When I was a little girl I had the kinkiest most tightly coiled hair of all the people I had ever met in my life. I would get teased in school, in our neighborhood and every social circle for not having a relaxer in my hair. I considered my hair as simply untamable and embraced baseball caps and scarves in a big way. This is how I related to my hair in childhood and I would stand in front of the mirror wishing for long, straight hair, not impressed by the mass upon my head that seemed to grow at one inch per year. Naturally kinky hair was viewed as dirty, unkempt and unattractive.
As I grew up, I knew and believed in the societal standard that healthy hair is shiny and smooth. Kinky hair was not an appealing look, extremely unattractive, down right ugly in fact, and socially unacceptable. So my trips to the hair dresser began, to get my natural hair stamped out. I would end up there for hours blow drying and using curling irons until the very moment I would acquire my envisioned look. I turned to numerous products and processes in an attempt to tame my hair to fit into the society.
I would spend long hours trying to get my hair perfectly straight only to have genetics and humidity fail me over and over again. Then I tried to get my hair curly, which required mad curling iron skills or painful nights in rollers. As painful as it was, I continued with this process for quite a long time until I finally started to suffer from alopecia — the loss of hair around the hairline or the center of the head.
That really frightened me and I decided to go natural and leave those dangerous products alone. I put down the chemicals and chopped all my hair off and began a journey of self-discovery and metamorphosis that continues to this day.
I am sorry I had to go through such an experience, back then when hair was a troubled terrain and we had to undergo many hair treatments to gain back our self-esteem and dignity. Nobody should not be categorized by the texture or appearance of their hair. As much as it is in our faces everywhere we turn, long hair is not necessarily the only representation of beauty! The pomades and gels, straightening combs and chemical relaxers do not define our self worth.
Today, most people shun those who decide to rock their natural look, but I believe that the world of natural hair should overtake the society of hair straightening madness and we should start looking at natural hair not only as a much healthier preference, but as a way to express our inner beauty with a sense of pride. It really saddens my heart to see a beautiful woman ruining her beautiful natural hair just to have straight, so called “good” hair.
I have come to hugely embrace being all natural, despite the truth that many people will make assumptions about you based on how you look and how you choose to wear your hair. What people see on the outside should really begin from deep within your heart. So, to all of the curly haired girls out there: please enjoy embracing your natural kinks, curls, and coils. Wear your hair with style and grace while also presenting your natural hair texture with a sense of beauty and of pride. You shouldn’t be concerned about how other people think you look, only about how you think you look.
I consider my hair loss condition a blessing in disguise since it has taken me places I only dreamed of and I get encouragement from women in all walks of life who embrace their hair. For those like me who lost their hair, true beauty comes is deeply hidden in the soul. Put more focus on dismissing those unreachable ideas of hair perfection and aspire to lift your head high, love yourself and enjoy life!