Hair Talk

A few days ago, I was speaking to my girlfriend on the phone. She mentioned how she had the desire to “go natural.” She immediately started making excuses why she did not feel she would be able to sport a natural hair style.

Excuse #1:  Natural hair is too hard to manage.

I immediately informed her that there are millions of products on the market which makes caring for natural hair manageable. It’s definitely not like the 70’s where stores only had Afrosheen on the shelf!

Excuse #2:  Styling natural hair will be too time-consuming

I told her its not too much different than having a perm in which you still have to shampoo, condition and style the hair which takes time. It also cuts down on the time spent at a salon where you spend countless hours waiting for your hair to dry under a hair dryer or tiresome hours getting your hair braided. Wearing natural hair is also beneficial because you don’t even have to worry about it getting wet or having it shrink up in the summer due to humidity and you can even go swimming at the beach and you don’t have to worry about rain, wind or snow.

Excuse #3:  Natural hair just doesn’t look good on me

Now, this comment was the motivation for me to write this post. I feel there is no larger issue than “Self-hatred” which is influenced by a poor self-image and low self-esteem. Black women have continuously had to compete with the beauty of White, Asian, Latino and Indian women, which for the most part, have straight textured hair. The images that dominate the media portray a woman with long, flowing, blowing-in-the-wind hair. In comparison, our hair doesn’t move! 

Generations upon generations have digested these images which has been damaging to black women and consistently destroying their self-esteem and self-image of black women. Not only our hair type, but also our body type, facial structure and complexion not to mention anything else that makes us unique.

Unfortunately, people today do not embrace being unique. Being unique is God-given which is not a bad thing. We are not born to be clones but to embrace our own unique qualities and embrace our own power by being ourselves. There is something very wrong with society when black women don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. There’s a harsh reality that so many women are digesting a negative self-image on a daily basis. 

Despite the hurdles and challenges we’ve overcome, black hair is still an issue because society as well as our own community make it an issue. Yes, it is different. Yes, it is unique. 
Unfortunately, the masses does not see the beauty in ethnic hair but I challenge you to stand in front of the mirror on a daily basis and begin the process of accepting every part of who you are right now. 

What a great way to begin the new year! Take off the unnecessary burdens of pleasing others and love yourself for who you are and who you are yet to become. Experiment, explore and expand your opportunities to be a better you in 2014.

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