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Straight hair doesn’t mean you hate yourself
It’s strange that it even has to be said out loud at all in this day and age but here goes: how you wear your hair isn’t an indication of whether or not you’re comfortable in your own skin. I’ve been on many a natural hair care forum where it has been argued that those who choose to straighten their hair or cover their natural hair with a weave are denying their true selves. Where it’s said that women who choose to chemically straighten their hair (relax) are not in touch with their heritage and that they are trying to conform with western ideals of beauty. Now all of the above COULD be true, or perhaps these ladies may just prefer the way their hair looks straight. They may like the hair styles they see Hollywood stars wearing in magazines and wish to emulate them. It may be how their mums styled their own hair and are following in their footsteps, or maybe it’s as simple as they like the way relaxed hair looks on them. Does if make women with straightened hair less proud of their heritage? I don’t think so.
Natural hair wearers have their haters too. Many see you rocking a natural teeny weeny afro (TWA) or Ghana twists and will say it is unprofessional, that it has no place in the workplace or anywhere but within the confines of your home. It can be seen as being lazy and unpresentable. Natural hair is seen by many as lazy and relaxed hair as neater and more sophisticated. Lazy? Do people realise the work that does into washing natural hair? The co washing, detangling, air drying, twisting and styling? Styling and caring for natural hair can be an art in it’s own right. You try keeping your TWA looking hot, that’s hard work too, the constant trips to the hairdresser or barbers to keep everything looking just so is time consuming.
As someone who has worn her hair natural, plaited, relaxed, long, short, red, brown, blue and at one stage even multicoloured, I can hand on heart say that who I felt I was didn’t change based on my hair style. I was still me, my identity was still the same though people may have treated me differently based on my appearance.
The one hair style I personally have never been comfortable with on my own head was weave. Over the years I’ve tried it out and each time ended up taking it out within a few days. It didn’t suit my head shape and I enjoy twirling my natural hair in my fingers when I’m thinking. But that’s on me. I have friends whose natural hair I haven’t seen in upwards of ten years as it is always beneath a gorgeously sewn-in weave. Weaves which cost more than my running shoes. Weaves which make these ladies feel comfortable, confident and sexy.
That’s what it’s really about isn’t it? What makes YOU feel comfortable, confident and if possible sexy too?
Your comfortable may be different to your peers’. It’s a flat vs heels, Taylor Swift vs Kanye kind of thing. Whatever floats your boat hair wise, is what you should go for, be it natural curly, kinky tresses or a bone straight Beyoncé like mane. There is no right or wrong when it comes to hair though the somewhat militant hair debates online can make you feel like running to Switzerland in search of neutral ground.
My take home message? Wear your hair in a way that reflects who you are, that makes you smile when you look in the mirror and leaves you feeling confident when every time you walk out of the house. Have fun with your hair, however you choose to wear it!