So I have been natural for a full 2 years now and I am still pretty much in love with my hair au natural. Unfortunately, like all great love affairs, we are no longer in the honeymoon phase!
Yes, I love my hair but sometimes I just don’t like it. Why am I not in like with my hair at the moment?
1. The growth rate is like a one legged sloth climbing up a very tall tree
2. My natural hair has at least “50 shades of brown”
3. Notwithstanding countless attempts to nurse my edges back to life I still have bald patches on my hairline
4. One can only wear their hair in an afro puff for so long before one gets Afro puff fatigue
5. I must have Martian blood because the texture of my hair can only be described as nondescript!
Speaking of hair texture, during the hours I spend trawling the internet for hairstyling tips and ideas, I have noticed that a certain level of backsliding is taking place when it comes to the attitude towards the texture of African women’s hair. I thought the whole idea was embracing our natural texture regardless of whether it is bone straight, wavy, curly or kinky! I clearly missed the memo in this respect as I am starting to notice a certain amount of uniformity in the texture of African women’s hair once again.
Clearly the “Good Hair” attitude is still very prevalent and kinky haired girls like me are finding it harder and harder to deal with the texture of hair that is coiling its way out of our scalps, so what are we doing about it? We are braiding and twisting and shingling all with the hopes that when we wake up in the morning we will have that curly/wavy textured hair. Some are fortunate enough to have hair that cooperates in this respect but if your hair is like mine… it will look wavy for 45 seconds before popping back into a frizzy fro – like magic. This usually leaves us feeling baffled and full of despair as we can’t understand why we our hair fails to take on this much coveted texture! Many a time I have watched a teary woman talk about how her natural (4c hair type) is bringing her down and another lamenting how much money she has spent on products that promised to give her that curly hair, with no joy.
As usual this has opened up the way for the great minds in the hair industry to help us “fake it till we make it”. A whole new family of products has been developed full of creams, puddings and custards (no it’s not time for dessert yet) to get curlier hair and if it’s too stubborn we can texturize it to get the desired effect. This is fantastic as always, but is this why we shaved our heads, transitioned for 14 months or kept our hair natural from birth? So that we can once again shun the natural texture and try to be someone else?
It seems at the end of the day we still have a long way to go before we can truly accept ourselves as black women, whether we have chocolate skin and kinky steel wool textured hair or caramel skin and curly lamb’s wool hair.
We are black and we are beautiful, if we can’t love ourselves how can we expect anybody else to? I’m just saying!
How do people view hair texture in your part of the world?