Your Natural Hair Shouldn’t be A Mystery
I heard this saying just a few times growing up, and while it’s a gross generalization, I found it vaguely true. My Caucasian friends would obsess over body types and “skinniness” while my Black friends would watch the sky like a dual Doppler radar, fleeing at the primary drop of rain that may ruin their blowout or weave. On the flip side, I grew up home-schooled and an athlete. When i wasn’t hunched over books, I was running track or spending hours on the golf course practicing. My hair was the least of my worries. My mom gave me a few relaxers a year. I slapped a baseball cap over my ponytail, and was out the door, with fairly thick hair down to my neck.
However, with college came stress, and the pressure to “look nice” at all times. Popular images and my very own family had taught me that looking nice = completely straight hair. I used more heat products, and with such a busy schedule, rarely spent time wrapping it properly every night. Before I knew it, my hair was breaking off in the back. I began to do “no heat summers” for the three months I used to be home from school and only used two relaxers a year: one at the start of every semester. By junior year I was back to my old length. I began studying natural hair and transitioning, which was more appealing than the big chop. I decided to make the leap for one very specific reason: Your body should not be a mystery.
I realized that I did not know what my very own hair was like. I had no idea what my curl pattern was. Yes, I had a thick, dense mane, but was it curly Kinky Black or brown I knew what every inch of my body looked like except for the one thing I styled every morning: my hair. indian virgin hair reviews Suddenly, the very strands growing from my head didn’t feel like my very own; they felt very very like an impostor, and i didn’t prefer it. Chemically straightening it felt like I used to be altering my body once i did not should, once i did not also have a reason. I’d spent my entire life from age seven until that point learning to seem like a commercialized Western ideal of beauty, without ever knowing my true appearance.
It’s been two years since my final relaxer and 16 months since my big chop and I could not be happier! Seeing my thick, dense, coarse and kinky hair was like meeting myself for the primary time. My hair is a lovely deep black — nowhere near the light brown, reddish color I’d always believed it to be. For most of my life I believed my hair had to be straight to be pretty, however the more I spend time with my tresses, the more I realize those thoughts were wrong. It is rewarding to be pleased with who you are and my hair is a thousand times healthier!
P E R M I S S I O N T O 💜 S E L F ➡ 🔑 A photo posted by Candace (@aceisjoy) on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:03pm PDT
The one most important thing to do when you are going natural for the primary time is follow women that have YOUR hair texture. In the event you think joining the natural movement is an exemption card from texture discrimination, think again. I wish we were more accepting within this movement, but it is difficult to seek out people who embrace kinky textures. The natural world loves long flowing Type 3 corkscrews, which may be very uncommon if you’re not of mixed heritage, and might easily discourage you. Do some Type 4 searches and learn to rock beautiful styles that fit your personality.
A photograph posted by Candace (@aceisjoy) on Mar 5, 2016 at 10:27am PST
I am encouraged that so many women are returning to their natural hair, because it may have a positive impact on our daughters. It’s refreshing to see women refusing to relax their daughters’ hair in an effort to “tame” it, as if their hair is a disobedient child having a temper tantrum. We want to lift a generation of women who grow up loving and caring for themselves properly – not morphing into an idea that mainstream media handed them without a lot as a choice to opt-in or opt-out. Never make your hair a secret — especially to yourself.
This post is part of HuffPost’s My Natural Hair Journey blog series. Embracing one’s natural hair — especially after years of heavily styling it — can be a truly liberating and exciting experience. It is greater than just a “trend.” It’s a way of life. When you have a narrative you’d like to share, please email us at MyNaturalHairJourney@huffingtonpost.com.
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