A while back I was looking for a salon to go to in Brooklyn. After faithfully patronizing Dominican shops, I felt I needed a once-over with a black stylist and I came across one salon with gallery photos that included a big chop party that was held there. A woman had decided to go natural and she wanted her friends to be there with her, so on a chosen day, all of the ladies came together to support their friend’s new hair journey with food, drinks, love, and laughter right in the shop.
Fast forward some time later and I’ve come across a lot of events that have been held for natural-haired women, and not necessarily just to share hair tips but to share experiences with coming into their own as women and accepting their natural beauty from head to toe. Atlanta Naturals is a group down south that regularly hosted social events and big chop parties last year, and even started an online newsletter to keep naturalistas in the ATL up on the latest big chopping in the city. Two sisters in Michigan have also just started a movement called Naturally Flyy Detroit, that affectionately holds “group hugs for hair.” The sisters started the organization to educate girls at a very young age about the damage getting relaxers too early can do to your hair and your self-esteem and they’re helping older women realize it’s never too late to go natural.
Though women who do break free from chemical styling often say it’s “just hair” when they cut their locks off, the physical and emotional transformation they go through afterword proves it’s a lot more. These local natural hair groups seem to be stepping in to fill the void when women have read all they can on blogs and need to spend time in the presence of other like-minded and similarly hair styled ladies and that seems pretty cool.
Have you attended a natural hair mixer or big chop party? How was the experience?