Natural Hair Don't Care

Recently I have been thinking a lot about natural hair. For the first time in my life, I am one of the few girls with weaves. Back home everyone has a weave, seeing a girl with natural hair or with an afro is less common than seeing someone with 26 inch “Indian Wavy”. However, coming to DC I’ve seen so many black girls rocking their natural hair, that it has forced me to confront my own relationship with my natural hair, or lack thereof. I’ve been wearing weaves on and off since I was 11 years old, for the past 7 years of my life my weave has become a security blanket, and enabled me to fit in with my peers. I have attended Pwis(predominantly white institutions) all my life, there were only 6 other black girls in my grade, 4 of us wore weaves, 1 straightened her natural hair and the other one was what we today would consider “natural”. Therefore in high school I was afraid to wear my natural hair in fear of being perceived as even more of an “other” than I already was because of my skin, nor did I want my hair to define me. A large part of me regrets this, I regret letting others have such an impact on my self esteem and keep me from showing my authentic self. Going natural is more than just a physical journey, it is also a mental journey of self love and discovery, a journey of learning to love what society has deemed unacceptable. Society has categorized the hair that comes out of my head as “unruly” and “unprofessional”, this is one of the many reasons black women have covered their natural hair or altered it with chemicals. Granted, in the recent years the surge of the natural hair movement has made it easier and normalized black woman wearing their hair in it’s natural state, many black women still face texture discrimination; the favor of one hair texture over another. Colorism is also a factor in the natural hair movement, why are we more accepting of light skin girls with corser 4C hair but this is unacceptable on dark skin girls? Why do we assume dark skin girls with a looser curl pattern are mixed? Ultimately the natural hair journey is more than just about hair, it reflects a multitude of complex issues within the black community.

 

I still struggle with whether I want to go natural, and battled internalized racism and eurocentric beauty standards. In the end natural hair journey, for me, is a journey of self discovery and love and saying “fuck you” to anyone who downplays or invalidates our beauty.

So if you're like me and struggling with coming to terms with your natural hair, play some Solange and say f the haters.