….trying out a camo net. Is it working? Lol

Over the years, my wardrobe has changed, my weight has changed, some of my habits have changed, my preferences for certain things has changed, even my circle of friends has changed, give or take a couple of folks….a few times! The one thing that has always remained constant though, is my hair. I have never had a relaxer or a texturizer, and to be honest, only discovered the whole pressing thing since college. My hair has always been a halo of curls, kinks, and fluff that would draw either sighs of contentment or groans of frustration. Nevertheless, no matter what styles I may try to switch up my looks or how many products I may use to tame my hair, I always come back to what I know best: big, fluffy, hair. As you can imagine, over the years, My hair has been the subject of many insults and compliments, questions and stares. Though a lot of the buzz used to bother me when I was younger, I have found that wearing my hair in its natural state has taught me a lot about myself as well as others.

1. Confidence Is Everything: I remember being a freshman in high school and being the only girl in my freshman class who didn’t have a relaxer or a press and curl. Granted, there was another young lady who wore her hair in locs, but she had one thing that I lacked: swagger. This girl had swag for DAYS. She didn’t wear anything name brand and she wasn’t one of the popular kids (none of us were, we were freshmen), but this girl got in as thick as thieves with the Juniors and the Seniors, rather quickly. I would watch her sometimes, and I would study the way she interacted with the other students. She was confident and spoke with conviction on whatever topic she was discussing. She would nip any negative remarks about her hair or clothes in the bud and kept the conversation neutral without even giving any opportunities for arguments. I was intrigued and wanted to be like this girl! I managed to make friends with her and remember one key piece of advice this wise freshman gave me: “Before you leave for school in the morning, take a good hard look at the person staring back at you. She’s unique and has the potential to be a spectacular woman someday. Give her a fighting change by treating her with respect and others will do the same. Be proud of who you are and don’t be afraid to be yourself.” Amazing advice from an amazing woman. By the way, we’re still friends and today, she’s a model touring all over the world.

2. Work with what you have until you get what you want. I’ve had long hair, I’ve had short hair, I’ve hair days that were awesome and hair days where I’d rather wear a bag over my head than be seen in public. One thing that I learned rather quickly, is that it makes no sense to sit around grumbling about what you don’t have. Instead, work with what you DO have. If your hair isn’t long enough for that cute updo you saw on YouTube, slap a flower in that bad boy and rock a feminine fro! If your hair would rather float irreverently around your face than be tamed by any serums or potions you try, make your wild hair your own! Nobody has to know that you were trying for something a little more subdued. Play off the big hair as if that’s the look you were going for! One of two things will end up happening. You’ll either come to love your big irreverent hair, or you’ll eventually come across a style that can help you tame it down when you want to. Either way, your hair should never have you so deep in your feelings that you feel less attractive. This lesson doesn’t only apply to hair, but life as well. For example: Dead end jobs suck. If you’re in one, take it for what it is and look for something else!

3. No two heads of hair are alike. I have a girlfriend who has the most fantastic spiral curls EVER. One evening while were were getting ready to go out, I saw her using this satellite/saucer attachment on her blow dryer. When I asked her what it was, she looked at me as though I was an idiot and replied “it’s a diffuser”. When I asked her what it was for, she explained that it was for curly hair and helped to evenly distribute the heat and helped her curls look springy. I was sold! After she finished her hair I decided to give this awesome contraption a try. Two words: Hell No. By the time I finished, I looked exactly like a Q-tip. Every curl in the back of my head shrank so close to my scalp, I looked like Grace Jones. Not a bad look, if that’s what I was going for! I was mortified! I learned, from that day forward, to stick to the evil that I know of: Air drying.

4. Water is a curly girl’s best friend. No, not to swim in, though that’s fine too, but to drink! For a few months, I went hard for sodas and juice, only drinking water every few days. My hair was NOT happy. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until I caught a glimpse of a Curly Nikki post in which she talked about drinking her weight in ounces of water to help her stay healthy. The more I researched, the more I realized how much I was not only depriving my body, but my skin and hair of the moisture it needed! Water does amazing things for your hair! Who would’ve “thunk” it?

What has your natural hair taught you about yourself?