It was recently confirmed to me that T’Neil, who is featured in the story below, passed away on July 20 after a weeklong battle with a sudden, unexpected illness. The day T’Neil died I noticed that BGLH had a huge jump in traffic — I soon realized it was from friends and family coming to see T’Neil in her element and show their final respects.
The story of T’Neil and D’Neil’s natural hair journey was particularly touching and, even though I don’t know them personally, I was devastated to learn that T’Neil died just a couple weeks after being featured here. I’m glad that BGLH was able to be a small part of her life before she left us.
Rest in peace, T’Neil. Thanks for sharing your life with us.
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 6, 2010
I recently posted a story about best friends who went natural together. Here’s another cute story. 17-year-old Kentucky twins D’Neil and T’Neil inspired each other (and their mother!) to take the natural plunge.
D’Neil (right) and T’Neil
Twins: We live in Lexington, KY where we are incoming seniors in high school. To pay for all the things we enjoy (shopping, partying, dining out etc.) we do eyebrow threading.
T’neil: I was the first to go natural, about two years ago the summer before our sophomore year. After pretty much having had every haircut and style in the book I needed to do something new and refreshing. I also wanted a style that no one else had.
I was overdue for a relaxer and my curly new growth caught my attention, so I cut the remaining relaxed ends off and the rest is history.
I think my decision to go natural had a lot to do with my sister’s desire to go natural. She was my #1 fan when I went through with it.
D’neil: I was fed up with having to constantly relax and do my hair. My money and time was being eaten up at the beauty salon and there was no diversity in getting perms for me anymore. I often found myself bored and displeased with my hair. With my sister being natural, I already had a taste of what the process would be like for me but I wasn’t really sure. Then my mom decided to go natural and cut her hair and that’s when I knew for sure that I wanted to go natural too.
Twins: For the most part people were shocked as to why we would cut off all of our “pretty” long hair. Our friends and family loved it and supported us the whole way. Living in a fairly small town in Kentucky, natural hair is almost completely unheard of here. A lot of people weren’t used to it, so of course we have heard every joke in the book. But it’s grown on a lot of people and now guys can’t keep there hands off our hair.
Our best tip for transitioners is, “Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is going to think or say and embrace your natural beauty, because what you’re doing is normal, everyone else is assimilating to someone else’s idea of beauty. LOVE your hair.