Think about it. We were created and born with curly, kinky hair. Yet somewhere along the way many of us either hid it in hair that's not our own or putting chemicals onto it so harsh they can blind you. Literally. Why?
You all know I still wear hair extensions as part of my protective styling and I've only been natural a couple of years so I'm not bashing anyone who isn't. I'm not bashing why people praise others for doing so. I just want to know, why? Why is it a statement to wear your hair as it naturally grows out of your scalp? People of all other races do it, and it's no big deal. But why has it come to the point that when a black woman decides to, it's a big deal? To her family, to society and to herself. Why is it that so many of us don't know or are reluctant to learn how to care for our hair?
I watched a hilarious video the other day where NaturalMe4C was grilling her husband with questions regarding her natural hair journey and he said something so interesting.
"To truly appreciate beauty, you have to understand the design behind it... understanding what God considered beautiful"
Which brings me onto my next question; why do we hate our hair so much? I know about the historical implications and how the Eurocentric look is what dominates our media space. I'm not going to lie, before I went natural, I was convinced that the hair my weaves and relaxers were covering was ugly. I thought it was so wild and messy looking that I didn't even want to attempt to see it grow. It would always be covered up by something. And I had the same mentality that many others still do; if you can afford a relaxer, why are you natural? Natural was an unknown and all unknowns are scary. A few days ago, my two year post relaxer mark passed and I only realised it did a day or two later (goes to show how much I'm used to being natural).
But it got me thinking and reflecting on my decision to stop relaxing my
hair. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, not everyone was on board
with it, a couple of people didn't think I'd 'last'. Two years post
relaxer, here I am...challenging the very same mentality I had a few
years ago. My going natural didn't happen overnight (okay, my decision to did) but I was on this path for awhile, I'm only realising it now. Point is, most of us have been there, including myself and it is possible to have a change of heart. I can say that for me, it was through educating myself that I began to know better about all things natural. I'm not an expert (yet!) but I definitely understand my hair better than I did three years ago.
And another thing I've noticed? Many Black women don't believe in their hair. We don't believe that our hair is beautiful or can look stylish & modern. Before we even go properly natural (having done research and taking others' advice) we're bashing our own hair and thinking the next girl who's rocking gorgeous natural hair was just 'blessed' by God and we weren't. Even now, I get met with comments like 'Oh, but your hair is naturally soft' Umm, no it's not, have you seen me on wash day?! 'But you're from East Africa, East Africans have different hair from us' Have you ever been there? Do you know how many of us struggle with our hair too? 'It's different for me, your face suits natural hair and you'll look pretty in whatever style you wear' Please read my 3 Months Natural Review. Pretty is far from what I was feeling.
Stop with the bashing! Yes, our hair (particularly us thick and resistant haired girls) is different. Let's not curse it. It is how we were made. Let's rather deal with what we were created with. A certain holy book says it perfectly; God makes no mistakes. He knew exactly what he was doing when he put those 100, 000 unruly, springy, coily thick ass hairs on your scalp just as he did when creating your cute lil' button nose, your purple birthmark and your powerful mind. Yes, I'm referring to myself, I don't know how the rest of you look like :p
My end thoughts: Let's stop thinking that our hair, our unique and defiant hair is ugly. It stands up for us - literally. Let's stand up for it too. Work with what you have. Even if you see another girl rocking the hell out of her natural hair but she has wavier, slinkier hair than you, don't hate. Let her style and confidence inspire you to go home and play around in your own hair until you're rocking yours too.
Any thoughts? Comment as usual.