The Question I Had To Ask Myself Was…
I didn’t decide to join the transition team because I recently attended the Afropunk Festival this year in New York, have suddenly become Afrocentric, or want to post new growth pictures on Instagram. Furthermore, I haven’t recently become overwhelmed with the desire to spend more time on self-grooming. To be honest, jeans, light makeup, and a swift comb through my tresses and I am good to go…good to go off almost two decades of relaxed hair. (Yes, these are my unnatural confessions.) I decided to join the transition team after asking myself why was I UNnatural in the first place?
Where Did It All Begin?
I started getting teased in elementary when I revealed that I didn’t wash my hair every day. Disclaimer: Daily washing strips the hair of its natural oils. As an adult – white, black, or brown – we can all appreciate this fact. As kids, everyone just assumes you’re dirty. I even went to a sleepover and was teased for being the only one that “needed” to wear a shower cap. This led to a breakdown at nine years old. I came home from school, cranked my diary open, and wrote over and over, “I hate my hair, I want white hair, I hate my hair, I want white hair.” I must’ve written those phrases at least twenty times praying that in the morning my wish would come true. It didn’t.
What Did They Know That I Didn’t?
It seemed as if the girls without kinky hair all knew that us curly girls secretly wanted straight hair. It was as if their teasing was their duty to convince me that straight hair should and will always be my desire. I just need to quit stalling and accept it. My question now is how come I didn’t know that I didn’t want or need anyone’s hair but my own? Why didn’t I know that my hair is not only good enough but also, magical? If non-kinky girls could be so confident in assuming curly girls wanted straight hair then how come young curly girls weren’t confident in knowing curly is life and our hair is our crown? Why didn’t our mothers teach us this?
Anyway, I begged my mom for months to let me get a relaxer until finally, she caved. Then almost two decades later I reached another breaking point…
Why I Couldn’t Be UNnatural Anymore
I could no longer mentor women in their careers and personal lives as long as I was still using a product that was birthed in pain and insecurity. How can I inspire young women when every 6 weeks I had an appointment with stripping my identity and conforming to the need of assimilation? I could no longer bridge that gap in my mind. I knew it was time for a change. However, it took me almost a year to join the transition team because I had convinced myself that I wasn’t “black enough” to rock MY natural, GOD-GIVEN hair. Trust me, I knowwww. First of all, there is no such thing as being “black enough” and secondly, how is it possible that I am not enough of anything or have to be enough of something to rock my own hair?!? We truly can be our own worst enemy.
10 Months Later..
…and 5 inches of growth! I feel as free and as high as a bird! Check out the product that has been my go-to during my transition. Also, can I tell you I wish I had read this at 9 years old?
“Tell the black girls we believe in their magic. tell the black girls how they were born from a long tradition of black woman dream merchants miracle makers and super heroes. tell the black girls how special powers are interwoven in their braids and cornrows. god gifted in the tips of their twists and locs. tell the black girls how the others can only dream and imagine their powers. tell the black girls we believe in their magic and it’s real.” – Lamont Lilly
By the way, how epic was this release from Solange?
Photo Credit: Piclab