Why I Decided To Have Natural Hair
“People can graduate from beauty school and know everything about white hair and nothing about African-American hair.” – Tracie Thoms
In 2008 I began to think about going natural. Then 2009 came and I actually began my natural hair journey. Hahahahaha, yes it took me a whole year to make my decision. What was my deciding factor?
During the days of slavery and colonialism, a warped perception of beauty was forced on us Africans. We were made to believe that our complexion is ugly, that the voluptuousness of the typical African woman is undesirable, that the size of our nose and lips are unappealing.
And then, I found out that even our hair was put under scrutiny. The jet blackness of our hair, the kinkiness of our hair and the appearance of our hair was judged as appalling. In fact, one of the reasons we were made to wear headwraps was just so slave masters will not be tormented by the sight of such perceived ugliness. Headwraps became mandatory for most slaves to wear as it acted as a subtle form of degradation and servitude.
We were made to feel inferior. We were made to feel flawed, like something was not quite right with us. We were made to feel we were just not good enough. We were made to feel ugly just because we do not look exactly like them!
And I think that, if you feel negative long enough, hear negative things about yourself long enough, you begin to believe it. And then you begin to internalize it. You begin to ascribe such negativity to yourself without even realizing it. And the funny thing is, we took the negative perceptions slave masters taught us to a whole new level. And we passed them on from generation to generation. Hmm but that is a topic for another day.
So I became uneasy when I stumbled upon this historical fact. I felt I had a personal obligation to fulfill to myself and to my race. I suddenly felt this deep urge to start my natural hair journey. I suddenly felt that my natural hair is beautiful because God made it so. And thus, I should flaunt it. I should be proud of it. I should wear it like a statement. Wear it in defiance to the perceived standards of what beauty is. I believe that I am beautiful with my natural hair. I believe that I can turn heads with the beauty of my natural hair. I believe that my natural hair is my crowning glory.
I am not saying I look down on anyone who chooses to relax their hair. I am not saying Africans who relax their hair embrace the standards of beauty set by those who perpetuated the cycle of slavery. Nope! Far from it! I mean, to each his own. I do not care that my sister has the longest, healthiest relaxed hair I can think of. Lol that is her choice.
And ultimately, you are more than your hair. I am just saying learning about this fragment of history convicted me to embrace my natural hair. And was the move worth it? Heck ya! My natural hair empowered me. My natural hair gave me confidence. My natural hair intensified my pride in being an African woman. And I love it for that!
Want to start your natural hair journey but you are stomped on just how to make the transition easy? Want to know how to grow soft and easy to handle hair? Stay tuned for upcoming posts!
Do you have natural hair? What made you go natural? Please share! Our stories might just compel others to join us. Let’s talk?
Remember, be sincerely you!