by Chai of Back to Curly
A few weeks ago I stood in front of my mother’s mirror while visiting her home in Florida, prepping my twists into a pinned up style when she quietly stood next to her sink. She waited as I pushed the last pin into place before asking if I would untwist her strands and fix her fro. Her vanity mirror is quite large, yet my place has always been by the crux of her hip, ready to nudge with an elbow if the urge hit, and because we were talking hair, I inched in a bit closer.
My mother and I have shared numerous rituals over the years that span from heated moments in the kitchen, to hours on the phone gabbing about The Bachelorette. Yet this moment felt different, because she was different. We both stood side by side, still gabbing as I helped fluff her fro, deciding on which new moisturizer to sample, as compared to the last visit where both my father & I counted the minutes on the clock as she pressed her thinning strands with an electric hot comb. On this trip I noticed her desire to want to push past old insecurities which often forced her to mask her kinks with hats & heat.
I understood that after six years of being natural, from the flat ironing, to the redundant texturizers and hot comb sessions, that she was finally able to see her hair through new eyes. She smiled more, slowly became enamored as I paid special care to each coil, and was able to share her joy with me. Aside from accepting her happiness for what it was & encouraging her to further experiment and practice…and, well all the things a ‘good natural’ ought do, I felt proud.
Of course, there are times where I would happily argue about the importance of regarding hair as ‘just hair,’ yet when it comes to my Mum, her happiness and her newfound courage to rock her natural, there is greater power in the actual choice we make to be & stay natural. This is what I’ve come to admire. Many of us do experience personal growth in ways we were never able to realize. There is strength to be found in making a choice that resonates at the core of who we strive to become.
Protect your beliefs, your ideals and your reasons for going natural by reinforcing them. If you are afraid to take that leap and let the world see you, the real you….do it anyway. The understanding of course is that it will be difficult. You have emotional hurdles to measure up to and ideals to overcome. But remember to do it anyway. If time is what you need, take it before it runs out. If it’s fear that is holding you back, walk through it…if not once, twice…three times, but it’s important to keep walking with a goal in mind, and that is to visibly see yourself through your eyes, no one else’s.