledge. What do I mean? Well its important to understand yourself. If this were a letter to myself I would have begged and pleaded with my mother at the feisty age of 11 to simply deal with it!

I have always had a head full of hair and no matter how straight it would get, because of my need to chase everyone (and everything) around the kitchen and down the block, it would go right back curly. If only at 11 they would have told my mother that the “kiddy” perm they applied once a year never really worked…and that it would later be the major benefactor of severe headaches and/or contribute to major tenderness, head sores if only they would have told her then…

But the power comes from understanding who you are and what you are dealing with. I have, multi-textured hair and I am still learning, but it is the small streams of knowledge that come through a practice of learning. Although my hair does not define in a sense who I am, it does allude in a sense, to the things that I am into (as I dress around my hair).

What I see when I look at other naturals is an oneness. A simple level of sophistication, a plan, a proud woman. I see that because I know what it takes to control and care for the strands that have been placed into an up-do or twists…I love it. That natural has an inner level of confidence and it is remarkable…even more so if your fro gets questioned where they bought it from 12x’s a day.

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