Learning to Love Your Hair

My hair has always been a huge part of my identity. It’s what sets me apart and when people refer to me, they’ll usually go “the one with curly hair”. I’ve always had a love – hate relationship with my hair, I don’t always love it, but throughout the years I’ve learned to accept it and that has set me free. There is this type of “hair beauty standard” that we’ve been put under since we were kids, but it’s time to break that toxic pattern; it’s time you learn to love your hair.

Have you heard the words “bad hair”? Those two words haunted me as a child, but what is bad hair? What makes it bad?The answer is nothing. Nothing makes your hair bad and there’s no such thing as “bad hair”. This term goes back to the 1900’s where advertisements for hair straightening treatments had slogans like “Improve Your Appearance” and “War Declared on Bad Hair”. Just like there’s different types of cars, or phones, there’s different types of hair and they’re all beautiful. Hair types that require a lot more maintenance and expensive hair products are sadly thrown under that “bad hair” category, but there’s always inexpensive “dupes” for everything so you shouldn’t worry about that. It’s sad that something so beautiful is considered “bad hair” just because some people don’t know how to work with it. 

I remember as a child being told that I needed to straighten my hair for important activities, otherwise it would look too informal, and I believed them. Looking back at it, no one in my immediate family has the same hair I do, so maybe that was their way of sugar coating the fact that they didn’t know what to do with my hair, how to handle it and wouldn’t even try. There’s no such thing as formal or informal hair, it’s just hair! And it’s yours and beautiful.

The universe makes no mistakes, you were born with gorgeous hair that puts on display your history and your ethnicity. You should be proud of every inch of you. This body you own, this hair on the top of your head, it’s taken you very far. Be kind to it, be kind to yourself. We’re so kind (or at least I’d like to believe we are) to other people, but we choose to be very critical about ourselves and our appearance when all we’re doing is bringing ourselves down and, in the process, slowing down our personal growth. 

Don’t be ashamed of something that part of you. I know it’s easier said than done and it’s not something you can learn to do over night, it might take months or even years but after trying to hide myself behind my hair, flattening it with hair gel, straightening it with a flat iron and even considering a permanent relaxer, I decided it was time my hair and I became a team. Let’s embrace who we are and the beauty in being different. We need to learn to love ourselves completely, every scar, every perfect imperfection and every strand of wild, unique hair. When we’re truly happy with ourselves, the words “bad hair” will never hurt you, and the happiness you radiate will make others feel happy. Life’s to short to be worried about something so simple, and I’m glad more people are embracing who they are these days and letting go of insecurities established by what other people think about them. It’s time you learn to love your beautiful hair.

References: 

Edouard, Iyana. “NATURAL HAIR & THE WAY IT'S CHANGING SOCIETY'S BEAUTY STANDARDS.” Medium, Medium, 22 Aug. 2017, https://medium.com/@writtenbyiyana/natural-hair-the-way-its-changing-soc...