africa

I Am Not My Hair : My Hair Story

 

It’s ‘trending’. It’s a movement. They say it’s political. I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m natural. And I’m loving it.

img1425829665904_20150308214704096

My hair’s a year and five months and I’m proud of my baby. I had been toying with the idea of cutting my hair for almost a year before I did. So I did my homework. Read any article on natural hair I came cross. How to maintain it; using shea butter and olive oil, washing twice and moisturizing thrice a week, knowing your hair type whether its 3b or 2a or 4c. I swear till now I don’t know what hair type I have. I remember a friend asking me few months back if I followed any hair routine and I told her my great-grand mother didn’t moisturize or knew what her hair type was and from what I heard she had really full hair (that they said I inherited blah blah blah.. it’s a long story). But if there was something I learnt from my ‘research’ and observe diligently , it’s protective styling. Most of the time my hair is in braids once in a while a weave because I can be really lazy when it comes to maintaining hair.

Over the months, ( waiting for the time when I get to say “now over the years” 😉 ) I have gotten used to the fascination, people’s opinions (that they like to share) the stares and of course the misjudgements. Sometimes the hair stylist or people you meet at the saloon mind their own business sometimes they can be plain annoying. Almost every time I go to get my hair done, my hair stylist is like “Your hair is growing. Leave it oo..when it has grown then you relax it”. What part of I WANT NATURAL HAIR don’t people understand. Or “Your hair is too bushy” “I don’t like it, do something to it” “It’s looking unkempt”… How is it affecting you biko!? When I have my hair out and someone says “I love your hair” or “Ooh your hair is nice, team natural”, I’m like yes! Thank you!

But what I’m yet to understand is when someone sees my hair and is like “So you’re #TeamNaturalHair #BlackAndProud , the whole Afro Chic thing that is raining for you girls nowadays” and I’m confused. What is wrong with wanting my natural hair. Yes I’m black and proud so? Aren’t I supposed to be? So I asked two friends this to give me any thought on the whole ‘natural hair movement thing’

“Well I think many people are accepting African Heritage directly or indirectly. Seeing how many people on twitter talk about racism and all that skin colour discrimination I just cringe because they are abroad and yet flaunt their African status. In Nigeria, it’s not so. I’m not saying chop off your hair, but then as a young black woman in transition.. well yeah, I just wanna be so black. Lol.. If that even makes sense”

“I think it’s quite amazing because nobody used to pay any attention to natural hair, only members of very conservative churches”

What I like about my hair is that it makes me feel good about myself (except on bad hair days). Most people don’t think that people go natural because they feel like it, well people do e.g Me. I decided to go natural because I saw it and liked it and the fact that it was different. I’m not trying to prove a point or follow a trend. It’s good that people are embracing it and all. But can we stop with the ‘If she has natural hair she’s trying to prove something’ or ‘she’s probably one of those political, women rights activists. Can you talk to me first and not assume I’m a black girl who probably writes only sad poetry and is always talking of how we have lost ourselves through colonization? For whatever reason you have natural hair, just enjoy it. Find what suits your hair. You don’t have to be a certain way or dress a certain way . If next week you feel like getting a weave, do it. It doesn’t make you feel less African or ashamed of being black. So that’s practically what I have to say. My reason for being natural is a choice and if you come at me with “you’re a woman you should.. . …” then we can have a nice argument.