Before I fully dive into the post, I want to give a little background on my personal experience with my hair that I think other black people have experienced as well. I’ve talked about this in an old post that I wrote about two years ago, but growing up I didn’t like my hair at all. I used to wish I had hair that was closer to a white person’s hair texture. I kept my hair straight growing up and even had moments in middle school where people thought my hair was naturally straight. They even said that I had white people’s hair because it was always straight and my hair has always been long.
It wasn’t until maybe my junior, possibly my senior, year of high school that I had moments where I wore my hair curly. However, these were simply just moments, and those moments never lasted long or came very often. I believe that this is where the journey of me at least accepting my hair in another state other than straight began. Fast forward to around freshman year of college and I decided that I wanted my hair to look just as long and down my back with curls as it is straightened. I haven’t straightened my hair since.
Learning to love your hair as a black person, especially a black woman, can be a very hard and long journey. With eurocentric features being seen as the standard of beauty growing up, it becomes easy to grow up hating your black hair. It’s sad and that shouldn’t be the case because black hair is so beautiful! Black people, listen to me:
Love your black hair!
Our hair is everything and means more than just strands on our heads. Our hair is beautiful because it’s so versatile! It can be straight, curly, braided, put in a thousand styles, etc.
Our hair is pure MAGIC.
From one view, it can look like our hair stops at our shoulders or even shorter than that. The moment you stretch it out or straighten it, it could go all the way down to the top of our butts (shrinkage can be a curse).
Our hair tells a STORY.
There are so many stories of the history of braids. Braids were used for so many things from being used to store food to being used as a map to freedom. Non-black people have wondered why it can be offensive when they wear braids like cornrows and call them something other than cornrows, it’s because they mean something more than just some style. This is our history.
I’m still learning to love my hair even today, but I have learned to appreciate every coil I see on my head. I shake my hair with pride and yes, I do wear wigs, but I do it for even more versatility and to continue to protect what’s mines.
If you needed a reminder: here’s your reminder to love your kinky, coily, curly hair. Don’t love it because you think it’s the right thing to do or because I’m telling you to, love it because it’s just so damn beautiful!
I love my hair because it’s a reflection of my soul. It’s dense, it’s kinky, it’s soft, it’s textured, it’s difficult, it’s easy and it’s fun. That’s why I love my hair.tracee ellis ross