I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up with a sore neck from purposefully sleeping at odd angles in order not to ruin my curls/twist-outs. Or how many nights I stayed up into the early hours of the morning, twisting my hair to perfection, just so that it would look “presentable” the next day. And I definitely can’t, at least not without being utterly embarrassed, let you know how many mornings I’ve felt unattractive because my hair didn’t curl in that certain way that I liked.
While I think the natural hair movement is wonderful, I also think that a lot of women who are a part of it (and yes, this includes me) become caught up in achieving “the perfect curl” rather than embracing their hair for what it is and naturally does.
This past March I realized that, despite being a naturalista and no longer straightening my hair, I was still caught up in the concept of “good hair” and achieving the perfect curl (i.e., the 3 a/b/c curl that is curly enough to be “different,” but not so curly/kinky that it’s “unattractive” according to Eurocentric standards of beauty.) When I found myself watching video after video on YouTube about how to get “loose waves” or “frizz-free curls,” I had to ask myself: are you really embracing your natural hair or are you still attempting to mold your hair into doing something that it’s not meant to do? Unfortunately, I realized that I was still caught up in the “good hair” mentality and consequently, something needed to change. *
So instead of doing my third big chop, I decided to loc my hair. Why? Locs, for me, allow me to embrace my hair for what it naturally does. My hair doesn’t fall into perfect beach waves, but rather, it knots up and gets tangled, and I am going to love it for doing what it does best.
I am hoping that these locs will allow me to begin a journey of true self-acceptance. Already I have had my fair share of frustrations, but I know that down the road, I’m going to appreciate my hair, and myself, much more.
Until next time!
* Of course you can do twist-outs, etc., while still embracing your natural texture. It’s just that for me, personally, I found that my obsession with twist-outs and manipulating my curls was for the wrong reasons.