Black women are returning to their 'roots'

Organizers of Natural Beauties of Augusta got confused looks, stares and even some whispers when they held their first planning meeting at a restaurant last year.

That proved to them that what they were planning was needed in this area, said Natasha Dyer, an organizer.

"The thing about 'sister locks' is that it looks different on everyone," she said. "We all had sister locks, and people were just giving us looks that said, 'What's going on with their hair?'

"It solidified that we really needed to provide a group to support people in our area who are already natural or wanted to go natural. For those who want to go natural, one of the most intimidating thoughts is, 'What will others think or say when they see me?' "

The group is or women, mostly black, who wear natural styles; have hair that is in transition from a chemical to a natural state; or want to learn more about natural hair.

Members wear a variety of natural hairstyles, including traditional locks, more commonly known as dreadlocks; sister locks, a technique in which hair is woven into a pattern and naturally locks around the pattern; two-strand twists; and afros.

"Natural hairstyles are so beautiful and can look different on each person," said Carol Eunice, another organizer and a sister locks consultant. "I think that when people with natural hair walk into a room, they light it up because of their natural beauty."

The group meets monthly to discuss topics related to natural hair and healthful living, share information and support one another.

"Going natural is a lifestyle decision," Mrs. Dyer said. "You can't do it overnight. Physically, yes, you can just cut all your hair off and start growing it naturally. However, mentally, you have to work on it. It takes time to get used to it."

It can take awhile to mentally adapt because of what black women have learned, she said.

"We have been taught from early on that straight hair is good and pretty and that natural hair isn't. So, growing up, we wanted to keep our hair as straight as possible," she said.

Pamela Watson, another organizer, agreed.

"After about a month or so, you'll see your hair transitioning, and when you're used to a straight look you start panicking," she said. "You want to run and get your hair relaxed to straighten it out. That's what we've been taught.

"This group is a resource and support system you can depend on to be there when you feel like giving up and return to using chemicals. We've all been there, so we know exactly what you're feeling. It's much easier when you have that support system."

Mrs. Eunice said that natural hair goes beyond appearance.

"It's a lifestyle change," she said. "When you change to a natural style, your attitude about a lot of things in life changes. You begin to feel comfortable with who you are. You gain a lot of confidence."

For more information about Natural Beauties of Augusta, visit nbagroup.ning.com.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (21) Add comment
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DonH
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DonH 07/26/09 - 08:44 am
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Try different hair styles and

Try different hair styles and find out what looks best for you. As a male, I like to see the variety that women come up with in their hair styles. Most of all, women should enjoy being women.

1941
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1941 07/26/09 - 08:56 am
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Congraulations Sisters! You

Congraulations Sisters! You all look good with your new looks, but why should all sisters want to wear "locks, or go "natural"? I don't think hair makes the woman, I think 'the mind" makes the woman, and whatever she, thinks she looks good wearing.

The Ode
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The Ode 07/26/09 - 12:41 pm
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A support group for hair? Are

A support group for hair? Are you kidding me? I think black women in Augusta need to take a step back and prioritize their problems. This isn't one of them.

corgimom
33899
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corgimom 07/26/09 - 03:22 pm
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I cannot believe that the AC

I cannot believe that the AC would waste the time and space on an article about a support group for natural hair. I also want to start a support group for former wearers of acrylic nails, I now go natural. Going natural is a lifestyle decision, you know. When you change to a natural style, your attitude about a lot of things in life changes. You begin to feel comfortable with who you are. You gain a lot of confidence. *snort*

jimbobob
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jimbobob 07/26/09 - 07:09 pm
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I have a toupee and need some

I have a toupee and need some space on that too.

inkpup
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inkpup 07/26/09 - 08:38 pm
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Guess that'll open up space

Guess that'll open up space for a natural pubic hair support group next, and then corn-rowed armpits. No telling what kind of design they'll want on their thighs. Now this might get yanked. *snort*

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 07/26/09 - 09:49 pm
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quote "The group is or women,

quote "The group is or women, mostly black, who wear natural styles; have hair that is in transition from a chemical to a natural state; or want to learn more about natural hair." Nikasha Dicks needs to have some english lessons. The women in the pictures should be more interested in weight watchers.

Happy Camper 455
6
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Happy Camper 455 07/26/09 - 10:13 pm
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My nails are natural now. I

My nails are natural now. I feel like a Nat-chu-ral woman....

Happy Camper 455
6
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Happy Camper 455 07/26/09 - 10:15 pm
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I don't have anyone's back to

I don't have anyone's back to run my nails down any who!!! bwhahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TELLITLIKEITIS1
1
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TELLITLIKEITIS1 07/27/09 - 08:39 am
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Gotta agree....a lot of

Gotta agree....a lot of people go natural...so what??

AAQueen
18
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AAQueen 07/27/09 - 09:41 am
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corgimom and all you fools

corgimom and all you fools need to stop hating. You didn't have to read the article and didn't have to comment on it.

ugadawgbite
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ugadawgbite 07/27/09 - 10:58 am
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I decided to go natural and

I decided to go natural and I'm currently growing a beard. Maybe the AC can write a article about me? Oh that's right, I'm not a minority so nevermind.

Javital
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Javital 07/27/09 - 02:37 pm
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If these woman want to go

If these woman want to go natural then let that be there business i don't care to know but it was an interesting topic but just becuase ones doing it doesn't mean all women have too.

sunnyday
1
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sunnyday 07/27/09 - 02:45 pm
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Hey, I'm a white woman who

Hey, I'm a white woman who thinks this is a wonderful thing. All women should first and foremost be WHO THEY ARE, not try to fit some kind of "societal" stereotype so that others approve. Be who you are and be proud of who you are. You go, girls!

Boogaloo
1
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Boogaloo 07/27/09 - 02:56 pm
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Does going natural mean no

Does going natural mean no shaved legs or armpits?

corgimom
33899
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corgimom 07/27/09 - 05:35 pm
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I want y'all to know, I went

I want y'all to know, I went to the hair salon today. All the hairdressers there are black. I told them about this support group, and they said "Do what? Are you for real?" So I guess they are hating, too.

pecantan
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pecantan 07/28/09 - 03:32 pm
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Glad to see the story has

Glad to see the story has sparked such conversation! It's not a "support" group like for weave addicts, but more of a networking group, providing resources to people who want them. Obviously, this group is NOT for everybody and that's fine. Those who are interested will benefit. And for the others, hopefully you have something that you are interested in.

corgimom
33899
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corgimom 07/28/09 - 08:52 pm
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You have to laugh when

You have to laugh when someone accuses you of "hating" when you comment on a ridiculous story. I would feel the same way if it were a story about white women, too.

Barf Obama
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Barf Obama 07/31/09 - 11:41 am
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What resources?

What resources?

_fullmetaljacket_
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_fullmetaljacket_ 07/31/09 - 04:47 pm
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Where, Africa?

Where, Africa?

asaag
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asaag 04/27/10 - 07:12 am
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first date tips Thanks...

first date tips
Thanks... Cheers for the info. It was a good read.
first date tips

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