Ladies when are we going to stop trying to fight our hair? I’m seeing a recurring theme in the natural hair community. Ladies with kinkier hair textures, thinking they’re going to wake up looking like Tracee Ellis Ross or Zendaya because they followed ‘the’ hair tutorial, but in fact, come out looking like Lupita. Why? Because they were born with Lupita kinks not Tracee loose waves.
A few months ago, my friend sent me her annual Snapchat video of her beautiful, thick afro. Me seeing the beauty literally begged her to wear it out for a while (she mostly protective styles). She responded saying that she didn’t want to have to deal with the shrinkage, every time her hair faced some level of humidity. To this I responded that she was trying to turn salt into sugar.
Acceptance is beautiful. While I do not think there is anything wrong with braids, weaves and wigs (they’re actually protective and can give you hair a much needed break). I do think we often use them as an excuse not to deal with our afro hair. Which means we never get to understand and fall in love with out natural hair, with all of its shrinkage glory.
Why do countless black girls feel like they have to dedicate a whole day, if not a whole weekend to dealing with washing and styling their hair? Often time, because they haven’t accepted their hair. They are spending 48 hours trying to make their hair softer than it was designer or straighter than it was designed or shinier than it was designer or simply trying to blend that leave-out with the hair they bought (and probably heat damaging it at the same time, yes I’ve done that too). They are trying to make sugar from salt. They are trying to make their hair something it is not. Fighting your hair is exhausting!
When I was in my teens, I had a dedicated routine of washing, blow-drying and then straightening my hair. Even with my mother’s help, the whole process was exhausting and uncomfortable. I was fighting my hair! Even when I first went natural, I was always trying to copy the tutorial and was always disappointed when my hair didn’t end up looking like girl from the tutorial. But gradually I stopped trying to be the girl from the tutorial and built acceptance and developed a relationship with my hair. A relationship that gave my hair respect and allowed it to do what it wanted. I am kind to my hair and in exchange my hair is kind to me. I stopped trying to make my hair do things it did not want to do and started working with it instead of against it. And I have loved the results; they’re original and authentic, because I’m not trying to make my hair like anyone else’s.
Being yourself, completely yourself, not tying to be anyone else, not trying to copy anyone else is a beautiful thing. It’s your strength. Just look at Lupita. If she wasn’t as unapologetic as she is, do you believe she would be shining so bright in Hollywood? If she was saying ‘sorry for my Kenyan dark skin and my short kinky coiled hair’, do you believe she would be so loved and so looked up to by so many dark skinned sisters seeing her on the cover of Vogue?
There is something liberating about embracing exactly how God made you. About not submitting to the standards of this world. About being a Lupita, a carefree black girl who tries to love everything about herself.
So please we have enough Tracee’s, accepts those kinks girl and be a Lupita. Lupita and Tracee are equally phenomenal women. You are equally as phenomenal as your looser, curlier textured counterparts. Remember that God does not make mistakes. He does not make trash. Your hair was designed exactly how it was supposed to be. So, stop looking for affirmation from others and develop your confidence in the promise that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. (I know that this is easier said than done).
Hope that this helps ladies. X