So the results are in ….
I can honestly say my hair does not frustrate me anymore. The knots, the length, the works, I have accepted. I don’t care for more thickness or blackness. My hair is what it is. God given!
I can happily style my hair. Yes sometimes, I’ll hold onto a style an extra few days than I should, but if I had an event, an interview, etc, it won’t take me more than 20 minutes to create something ‘photo worthy’.
I am not intimidated by external comments on natural hair. Caucasians can never begin to understand black hair; it wasn’t given to them to do so. It was given to me. If girls wearing weave and wigs think I don’t look smart well they look as equally as questionable working with two different hair textures, pony tails on wigs and weaves and host of other ‘trending looks’. The point is glass houses, stones and hair! You get the point. To me it’s not a conversation worth debating anymore; I am simply going in my direction.
Along the challenge, I learned to respect other people’s decision to keep braiding or weaving, whether they are time saving, or prefer that look, it’s rightfully, their prerogative. My journey is here for misconceptions not transformations. One can love their own journey while respecting another’s.
The life lessons in hair, eyyyyy?!!
Time, texture, product and styling. These are the key factors that went into my natural hair journey. These are factors that can either make or break your decision to go natural. I would throw mindset in there too because, beauty is an inside job! It is interesting that these factors work together almost in a symbiotic flow.
Styling is in the mix, because if you don’t know what to do, you simply can’t do! The result of that is frustration! I previously stated that over a year of my early stages of natural hair was spent in braids or under a wig! Today, I happily, eschew both! This is not a natural progression. It’s not a guaranteed transition, nor something done by most naturals. A few tinker with wigs, weave and braids every now again to protective style but personally, I noticed something was especially off in my perception of my hair. I know a few other naturals who completely prefer to wear braids or weave while waiting for a desirable length or magical health to come. Which, quite honestly will never come! Clearly they have already achieved a great length. I believe if you don’t learn to care for hair early, then the same pitfalls will apply later. If you don’t see your beauty when your hair is an afro, you won’t see it when you achieve shoulder length.
I have learned when it comes to beauty, there is no microwave. We must all undergo the program of learning to love ourselves. A quick fix on the outside will never fix the inside. So we must learn to face ourselves in the mirror!
I decided to face my hair! Challenge myself. Get to know myself, and I believe God was at the centre of it. The challenge might look different for everyone. For me, it just meant going a little longer without braiding my hair!
- Leave my hair out during the winter. The misconception was that natural hair breaks during the winter.
- Wash my hair more as often as required. The misconception was natural hair breaks a lot when washed, for various reasons, including tangling and manipulation surrounding wash days and so to retain length one must stretch wash days.
- Braid and weave my hair less. The misconception was that natural hair will always be time consuming and hard to manage so needs to be put away.
Was it an easy challenge? Nope. But the world was never going to hand me hair and beauty compliments consistently. The world wants my self image and perception to be what the world’s version of self image is at that time. Today that image is red and hot, tomorrow it blue and cold. The world is running away with itself and this is where I get off, by finding myself. Who did God intend for me to be?! I was never going to find out by following misconceptions and perceptions. I had to break new ground.
Please share and subscribe for the coming series on self image and the follow up to this post. Also catch my natural hair playlist on youtube for more!