Nia Long Talks Natural Hair & Healthy Living in Essence

Nia Long on Essence

In the August 2012 issue of Essence in which she is featured on the cover, Nia Long discusses her life, her long career, and a bit about hair!   Per the actress’s request, the interview was conducted at a raw vegan restaurant, of which she evidently is a regular patron.  The opening paragraph includes a quote by Nia:

“Eating this way is helping me to feel better than I have in my whole life.  I’m in my forties, postbaby and I’m thinner than I’ve been in years…The last step will be letting my hair go natural.  That’s when you’ll know I’m free.” (Essence August 2012)

Aroo?  I was with ya sistah gurl all the way up until the last statement.  I do realize that there are many different views on unrelaxed Black hair and just as many reasons as to why people decide to embark on a natural hair journey – all of which I respect.  However, as important as my hair is to me (and it is!), not once have I thought whether I continue to relax or decide to grow it out naturally that it would in any way be the punctuation mark on my life the way Ms. Long seems to view it.  I am all for healthy living – trust me, everyone who is a part of my offline life knows that is paramount to me – but what defines my happiness, shows my growth, and propels me forward into being the person I know I will become is my spirituality.  Eating well, exercising, growing healthy hair – relaxed or natural – and taking care of my body are all important, but if my spirit is not in alignment with God’s will, none of that matters for me.  I found it surprising that not once in the entire interview did Nia talk about her faith.  And to say the last step will be to go natural – does hair really hold that much power over your life?  And, if you have such an appreciation for natural hair and fully intend to become relaxer-free, why not now?  Like I said in one of my previous posts, I would think it would be particularly easy for Nia Long because she is already starting with short hair.  Perhaps I am reading too much into her quote and maybe all she meant was that for her natural living includes living as organically as possible, which applies to hair and maybe even face, body and makeup products.  And if that is the case, I get it, I really do. But to read the first part of the quote, I certainly didn’t expect it to end with going natural to be the icing on the cake without any acknowledgement of whatever God she chooses to serve.  And that, I can’t get with.  All of the naturality (yes I totally made that word up) in the world on the outside doesn’t mean anything without HIM taking care of my inside.  That’s my two cents.

Your thoughts?  Comment down below and let me know what you think!

Author: EbonyCPrincess

EbonyCPrincess is a Staff Writer for BHM She is a self-proclaimed hair enthusiast with a love of all things hair as long as keeping it healthy is the #1 priority. Along with informative articles, Ebony shares hairstyles, tutorials, the latest on celebrity hair trends, and much more!

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  1. This article is basically about your interpretation of her quote (which I’m guessing may have been pulled from a longer piece) and judgement of her perceived lack of faith. I’m one of those people who rarely brings up the details of my faith and wouldn’t choose to do so in an interview if I were famous either. Has nothing to do with my actual beliefs (and no I’m not Christian, assuming you are based on the capital HIM, which is great, but not everyone is, which is also great). Every part of us is every part of us for some it’s their physical attributes as well and if she feels being natural, the way the Creator made her by the way, will make her feel more free well maybe she’s saying ever so subtle that it’s HER last step of accepting who she is…and if that isn’t some form of faith then what is?

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  2. We are all entitled to have an opinion but that doesn’t mean it is absolutely necessary to voice it. Us women need to learn how to be humble and pay tribute or at least extend a compliment or courtesy to one another. Nia has been in an extremely competitive industry where there is not enough platforms for actors and actresses of color and she happens to be one who carries herself tastefully and confidently on and off the screen. Agree to disagree but don’t exam and dissect something that was probably never intended in the first place. Best wishes in all of your endeavors ladies… God bless

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  3. I’ve been natural most of my 59 years and do feel affirmed to see other black women with natural hair. I make it a practice to not make value judgements about women’s choices about whether to straighten or go natural. I don’t understand then why women with relaxed hair feel it necessary to criticize women’s choices to wear their hair in their natural state. What’s up with that?

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  4. aww lawd…it’s just hair….i mean, if she wants to stop relaxing, cool. i just wish we didn’t have so much “drama” and judgement when it comes to our hair. eat raw, go vegan, exercise, raise great kids, educate yourself, love others, respect your higher power (however you choose to define it) and move i stopped relaxing and i found it to be an interesting step in my journey. not “freeing” or “easier” or anything that profound. actually sometimes it’s annoying. LOL i encourage us to love ourselves and love each other… matter our hair style choice.

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  5. I totally understand what she meant. I’m relaxed and I was natural up until 4 months ago. With relaxed hair there is a freedom that comes with it. I can’t really explain it, but I feel her.

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  6. I thought I understood where she was coming from until I read the last statement, lol, seems like we’ll need an interview with her, I have a few questions lol

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