Monday, February 13, 2012

Closing Out My First Year With Natural Hair

If you had asked me two years ago if I'd ever "go natural," I don't really know what I would have said.  Wearing my hair any way other than straight was not something I had ever considered.  "Curls?  What curls?  My hair is nappy," is probably how I would have responded if someone had tried to convince me I had curly hair.  But the little curly, wiggly locks of hair the sprout from my head would argue otherwise.  And the same can be said for a lot of Black women who have never worn their hair in its natural state.  The fact that they actually have curly hair would probably amaze them.

Some people try to argue that there is such a thing as non-curly, plain ole nappy hair.  I disagree.  In the past 11 months since I cut off my relaxed ends, I've learned that the further hair moves from stick straight strands, the more inherent curl there is.  Without the hair curling in some way, there wouldn't be all the glorious texture that Black hair is known for.  They may not be perfectly shaped "S" curls, but they are indeed curls.  What else can you call them?  Certainly not naps, because that would mean short sleeping sessions.  And no one grows short sleeping sessions from their heads.

As I get close and closer to my one year anniversary, I just can't help but feel a little saddened that more women of my race don't try to know and understand their hair without chemically altering it.  I understand that this is something that has be ingrained into our culture for generations now, and isn't likely to change on a mass scale any time soon, but I still wish that wasn't the case.  Our little girls are accepted with their natural hair, but our grown women aren't.  And our women are often discouraged and ostracized for wanting to wear their natural hair.

If I can make a wish for my anniversary, it's for more Black women to stop hating natural hair so much, and instead embrace it.  Natural hair isn't for slaves.  Natural hair isn't for poor people.  Natural hair isn't for overly Afro-centric people.  It's for everyone.  Because it's what you were born with.  It's how you were made.  No matter how many times you slap that chemical on your roots, they will keep growing in with the texture your genetics determine you are supposed to have.  It's just who you are.

Now, there's nothing wrong with switching up your style and wearing your hair straight, blue, purple, or pink.  But to permanently alter your hair to be so is... just a little sad to me.


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