Learning to Love my Hair

I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where my parents paid for me to go to the salon every 3-4 weeks. Throughout my childhood, I had various hairstyles: box braids, twists and many, many blowouts in middle school. Although I went to a pretty diverse school, most of my friends were white. I always liked when I got blowouts because my hair was straight like theirs. I could put it in a ponytail, in a bun, whatever I wanted. I felt like I finally fit in with all my other friends. Truth be told, for a while, I was envious of white girl’s hair. How they didn’t have to take hours upon hours to do it. How they didn’t have to worry about it getting wet or sweating it out. In fact, I truly didn’t appreciate my hair for the crown it truly was, until I had to do my hair myself.

I did my hair by myself for the first time around my senior year of high school, since I would be going off on my own in college next year. After I washed my hair, I stared at myself in the mirror for a good 2 minutes. I had never really had the opportunity to appreciate my hair in its raw form. No styling, no products, just my hair. I was so shocked to see that my curl pattern was a lot more defined wet than it was dry.  Even though it took me 9 hours from washing my hair to finishing my last twist that day, I was so proud of myself when I finished. I went to school the next day with my head held a little higher. 

After that day, it almost felt as if a spark had been ignited in me. I started following all these natural hair YouTubers, googling what products worked best for my hair, and making a list of all the styles I wanted to try. That year, I rocked a high puff, low puff, afro puffs, twists, twist outs and 2 unsuccessful wash-n-gos. Everytime I did my hair, I felt like I was growing closer with myself. You truly do have to dedicate a day just to doing your hair with natural hair. When you spend a whole day with just yourself, you’re going to grow to know yourself a bit. 

Now, wash days at college consist of blasting Beyonce’s Homecoming, staying in the shower longer than I need to just because washing my hair feels so good, and experimenting with different products. A couple of weeks ago, I finally found a combination of products that work for my wash-n-gos (Mielle Curling Custard and Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Curl Stretching Mousse). There’s something so freeing about wearing your hair out, and being at an HBCU has taught me that more than anything. There are so many different shades and types of curls here, and they all look amazing. Some people have even complimented my hair and everytime it warms my heart. After spending so many years being ashamed of my hair, wishing for someone else’s curl pattern, or to just have straight hair, I finally have learned to love my hair. I used to dread the days where I would sit in a plastic chair for hours while my mom would detangle my hair, and now I can’t wait for wash day. It’s almost like therapy for me. Just me, Beyonce’s Homecoming and my hair products for hours on end.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.