Hair and it’s relationship to self esteem is a topic that can without a doubt be a PhD dissertation. Oh yes, it’s that deep! It’s indisputable and undebatable.
“Hair and Confidence has a direct correlation.”
Think back to the time when you were just a little girl… young and innocent. The time when you began to stay in the mirror a bit longer noticing your own little uniqueness. This is also around the time when you started to notice the other girls. The girls in your neighborhood and the ones at school. You noticed the girls with the curly, bouncy ponytails. You noticed the little white girls with the blonde waist-length hair. You noticed the effortlessly shiny and perfectly coiled bi-racial girls’s hair…
“and then there’s was ours, the more challenging hair: black girl hair. Short, dull, weak, crunchy, thick and uncombable at the roots without the assistance of a relaxer.”
Well that was majority of our stories right? If you were like me, you didn’t have a clue what your natural hair even looked like because since you can remember every 4-6 weeks it was time for a perm and that’s what you were given. Nothing laid down that new growth like a relaxer. Nothing snatched those edges for the hair “gawds” like a relaxer, nothing could assist in mimicking that envious European hair like a good ole relaxer. So that’s what we got. A habit forced upon us before we were properly educated on how to care for the one external variable that is directly connected to our self esteem. We weren’t taught about our natural hair.
“Being proud of it wasn’t instilled in us so it became an unspoken struggle.”
A struggle with temporary “fixes” like perms, braids, weaves that never really resolved the underlying issue. An issue that birthed more issues. Everything I learned about my hair up until age 30 was wrong. Wrong for me at-least. This little black girl learned about hair care from copying white girls off TV—WRONG WRONG WRONG. Using their products-WRONG. Washing my hair like a white lady in an Herbal Essence commercial- WRONG. Combing and brushing out all my darn hair everyday-WRONG. Using excessive heat-WRONG. I was just ALL WRONG for 30 years until I decided to learn about my own hair.
It all began when I attended an African seminar one summer a few years back. It was my very first time attending an event as such. As I sat inside this huge circle of gorgeous black women, I noticed that I was the only one there with a weave. I’ve never, in all of my days seen so much black pride. For the first time in my adult life I kinda felt ashamed for hiding my blackness. In that moment, I experienced an epiphany. I hadn’t realized that over the years I somehow adopted the WRONG definition of beauty. The true definition was in front of me as I sat in the presence of all these natural black women.
“There were long locs, short locs, curly locs, afros in all sizes, head wraps, twists, textured coils, tapered coils…I was in black hair heaven. I was at home amongst this group of women. It was my last time wearing a wig/sew in.”
I went home, snatched out that $500 dollar 24-inch Brazilian sew-in so fast I thought I was gonna be bald. I filed my stiletto-tipped fake nails down to my natural length, looked in the mirror and felt completely liberated. My self-esteem soared through the roof. I fell in love with the natural-me. I was confident in the fact that God made no mistakes on me. From that day forward, I begin to study my natural hair and learned how to properly care for it. My last major chop was April 2014. I cut over 6 inches of damage out of my hair. Now here we are 2 years later and my crown has grown longer and stronger than it ever has. Loving my naturalness has me in such an amazing place mentally.
Hair is an important aspect of black culture. This is my own philosophy, I believe it to be 100% true and it starts at a very young age.
(see a photos of my journey on my Instagram) ♥