Welcome to my "Reflection in the Mirror" blog series! I am so excited to bring to you today a guest blogger. My guest blogger is Dr. Dionne Pickering-Simmonds. Dr. D or better known as "shoes" by her dear friends is a Natural sister her very self and has been for a very long time. Dr. D possesses a Doctorate in Social Work and has lent her talents as a Probation Officer for over 10 years. As part of Dr. D's as well as, her place of employments mission to affect our children young before they start committing crimes and become part of the system she travels to our Middle Schools, Jr. High and High Schools imparting information on the system and basically living within the law.
Dr. D conveyed to me how often her speech is circumvented by questions from girls about her natural hair. Sooo of course I took the opportunity to ask her to write and blog for my "Reflection in the Mirror" here it is curlies enjoy the perspective of yet another beautiful, successful curlie Dr. Dionne Simmonds.
WHO RUNS THE HAIR WORLD? “NATURAL HAIR GIRLS”
1 Corinthians 11:15 reads: …”but if a woman has long hair, it is glory to her?" First, allow me first to set the record straight, I give honor and respect to my sisters who prefer to wear their hair short, or boldly bald, and I applaud your confidence. I have always, however, been blessed with very long tresses. With that said, I embarked upon my “totally” natural hair journey in October, 2010. I say “totally” because I had been pressing my hair for the past eight years and finally the unrelenting and consistent heat was taking its toll. As a consequence, my hair was badly damaged and falling the “HELL” out (Ooops! who said that!) I believe it was by divine appointment that made me seek the consultation of Ms. Kim Aska---and, “what ah revelation it was!” Quickly, I learned about curl patterns, organic products, protective styling, the bomb wash and go and the fact that although left-handed, I could manipulate and style my own hair---with PRACTICE! As I reflect on October, 2010, I could not see myself wearing a “Nappy Do!” Twist outs, Bantu Knots, Braids!!! Yuck! Oh! Heck no! Although this is a rare occurrence, (LOL!!!) I was so wrong. First, I embrace the fact that my Afrocentric look and Kinky, Coily Hair is indeed a gift from GOD and it is beautiful.
How do I know my “Natural Do” is making great strides? Well, I recently took an International trip and I rocked some Bantu knots. A fellow passenger of Mexican descent asked me about my hair. She told me her daughters were bi-racial and she was having a difficult time controlling and styling their respective locks. “Natural Hair Girlies..!” I took immediate action schooling her on products, recent studies, styles and tools of the natural hair trade. Before it was over, she admitted to feeling inadequate as it related to her daughter’s hair care. Since leaving feelings of inadequacy was not my mission, I encouraged her by offering other tips and to begin by researching natural hair. Hey! “I could not believe it---yes, she asked me if I was a stylist!” Kimmo---would have been proud! Over the course of my trip, strangers everywhere were commenting on the beauty of my hair and I was enjoying the compliments. Interestingly, while on the hunt for Eco Styler Moraccan Argan Oil Gel at Sally’s in Atlanta, I loudly remarked to a friend, how great the Natural Hair movement was progressing. The salesperson heard my comment and retorted, “It’s been a movement!” She was wearing her hair in lock braids and was glaring at me as if to say, “look at this Johnny Come Lately, Heifer!” Still, I understood her seemingly disgusted posture because her journey unlike mine had begun a long time ago and she was comfortable in her own “Natural Hair Skin.” I lend the words of the Madonna character in the movie, Desperately Seeking Susan: “Good going stranger!”
My intent is not to brag or bore you with my adventures of Natural Hair living. It is simply a call to build self-esteem, launch creativity, exchange valuable tips and release the beauty within you. Now, this is very important! Prayerfully, as we age gracefully, let your style, your look, YOU---EVOLVE. On a final note, I missed out on an awesome opportunity via an islandgurl3601 contest to give voice to sharing is caring or was it caring is sharing? Whatever!!! I still got a Tangle Teezer just for making pathetic excuses as to why I had missed the contest deadlines. I call this FAVOR! Ms. Aska, much love and thanks for taking me along with you on the Natural Hair Journey. Anyway, this will not be the last time---you get it “HAIR” from me.
With All Natural Hair Blessings,
Dionne M. Simmonds, Ph.D.