I have had natural hair now for the past 10 years. You wouldn’t really know that though, because I’ve spent many years, and thousands of dollar, wearing weaves and extensions. I really shied away from exposing my natural hair texture because I didn’t like it all that much and didn’t really consider myself one of those “natural girls”. I have multiple textures and though my hair may be a pretty good length when its blown out but when its in it’s natural state, it looks pretty short and I hate short hair on myself.
When I was a young child, my hair was long, even in its curly state, but due to a bad case of ring worms in my scalp, my mom had to cut my hair short. With short knotty hair, I begged my mom to let me get a relaxer, granted I was only about 7, she obliged because it would be easier on her to style. Though it may have been easier for her, it didn’t make her any better at doing it (love you Mom but you know your hair skills suck) and I often walked around looking like a wild child. When I was about 10, I started to learn how to do more things with my own hair after getting my hair professionally done more often. At 14, I stated to get weaves and stopped relaxing my whole head and just did my leave out and edges. Only down side to this, was that my hair would look crazy after I took the weave out. I eventually stopped getting relaxers all together and just used heat to straighten my hair. This left me with tons of heat damage. After years of tons of manipulation, coloring and poor hair care habits, in 2014, I decided to start learning more and taking better care of my natural hair but still didn’t feel super confident wearing it out because it had been so damaged.
Besides my own internal conflict with wearing my hair in its natural state, I do have to say that for years, I have had the notion that my natural hair would somehow make me look unprofessional. It’s so crazy to even see that thought written out but yes, I grew up in an era where, the media, and the world, made me feel as though something that naturally grew out of my head would be deemed inappropriate for the work place. Though the (corporate) world and media, have made some progress in accepting black natural hair, there is so much more room for improvement.
Although I can’t change the world (completely), I can change myself and my frivolous notions of not being accepted or beautiful for the way my hair naturally grows. I can also be an influence to girls and women to accept their natural God-given hair. Just recently, I had a conversation with my 12 year old niece about this concept and was able to convince her to wear her beautiful natural hair, something she once described as ugly. That sentiment was something I could relate to because use to not love my hair either. But through more knowledge of proper hair care, I’m becoming more and more confident to rock my curls.
All of this is not to say that something is wrong with wearing weaves or that I’m some natural hair savant (I’m still very much a novice), I just wanted to let you guys in a little and let you know about some of the insecurities I’ve fought with. I wish it was never something that was an issue for me but such is life and now I can say that my mind set is something I have changed and I’m thoroughly enjoying wearing my hair in more natural styles. This past weekend I attended curl fest, where I saw thousands of beautiful people boldly wearing their natural curls and it made me so proud to have been one of them. I feel so liberated to share these photos with you of me with my natural curls and have to admit that I feel absolutely beautiful in these photos.
I hope you enjoyed my little story and I would love to hear about something you struggled with and overcame.