Chauncey Bowden

Whether you’re rocking a full grown afro, TWA, or are transitioning, being natural and new to campus can be a little tricky.
However you choose to sport your hair is completely up to your discretion. So if you want to big job; go for it. And if you want to relax your hair; go for it!
As someone who changes her hair at least once a week, I’m certain that there isn’t much I haven’t done to my hair. And while I didn’t start my career at NC State as “natural”, I have really enjoyed the process of learning my hair every day.
Two weeks before my junior year started, I completely shaved my hair off. Now this is not for the faint at heart, and I’m not telling anyone to go and shave their hair off.
I will tell you though, that shaving my head was a very liberating experience, and getting ready for class everyday tended to by very easy.
Before I became natural, I didn’t understand all of the hype surrounding it, and even to this day, I think some people may place too much emphasis on what it means to be “natural”. However, once I did decide to go natural, it was like I joined a secret society. Women on campus would stop and compliment my TWA (teeny-weeny afro) and ask what products I used – I felt like I was embracing a new side of myself.
Being an African American student on a predominately White campus may be daunting for some of you. And depending on your career path, you may be inclined to adopt Eurocentric beauty standards as the norm.
But you should always remember that regardless of whether you’re the only Black woman in your class, or the only woman with an Afro, you are exactly where you need to be and you bring invaluable skills to this campus.
Some of you will become doctors and lawyers, and I hope that you won’t trade in your afros for sleek bobs because you feel you have to.
For my sisters who aren’t natural, keep slaying girl! Please don’t feel that because you rock Brazilian bundles, you are any less of Black women. Even as I type this piece I’m rocking a weave.
Take the time to learn and love your hair. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
If you ever need advice on how to flat twist your hair or don’t know where to find a protein treatment – don’t be afraid to ask me. Congratulations on becoming a part of the Wolfpack , Sis. I’ll see you around!

DO try protective styles such as crochet braids, Marley twists and faux locs
DON’T get heat damage from flat irons and blow dryers
DO apply a protein treatment before and after applying heat to your hair
DON’T bleach your hair if you aren’t prepared to condition it on a regular basis; things could get bad.
DO trim your hair into a trendy haircut; heart
shaped, tapered, TWA, etc.
DON’T impulsively cut all of your hair off. You may regret it later, so give it a little thought before hand.
DO learn your curl pattern and what products and styles work for you.
DON’T be late to class because your hair isn’t done
DO buy a cute printed scarf. Tie it in a turban, apply deep conditioner and condition while you are out and about
DO watch YouTube tutorials to learn how to do new styles
DO join Campus Curls and Kinks