Lessons my hair has taught me about Self-Love

Happy Self-Love Sunday!

A black girl’s hair journey is always a fascinating story. Every story I’ve ever heard has made me realize that everyone is different, and their journey is beautiful and powerful. When I was 7 years old my mom relaxed my natural hair and thus began my journey. From 2004 to 2013 I continued to relax it regularly.

When I first went natural in 2013 I binge watched every single natural hair video I could find on YouTube. I watched the videos made by girls with wavy hair that they labeled “curly” to get more views and the videos by girls with the thickest hair & tightest curls. I found myself obsessed with finding a way to make my hair easy to manage with elongated curls that would fall to my shoulders. As my hair grew, however, I realized that I didn’t have the same hair type as all the girls who used water and a dime-sized amount of gel to style their entire head.

I used sew-ins to transition from permed to natural…in laymen’s terms that means that I wore weave to allow my hair to grow out so I could cut off the ends.

I was frustrated with the fact that the hair growing from my scalp was thick and puffy. I found myself using protective styles all the time in an effort to
  1. Protect my hair
  2. Allow my hair to grow
  3. Avoid doing my hair all together

and yes…I admit, I was afraid to do my own hair because HELLO! there’s always the possibility that the style won’t look good. I was afraid of failure so I didn’t allow it to be an option. Before I even took my hair out of one protective style I would set up an appointment for the next style…it was like clock-work. The only people who saw my hair were those closest to me. On days when the hair appointments didn’t line up quite right, I cornrowed my hair and plopped a wig on top of it.

I was stuck in the mindset of those Youtubers who had nothing but discouraging words to say about their natural hair. Remember how I said I watched all the natural hair videos I could find? Well, I fell down many dark Alice in Wonderland sized rabbit holes (YouTube has a bunch of those). Down these holes I found lots of “Why I hate my natural hair”, “Why 4C hair is the most unmanageable texture”, “4C hair can’t do wash-and-gos” and “Why I relaxed my natural hair” videos.

I let my hair grow while I enjoyed the leisure of making excuses like “I do like my natural hair, I just don’t have time to do it on a daily basis”. I mastered making wigs, and dyeing bundles. I fell in love with wig shopping and ended up buying more than 20 wigs.

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Side note:

I have no shame in my journey, the fact that I know the difference between Remy and Virgin hair or the fact that I’ve spent a lot of money on hair and sew-ins. I’m learning that my experience has brought me to where I am right now. My friends and I often joke about the fact that I have to marry someone who is comfortable with me changing my hair on a daily basis, because they know I love constantly switching things up. This journey has shown me what I love and I’m eternally grateful. Come August, there is a great chance that I’ll be wearing one of my favorite wigs again and that’s okay. This thing is a called a journey for a reason. My current hairstyle does not determine how much I actually love myself. This journey is all about learning and acceptance. ✨

Now back to what I was saying,

Every summer I usually let my hair feel the wind as I learn to do super cool things with it while the school year is when I wear my protective styles.

The difference between this summer and every summer that has come before is the fact that this summer I’ve decided to do all of the things that I’ve been too afraid to do. I realized that I’ve been too afraid to actually do my natural hair on a consistent basis so I dyed my hair brown during the first week of summer and I packed up all my wigs. My wig box is as tall as I am and its covered in tape and sitting in a storage unit right now. I’m forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone, learn from my mistakes and try new things.

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More than anything my natural hair journey has taught me that

1. I am dynamic

2. I am full of life

3. Growth is healthy

4. Comparisons are harmful

5. My journey is my own

6. I’m allowed to change

7. Patience waters growth

I’m speaking life into my own hair while constantly being affirmed by the beautiful people I come in contact with who say things like

“Your hair is so beautiful” “I love your hair color” “You inspire me to…”

And

“Your hair is so thick” no longer feels like an insult.

My natural hair journey has taught me a lot about my Self-Love journey. In order to love myself, I must learn and love every part of myself. What aspect of your Self-Love journey are you still mastering? How far have you come?

Happy Self-Love Sunday!

See you next Friday!

5 thoughts on “Lessons my hair has taught me about Self-Love

  1. It’s nice to see a post like this. I also have 4c hair and I also fell down the rabbit hole of excuses on taking care of my hair. 4c hair is the most hated hair texture but hopefully with more people embracing their true selves the world can start to see it’s actual beauty.

    Like

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