Hair is one of my favorite topics, give me the opportunity and I’d like to discuss it with anyone, even the girl in the hair products aisle, asking which deep conditioner I use. There are so many options, so much advice given online, and easy to get overwhelmed about our feelings about afro hair today. You can wear your hair, however, you like, permed, weaved, crocheted, freeform, loced, shaved, mohawked, set in curl formers, Bantu knots, a room filled with stylish wigs, the list of styles, texture, and versatility has expanded. The most important message from this post that I want us all to remember is, Your hair is good hair, and it’s fully your choice.“
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”Lucille Ball
I’m pro – do – what – is – best – for – you. My choice to go natural was for me, simply the desire to embrace my natural self back in 2010. I treat my peers the same way, I wouldn’t recommend going natural for every individual. Transitioning from chemically altered hair to your natural pattern, takes time and total re-education the paradigm shift is a learning curve and emotional adjustment, therefore the reason and timing are important.
When I choose to wear my natural, shave my hair into an undercut, and buzz cut my hair, it often feels like I’m saying F the system and the cultural norms. My preference now aligns with minimalism and effortless elegance.
When I cut my natural hair, my relatives who have been fully invested in my hair and combed my hair while I sat between their legs on a stool or pillow, felt the loss, as I casually let go of my hair. I understand people have an opinion and need time to experience moments of grief. As I mentioned early, no matter what people say, Your hair is good hair, and it’s fully your choice.
As a child, I had long hair but I didn’t like it even though many people had positive reactions. I didn’t love it, because I felt that it was a task, the process of combing and maintaining was not meant for the weak, it was a full day marathon, a lengthy experience with a sigh of relief or satisfaction when the styling was done. I had a tender scalp and would cry, flinch, and scream when comb barely touched my nape. I screamed especially when my hair was combed while dry. I could feel every single separation of strands, it would be me and my Mom at war.
I made the decision at age 13 that I wanted to chemically alter my hair with a permanent relaxer aka lye. I got it done at a Salon every 2-3 months. It would alter my puffy curly Afro into permanently straight hair and those visits were maintaining the new growth so my hair would lay flat. I assumed this change would make me popular amongst my peers, instantly confident, and independent with my hair care. I was an early teen then and my hair was a protected cloak that covered me.
Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.”Helen Keller
I’ve heard many teens share their woes about their afro hair as burdensome and ugly. I often affirm them and think, oh wow, they don’t know how beautiful they are? And neither did I. These comments are even heard in groups of older black women, even my own circles. Even as we age, our hair texture and volume changes. Once upon a time I wanted longer hair, I was obsessed with it. I want to prove to the world that black women could grow long hair and I was going to be the proof. Well, it was too much of a burden to bear, before leaving for college around 2010, I cut my hair and started the journey of natural hair. I’ve cut my hair 3 times total from then till now.
I’ve learned that I prefer creative expression, style, and low maintenance more than hair length. It’s so important for me to know that I am beautiful no matter what I wear. It’s important for me to feel self-conscious, to embrace vulnerability and breathe through it. With the low hair cut that I have, I understand it’s not for everyone, it’s for me. It forces me to be confident because that’s my only choice, to rise up and show up as I am. When my confidence is not in my hair, it has to be within, it has to be my energy and spirit and that is tough.
- Learn your hair: texture, porosity, seek professional hair care/styling if needed.
- Research styles – Pinterest, YouTube, Browse Online.
- Own whatever you decide, do you with confidence, fake the confidence until it manifests, hold your head up high.
As I work on my inner and outer confidence, I often look in the mirror and encourage myself with song, dance, meditation, and repetitive uplift mantras.
- I am beautiful.
- I am enough.
- I am healthy, wealthy, and wise.
- I am a magnet for blessings.
- I am so proud of you.
- I embrace my choice and my feelings are valid.
- I am capable of completing the task.
- Any mistakes I make, are not the end of me.
- I am resilient, powerful, and capable of doing great things.
The most important message from this post that I want us all to remember is, Your hair is good hair, you are beautifully and wonderfully made.”T. Curry