Picture this: you’re a little girl and your Mom is doing what she does best, combing your kinky hair. This is a moment that you dread every single day. Why? Well, combing your hair is a tedious process and you are bound to feel some pain. Whether your hair is being detangled or put in tight plaits, the process never seems to get easier. Because our hair is on the kinkier side, we were often told that our hair is “bad” or as my fellow Jamaican folks would say, “yuh head too haad fi manage!”. We remember being told this so many times growing up and that had an impact on how we felt about our hair.
Fast-forward a couple of years: you’re grown now; your hair has grown too but your confidence hasn’t. You still struggle with styling your hair and find it hard to love. Your search engine has grown tired of the phrases “how to…” and “4c hair”. Does this sound familiar? When will the constant dream of having loose, bouncy, 3c-type hair end? Will the frustration end?
Well, guess what ladies? IT CAN END! I know this because it ended for me. This is the story of how I started to love my natural hair. There were many ups and downs but this journey ends with love: loving myself and, most importantly, loving my hair.
My journey began in July of 2018. I finally decided to end my own misery and cut my processed ends off. I can’t explain to you how liberated I felt. I truly was myself at that moment. However, I would be lying if I said that I thought the decision through. It was completely impulsive and I struggled to style my hair in a way that truly made me feel like myself. Also, as expected, I was bombarded with many people asking me how I could possibly manage my hair. “It’s so coarse!”, “I could never deal with such thick hair” and such the like. These comments never made my journey any easier. I quickly learned that many people would only value my natural hair if it was loose and bouncy or if my curls could be seen from miles away.
‘What could I do?’, I asked myself as I desperately tried to figure out my next step. The only logical thing left to do was to learn to love my hair. But how could I do that when beauty standards were unattainable ? Well, the first thing I did was accept the fact that my hair is DIFFERENT from everyone else’s. Next, I stopped focusing on what other people did with their hair and created my own routine. Only I could truly know what is best for my hair, despite what many critics may say.
Pictured above is a confident, more carefree version of myself that finally emerged. I decided that ‘doing me’ was the only thing I wanted to do. My hair has flourished in unimaginable ways because of this. My advice? Do what’s best for you, regardless of negativity. Of course, that’s easier said than done but it can be done. We all have that little kinky-haired girl deep inside of us. When will you free her from her torturous cage? When will you tell her that it’s okay to have “bad” hair?