Hair in itself is already a journey, but natural hair? Natural hair is a journey of self-love, broken combs and continuous trials of decent hair products.
One thing My Natural Hair Journey is not? Your protest.
I wish I had a dollar for every time that I’ve been asked “What’s the occasion!?” for simply wearing my afro. That’s right – SIMPLY wearing an afro. Does there have to be an occasion for the hair on my head? I never thought so. It took years to get comfortable with my curls and how society perceives them. What a journey, but a journey nonetheless.
After what feels like a lifetime of hair relaxers and straightening my curls, somehow my hair never felt ‘straight’ enough. Succumbing to the social pressures of my predominantly white , kindergarten class, also meant questions about my curly pigtails and wrinkled noses at my colorful berets at the end of them.
It was after I finally went to college and stuck my nose in books about black liberation and the resistance that an afro provided for the best civil rights activists in history, that I cut what was left of my relaxed hair off. Also known as the ‘big chop.’
Getting the ‘big chop’ was one of the best decisions that I ever made in life. It was almost as if I was re-born, as I enjoyed watching the pattern of curls that spiraled out of my hair. Combing through my curls became more intimate as it grew every month. My chin rose a little higher in public each time I freed the fro, upon observing the disruption it brought to simple spaces like the grocery store.
Every black girl’s natural hair journey is different, and the obligation put on black girls to make it a statement is exhausting. I decided that expectations about my afro being a fashion statement or special occasion, didn’t have to be a protest. I decided that like myself, my hair merely exists and making it into a political statement of some sort should be a decision that I make – it is my hair after all.
But most importantly – My natural hair journey is for black girls everywhere who are learning to embrace their hair and love themselves all over again each day. It’s time to reverse the narrative and embrace our #BlackGirlMagic.