Fall in Love with Your Life!

Hair

Perspective!

Lately, I’ve found myself GLUED to YouTube (YT) envying the hair of the naturals that have 4+ years into the natural game. Why? I don’t know!! I initially started stalking YT as a way to figure out how to style my TWA, but that turned into just watching videos just to see how so-and-so styled their long hair. I’d sit there wishing that I could have their hair, length, and style.
I started my journey as a Curly Girl and although I am still not a product junkie, I have gotten away from my simplistic routine that was working for my hair.

While I was at work yesterday, I googled “twa styles” and “natural hair” and the following article popped up. It was a very interesting read and it really spoke to me and put things back into perspective. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging someone’s hair, hair style or curl pattern, but envying is not good and nor is it healthy. Learn to love and work with what you have.

Take a moment and click the link… I think you’ll like it too!

The article is called How I Escaped From Natural Hair Prison and was written by Rosetta Thurman of Happy Black Woman – www.happyblackwoman.com
Article link: http://happyblackwoman.com/how-i-escaped-the-natural-hair-prison/

 

When I decided to go natural in 2010, it was
after many years of thinking about it but being too chicken to actually DO it.
After I did my first big chop, I felt free from all the
emotional baggage that had kept me from embracing the natural beauty of my hair
without a relaxer. I was so happy about finally letting
my soul glow
 that I wanted to liberate everyone else around me from
the “creamy crack,” too.
Little did I know that I was about to be stuck
in another prison myself.
After my big chop, I soon fell in love with my
TWA (teeny weeny afro). It was so…me. But as my hair grew, I started to
fantasize about how long it could/would actually get. I began watching Youtube
videos of natural hair mavens who talked about achieving their goal of reaching
“bra strap length” with their growing locks. I watched as women demonstrated
how silky and bouncy their curls could get with the addition of a little
product like Miss Jessie’s or Kinky Curly. I started buying oils and puddings
and serums in an attempt to replicate the impressive manes I saw on the
internet. All the while, my hair was growing like crazy, much faster than I
thought it would. It grew long enough to twist, then long enough to braid,
then long enough to put into a cute updo.
 It got so long that
even my natural hair-hating aunt began to talk about how pretty it was. I went
from having a coarse TWA to a soft mane of twists, stretched out into a big
mess of curls as often as possible.
I loved the attention I got from women who
stopped me on the street to ask what my hair regimen was or how I went about twisting
my hair. I loved being seen as attractive in spite of my
natural hair, which many people had tried to convince me would make me ugly.
As my hair grew longer, however, the longer it
took to maintain. The washing, conditioning, detangling and twisting began
taking up more of my time. Time I would rather spend on my business or on dates
or with family and friends. I started to wonder: is this what I really want? To
spend an entire Saturday on my hair? I was beginning to resent the burden my
hair had become. But when I thought about cutting it down some, I felt afraid
of losing the compliments on my appearance. I wanted people to keep noticing me
for how long and pretty my hair was.
After a while, I realized how insane my
thinking had become. I had given up the creamy crack just to end up
getting cracked out on Youtube videos.
 I was caught up in the rapture
of having “good” natural hair. How quickly I had forgotten that ALL hair is
good if you truly love the woman it’s attached to. It all depends on your
perception of it. And my perception was once again coming from the wrong place:
other people.
It took me back to my younger days when I
would wear ridiculously long hair weaves and ponytails to look
more glamorous than I felt with my shoulder-length relaxed mane.
Having (fake) hair swinging all down my back would turn men’s heads and draw
envious looks from women who wore their hair in less elaborate styles. But deep
down, I knew that being addicted to the attention I got on my hair (and my
looks in general) then and now, wasn’t healthy. Last year, I realized that I
still needed to do some more inner work in this area of my life and take steps
to resolve it within myself.
Here’s how I escaped
the natural hair prison:
  • I stopped watching natural hair Youtube channels. (Again, nothing against the women who make natural
    hair videos. But once I started to go from learning how to twist my hair
    to coveting certain women’s hair on Youtube, I knew that activity had to
    go.)
  • I stopped reading natural hair blogs. (Same reason as above. Plus, I was allowing the
    constant reviews of new natural hair products to turn me into a junkie and
    drain my wallet.)
  • I developed a minimalist hair care regimen. At this point in my natural hair journey, I still
    only use a few products that don’t break the bank. And I don’t switch up,
    no matter what miracle root another sister tells me about. I stick to what
    works. If it ain’t broke…
  • I big chopped my hair again in December 2011I did this when I was in Honolulu. I cut
    it off myself using some hair scissors I bought at the drugstore. Watching
    my curls fall into the trashcan brought me back to the real reason I went
    natural in the first place. Because I wanted to. Not
    because other people thought it looked good on me. I big chopped
    again to remind myself that no matter how long hair my hair is, I am still
    beautiful, powerful and free.
  • I stopped comparing my hair to other women’s. Now, whenever I see a woman with pretty natural
    hair, I just say, “I like your hair,” instead of “I WANT your hair” or “I
    WISH my hair was as long as yours.” Offering compliments this way helps me
    refrain from coveting other women’s hair and reminds me to appreciate the
    beauty of my own.
With the rapid growth of the natural hair
community – both online and offline – it’s easy to get caught up in the prison
of wanting your natural hair to look a certain way before you really consider
it to be beautiful. I remember seeing so many comments from women on natural
hair blogs or Youtube channels fawning over the bra strap-length ladies with
adoration. “I WANT YOUR HAIR!” they would exclaim, wishing theirs could be that
long, that curly, that bouncy.
In most cases though, we’re not really lusting
after someone else’s hair. What we, as black women, are really saying is that
we want the perceived emotional or social benefits that come from having the
hair (because we’re certainly not lusting after the downsides!). At some level
in our consciousness, we hold the belief that longer, curlier hair looks
better than the hair we have now, which may be shorter and coarser.
Many women have commended me and other
naturals for being “brave enough” to wear our real hair. But what I’ve learned
is that going natural is just the first step.
The real courage comes in learning to love the hair we have
without wanting it to be something else.
No matter how many of us are on the bandwagon
now, the truth is that having natural hair does not define you…unless you let
it. So if you see yourself in anything I’ve written here, the best question to
ask yourself at this point is:
Do you want your hair to define you? 
If so, carry on with the Youtube watching and
bra strap-length envy. If not, I invite you to plot your escape from the
natural hair prison. It’s much better being on the outside.

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