I remember when I was a little girl, I hated when it was time for my mom to do my hair! I dreaded that comb and brush running through my kinks, those tight tiny elastics used to make twists and that blue magic hair grease being applied to my hair. I would have a storm of tears running down my face, just as that comb broke in my hair. I especially, ESPECIALLY hated the time it took!
Now, when I was just about in my pre-teens, there was something about my look that I so desperately wanted to change… my HAIR. Watching all the girls at school, on TV, and in magazines, with silky straight hair, I could not help but feel… unbeautiful. I was so focused on “that look” the look society repeatedly loves to portray as beautiful, that I begged and so desperately begged my mother for a hair relaxer/perm. *I was a hormonal pre-teenage girl going through puberty…I just wanted to feel beautiful too…*
So… after my thirteenth birthday, my mother finally budged and let me relax my hair… YIKES! But, I sure felt good and like the next Tyra Banks lol! When I mean I was all up in the mirror with a brush, comb, and camera every day… I really was! I felt cute and confident. And deep down inside, I felt as though I would be accepted MORE if I had straight hair. But the problem was, I felt that I finally fitted in…
…I just wanted to feel beautiful too…
Now, the problem with this is that no one should ever feel obligated or pressured to “fit in!” Whether it is due to their hair, skin color, weight or personality! Fitting in should NOT, by no means, be a necessity, requirement or “philosophy” to making friends or feeling good about yourself.
…”deep down inside, I felt as though I would be accepted MORE…”
*As I tried embracing the look that mother nature created for me, I was yet unable to see what everyone else saw in me. I felt unworthy, unbeautiful and… so much more. I criticized myself so badly that I started to believe it all more and more… every day.
However, over time I began to realize that I may not have “the look” that society portrays as beautiful but I do have the mind, soul, and dedication that a lot of people crave for.
Now, as I tried “embracing” this new hair, I could not help but feel as though I was losing myself… like I wasn’t living as the real me. *I hope I am making sense?!* It was as if I was missing a piece of who I truly was… The relaxer was not only a painful process that I had to go through every three months but it was an emotional process as well.
Despite the abundance of rules that came with maintaining this hair, the “creamy crack” not only stipped my hair of its healthy and stability… but stripped me of my identity and self-dignity.
Therefore, I began conducting my own research on natural hair, a term referred only to hair those of African descent or of the Black race- very important differentiation between the two.
From articles and blogs to YouTube videos, my eyes opened and noticed something… BEAUTIFUL. What I learned and discovered was truly amazing and beautiful! I learned: what it really meant to be natural, the political and social history of natural hair and how versatile, unique and beautiful natural hair is. I became so inspired and confident enough to take initiative to embrace who I really was… who I am.
“My hair doesn’t NEED to be fixed. Society’s view of beauty is what’s broken.”
After learning about other women who struggled to embark on their natural hair journey but then found the inspiration and love to embrace their hair identity, motivated me immensely. At that point, I was in LOVE with the Natural Hair Movement. I still am today! Therefore, on October 14th, 2012, I finally decided to go natural, which changed my life for the better, FOREVER.
If you are natural or want to go natural share your story and thoughts in the comment section below!