It goes without saying that to a large extent, the unrealistic beauty standards have made a lot of women of colour shy away from embracing and rocking their natural hair. We are told that our hair is unprofessional, nappy, untidy and hard to manage right from childhood and grow up watching the opposite of our curly hair idolized on tv and adverts.
We have been made to unconsciously believe that our hair is only considered beautiful and presentable if it has been relaxed, covered with a wig or straightened. These negative comments from family members, the media, hairdressers and so on therefore shape and impact the way we see ourselves and our natural hair whether we want to believe it or not. Do not even get me started on the texture discrimination that is still present today.
In the words of Malcolm X, “who taught you to hate the texture of your hair?”.
In the past decade, the natural hair community has seen a tremendous amount of growth as women of colour from around the world have ditched their relaxers and hot combs to rock their natural hair, but there is still a lot of re-education and re-orientation that needs to be done around how we view our natural hair. The truth is, how we view and care for our hair is something that we will consciously or unconsciously pass on to our children. I do not know about you, but the vicious cycle of self-hate when it comes to our natural hair needs to stop with us.
The natural hair community has managed to draw global attention to black women’s hair, the history surrounding it and its natural beauty by simply embracing what God gave us. As a result, I am going to share some tips to help you on your journey of learning to love and embrace your natural hair.
1. Change The Way You Do Your Hair
It is common to find a Naturalista doing their own hair, whether it is wash day, hair treatment, styling, you name it. I think this is a fantastic way to familiarize and acquaint yourself with your natural hair. However, the way you go about taking care of your hair is equally as important. Contrary to popular belief, our hair is quite delicate due to its kinks and curls and so needs to be handled gently and with care. I would highly recommend using a lighter hand with a soft touch when it comes to doing your hair as this will reduce the pain and remove any negative thought that wants to label your hair as a source of pain.
2. Speak Kindly To Your Hair
Often, we hear adjectives like nappy, untidy, unprofessional, and so on in relation to our natural hair. This unconsciously distorts the way we see and care for our hair. Our words have power over thoughts and can shape our present reality, so speak to your hair with grace, love and care and you would be surprised at the level of impact it will have on your journey to fully loving and accepting your natural hair.
3. Learn About Your Natural Hair
A lot of Naturalistas embark on their natural hair journey without doing the necessary work and research when it comes to learning how to care for their natural hair. There is so much information on the history of natural hair, from how it was a source of identity to those who came before us to how it has been degraded and celebrated over the years. Taking the time to educate yourself on your hair and its history is a huge source of empowerment in your self-love journey when it comes to your natural hair. Stay woke!
4. Get Inspired
This is pretty basic, but sometimes surrounding yourself with images of other Afro Queens who are confidently and unapologetically rocking their natural hair can be a source of inspiration to you and can ultimately alter the way you view and see your natural hair. This is basically what we set out to achieve here at Afro Hair Magazine by show-casing the beauty in our different curl patterns and hair textures to encourage even more Afro Queens to rock their natural hair. Whether it is a Pinterest board or a vision board, get inspired!
5. Wear Your Hair Out
Last but certainly not the least, wear your hair out. After all, practice makes perfect. Although I am all for protective styles and its amazing benefits, I do believe that letting your hair out in all its glory as often as you can would not hurt. We spend so much time trying to cover up our hair we forget its beauty is meant to be showcased. Wearing your hair out in styles that are suitable for you can bring about a big breakthrough in your journey to loving and fully accepting your natural hair.
Learning to love your natural hair especially for those who are new on this journey is not always the easiest thing.
We have to tread through years of brainwashing that our hair is not seen as beautiful, but I tell you the truth, loving your natural hair and all its kinks and curls is possible. We have the power, right and ability to set our own beauty standards. Loving yourself and your hair the way it is may not always be easy, but I can assure you that it is worth it and you will be happier for it.
What is something you do as an act of self-love for your natural hair? Let us know in the comments and if you like this content, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing when we publish, and do share with a friend.