Blah Blah with Noemia Colonna - Hair Type 4A / Long Transitioner

11:09


You know that type of woman that seems to wake up flawless? Those that show up and attract all stares? Well, I know one who really is like that! Noemia Colonna is my aunt and I have always admired her. I remember loving when she'd play Gloria Estefan and spin me around the tile floor at Grandma's.
In 2008 she captivated me once again showing me what embracing yourself really meant. That was the year when I first saw her curls. Her willpower ( and courage!) surprised me and Auntie Noca was my strength through my transition.
Her story is my story and of so many other curly women. I must confess I was taken over by tears while writing this post.



Meet her story. Be inspired and learn how to love yourself a bit more!


1.Tell us about yourself and how is the natural hair scene where you live.


Not having someone to look up to, nor an afro beauty identity. I grew up believing that beauty meant straight long hair, preferably waist length. Gladly, I realized,just in time, how bogus that was ( I went natural at the age of 32!), I found out how much beauty my own nature gave me. At first I got horrible critics from my family and I had to prove myself at work and that yes, it was possible to be a host on TV with natural hair and really curly. When I started respecting myself, the world also did and that’s when I started receiving innumerous jobs’ proposals, that before, with my abused straight hair, I had never gotten.


2. How long have you been natural?


For 6 years I stopped using aggressive relaxers and began to just “loosen up “ my curls. My hair would look great, but I still felt as if I was boycotting myself, since I still never knew how my real hair was like (I began perming my hair at age 9). Now, completely natural, like really with not even a drop of  chemicals, it’s been only a year and 4 months. And I’m loving it even with all the nightmares and almost quitting along the way!


3. What motivated you to stop perming your hair? What was the process like? What strategies did you use or hairdos during your transition period?

What motivated me was seeing other black girls happy with their beautiful natural hair.After seeing Chris Rock’s movie “ Good Hair”, I was shocked with what is behind the media and relaxers industry, which leads and “dumbs” black women to perm their hair. Last, I detected that If my skin color was so beautiful, it could only be enhanced by what we are most proud of on our heads, which means our hair. I decided to just go for it, and it was the beginning to a new life!  The journey was intense because I tried becoming natural twice, and gave up because I couldn`t take my ex-husband and family’s complaints. Now, I’m trying for the 3rd and last time, since I’ve “ grown” and don’t need to accept public opinion that goes against what I want to be and have.And you know what? Once I learned how to respect myself, I don’t hear any critics, but actually compliments and incentives from people who even used to put down before!
The first time I transitioned I did braids for 2 years and then cut the ends that still had relaxers on them. After the big chop, my secret to a happy beginning was : TWAs need a flawless face. So I’d make sure I had perfect make up and big hoops. Then, scarfs and bandanas like African queens, cornrows and a nice flower on the side of my hair. Accessorizing is a must. Ah, a good dose of self-esteem helps a lot, especially when it comes to compliments and support from family and friends.

4. How did your family and friends react to your changes?

On the first 2 times that I tried,  the majority of my family put me down. But this time, I don’t suffer at all (specially since I’m so far away in Danish Land). But like I said before, once I accepted myself, my family and the world embrace me as well. Of course I got my supports, like my stunning niece Polliany Colona who’s the owner of this blog, my loyal armor and guardian on this whole transition process( she always pulls me up when I’m feeling down) and my super curly friend Laura Muradi, who’s always by my side giving me the strength I need to stay on this journey to finding out how my real-truly-natural-hair really is like!

5. How do you currently take care of your hair.

I banished shampoos. I cowash my hair with tresseme’s flawless curls conditioner (elected by me as the best friendly brand to natural hair), I complement  it with their 5 minute mask and I use 2 Jessycurl leave in conditioners. Once a week I do a deep nutrition for 30 minutes with the same Tresseme mask, along with some Argan Oil, which is a bit more expensive.Since it’s so cold out here in Denmark, I dry my hair with a diffuser and lift up the roots with hair balm so it stays as big as possible, while I long for that desired length lol.

6. How would you describe your hair texture?

I guess my hair is a level above being kinky. It’s something like kinky, with spiral curls and medium definition (oh wow!).  I definitely need a little cosmetic help to keep them curly, or selse it goes frizzy (I’m also learning to accept it and make it my own style, something like Esperanza Spalding, another curly crush!)

7. Do you believe natural hair says anything about our identity?

Not only do I believe it, but I live by it. Once I went natural, a lot of people say I became “blacker”. Which means that I used to conceal my roots with a permed hair that didn’t belong to me, and that would “whiten” my image to others and myself. So, who was I? A crappy Xerox of what the “white” standard media and society preach.So, who am I today? A black woman in every sense of the word, and my hair clearly states that. Now, of course our identity goes far beyond our hair, there are lots of black people with natural straight hair, with all these mixed racial features in Brazil. There’s also a lot of black women who prefer to relax their hair( which I don’t condemn them not even a little, everyone’s got their free will) and live their “blackness” to the fullest. Now, on my case, the hair reinforced my identity lot, indeed. And I love it!!!

 8. Any tip or message to our readers? 

Yes. Though shall love their hair as they love themselves! Jokes aside, my message is : find out how your hair is and like it knowing that it’s your uniqueness. When you Stop comparing it’s the first step to a balanced self esteem and to be happy with your own hair. I actually enjoying talking to that one kink that just won’t stay still and say “ Alright, do you!” And I storm out there feeling empowered with my curls! Long live natural hair and save our Black Brazilian women!


     
Auntie and I while she still permed just the roots



Noemia's transitioning braids and singer Gilberto Gil



Noemia with her hair relaxed


Nowadays





The movie Auntie Noca ( that's what I call her) talks about, “Good Hair” I hadn’t seen it until this week. 



People, when I’d see these radical chicks talking about burning down relaxers industries, I’d shake my head, but after seeing this movie… Let us burn our stupid concepts! Who is to say what we ought to be?Let us love ourselves and be happy in our own skin, period.Simple enough, isn’t it?

Xoxo with lots of love to encourage you!

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