Many of us profess to love our hair. We talk about it, blog about it, make videos about, and even buy the t-shirts. But do we really love our hair? How many of us are content in the day-to-day trials and tribulations that come with natural black hair? How many of us long for longer, curlier, wavier hair? How many of us are missing the trees for the forest as they say? I’m guilty. I believe that I do love my hair, but I often find myself pondering how it will look a few years from now or how it may respond to a certain product. I often find myself in envy of the hair of others. A lot of us have hair goals and while I think that is great, I think that we sometimes decline to embrace the current state of our hair.
The length of my hair is not conducive to many hairstyles that I would like to try and at times that frustrates me. The natural curl pattern of my hair is not very defined–ever–no matter how many products I use, and that can be bothersome. My hair absorbs moisture like a Saharan desert and that bugs me.
But don’t tell me I don’t love my hair. If you witnessed the numerous hours I spend detangling and styling my hair you’d think it was love. The other day I was thinking about natural hairstyles and I realized that I never wear my hair in an afro or free-flowing with a headband anymore. It used to be the only style I would wear. I had to ask myself why I don’t wear the hairstyle anymore. Is it because I think it is “unprofessional” in my workplace? Am I fearful of the social stigma it may ensue? I decided that it was because I have more hairstyle options now that my hair has grown. But are there styles that are “too natural” for us? Are there hairstyles that we are embarrassed or hesitant to wear in public? It’s a heartwrenching thing to know that the answer is yes. As much as people may declare “I don’t care what others think,” we do care. We are social beings and we can’t help but to care. When our hearts beat a little faster, that’s caring. When we become nervous or sheepish, that’s caring. When we throw on a wig and call it protective styling, but the truth is that we don’t want others to see our “unkempt” hair underneath, that’s caring.
In any love relationship there are ups and downs. It’s expected that we will not always be thrilled with our hair each day, but I encourage you to analyze your hair-related behaviors and desires. Love it for what it is and love it for what it is not. Love it for what it could be, but love it just because… it’s your hair.
i have started to love my hair. i'm transitioning and had my last perm september 2011. had to do a big trim leaving about 3 inches of texturized hair which i colored. there was a lot of discouragement from people around me when i stopped wearing weaves. can't blame them, my hair was lifeless, limp, scanty very dry, brittle, all the works. i was fed up with chemical treatments and told everyone who asked about my new look i had gone natural and would grow my hair.
4 months on and none is laughing at my hair anymore. it's still at the twa stage, but it's healthier and fuller. all that reading of natural hair care blogs, forums is begining to pay off.
Do i love my hair, oh yes!!! i do!
There are days when I love my hair. There are days when I hate it. The last time I had Natural Hair I was in the 5th grade. So I am very uneasy with my hair. I did a bc about a year ago (my nappyversary is coming up)and I couldn't wait for it to grow so I could put some weave in. So I've been hiding my hair since April/May 2011. But after a while I longed for my own hair and I wanted to see it. And try some styles and use all the accessories I bought for it. I was discouraged when I did a twist out and my family asked if I was finished doing my hair. But today I have to say (after doing my first bantu knot twist out) that I love my hair. It's me. And its mine. We have ups and downs and there are days I don't want to be seen walking down the street with it but despite my hair has always toughed it out with me thru perms, weaves, colors, braids and stress, my hair stuck thru. SO I LOVE MY HAIR!!!! Lol 🙂
I've noticed a slight increase in the number of, as I like to call them, "after the honeymoon phase" articles. I am definitely at that point now. I was IN LOVE with my TWA and slightly longer hair. I loved doing twist outs, especially not paying for it at the end of the week. At my current length………I just can't. I'm usually in pinned twists. Don't let me actually wear a twist out or puff two days before I actually wash. I will be detangling forever. Now I'm constantly wishing my hair was long enough to wear a bun just so I don't have to deal with it. But I hope I can return to loving my hair again on a regular basis.
I 100% agree with this article. After 11 natural years, I really do love my healthy thick BSL hair…when it cooperates, but I do find myself getting frustrated when detangling, feeling wistful when I can't do a 'proper' wash and go (i.e., uniform defined ringlets), and the slight mortification when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the end of a particularly mad night in a club when it has shrunk to an afro half the size it was when I arrived at the club. I know these are things I STILL need to work on- and I know I'm getting there slowly. I only accepted about 4 years ago that my hair will never look like Rachel True's, and began the journey towards embracing my texture that is especially beautiful because it is all mine!
I definitely love my hair!! This is my second time going natural and I don't remember loving my natural the last time around like I do now. My natural hair texture is mostly 3c/4a, with various other textures thrown in for good measure and styling it can sometimes be an issue because of the various textures, but I've learned to create styles that work for my particular texture. I've been very experimental with my hair, so I've had days when I wasn't feeling my hair, but "bad hair days" are normal for any hair texture. I'll admit that I wasn't completely comfortable wearing a full-on afro when I first BC'd, but now I wear an afro with pride! In fact, when I do wear an afro, men be seriously checking me out! I never get those kind of looks when I'm rocking my normal kinky-curly, wash-n-go look! So, I encourage all the women on this site to take baby steps and try different hairstyles, even the ones you think might not look good on you for what ever reason. You never know…it might end up being one of your favorite hair styles! Additionally, your confidence level will rise and people always find confidence to be highly attractive!
I did the bc may 8 myself, then again june 21 from a barber. I don't like my hair at this time. It's dry and doesn't have a curl at all. The top is different than the back and sides. I have been trying different products and oils. Still haven't found what my hair likes. I tried to do a consult with a natural hair consultant but she never got back to me. Still wearing my wigs. Hoping my hair and my confidence gets better.
This is a real post!! We have to come to terms with it. Some of us jumped on this natural bandwagon and now think its taboo to every say anything bad about natural hair, because saying you dont love your hair simply means you dont love you…WRONG!! I don't like every body part on my body, but I LOVE ME!!! I would love legs like Serena Williams and a stomach like Janet Jackson (in her fit days).. but that doesnt mean i love me less..
Same thing goes for hair.. Shoot.. I would love my hair to be like CurlyNikki's and be able to pineapple my hair at night.. does that mean i am indulging in self hate???Not at all.. being able to talk it out and be real, frees me to learn more about me.
I dont love my hair everyday.. Sometimes I go sleep at night with out doing a proper nightly routine and wake up with a lumpy knotty fro..Looking crazy.. But then when i jump in the shower, I cowash and detangle that horrible mess on my head, and i see my curls emerging from the rubble..My heart starts to warm and the loves returns…
Our hair is like some relatives, we dont love them all the time, but we do miss them when they are gone. So take care of those Fros ladies and love them unconditionally, but with conditioners lol
I can totally relate to this topic. I do love my hair but cant help but relate to the frustrations of it all. I do look at other's hair and wish my curls would "lay like that" or i had that texture.. so the truth is.. whether it's natural or relaxed.. there will always be wishes and wants for what we dont have. If not,why die your relaxed hair or wear it either straight or curly. I just beleive that our hair has so much versatility that it's okay sometimes to get bored or want what we see others with. It's not about not loving your hair; it's about switching up.
I have an on again off again relationship with my hair. I wish the curls were looser sometimes.
I'm with you on this one!! Even when our hair is naturally curly with curl definition and maybe not as kinky as others there is always something about our hair that we may not like such as more frizz or we see another curly girl that has less frizz and looser curls. We must be content and happy with what has been given to us by our Creator.
Very well said Evelyn!!! I literally think you tapped into my brain and wrote what i was thinking!
My hair and i have a love hate relationship. There are days when i look in the mirror and absolutely adore my kinky coils [currently rocking a TWA], but there are days when i feel like its not a friend of mine.
Being natural was a very spiritual and emotional experience for me, however, when i first BC'd my hair [literally shaving it off with clippers. No transitioning], i didnt do it with the thought of "being natural" per-say, i did it with the thought of loving me, seeing myself naked and loving everything about me, including the deep mahagony skin i'm in that has been kissed over and over again by the sun, so i wasnt ready for what was to come in regards to styles, etc. Now that i have embraced all of me, i do have frustrations with my hair, especially when watching vblogs of many different hair styles and such. Even moreso when i cant find a vblog that demonstrates hair styles with my type hair.
Yup…the ole' hair type thing. I have been going from blog to blog to blog to try to understand what hair type i am. i often wish i could be a 3 sumthin or even a 4a, but Lord knows, i'm clearly a 4xyz. Point is, i'm still trying to love my hair for what it is, how long it may or may not grow and how it will never bounce or have the same curl pattern as curlynikki. I'm getting there, but one baby step at a time. Thanks for the post!!! It was very much so needed. 🙂
Honestly my hair is the one thing I would change about myself. Relaxed or natural it requires way too much effort. I'd be in heaven if I could wash and slick back in a pony tail w/o worrying about DCing,moisturizing or tying my head up at nite.
I heard one of my professors explain (in a lecture on heidegger) that the definition of true love is love that requires you to align yourself with the path of becoming your true self. This article just helped me appreciate that wisdom from a different angle <3
I'm a little afraid of my hair right now. I have been transitioning since March of 2010. I have plenty of growth. I just feel that if I went ahead and chopped off all of my relaxed ends, my natural hair will betray me and take me to a place of no return. Therefore, I pull it into a loose, messy bun and wear an elastic headband. I keep telling myself that I will chop lots more when winter comes, but I'm sure I will come up with an excuse then.
Actually I have not been in love with my hair when it was relaxed. I have envied other women's hair when my hair was relaxed. I have wished my hair was longer, or laid right, or behaved differently when it was relaxed. So I don't think "not always loving your hair" applies only to naturals. Or shall I say, to naturals who have kinky hair, because ALL women of ALL hair types go through a love-hate thing with their hair at times. Every woman has a bad hair day once in a while.
Today I was faced with a predicament that I'm usually faced with if my braidouts survive past the 4 day mark… the inevitable HUGE hair. How often we say that we love huge hair.. but in contrast how often do we actually wear it?
I feel that I need to focus on creating/finding HUGE hairstyles that frame my face well and don't make me look like a freak 😀 Also, in time I hope that I learn to shake the feeling that everyone is staring and silently judging my poufy/curly/frizzy halo of hair(:
I try my hardest to embrace my hair in every stage that it's in and now that I'm gaining more knowledge/experience/research for my specific hair personality it is definitely making the process less stressful; therefore more fun!
What an interesting and very appropo question you ask. I was SOOO done with my transitioning hair this past weekend (let's just say rain and humidity were involved) that I decided to cut it all off. I was so excited to do it but quite nervous once scissors were in hand. I questioned whether I would like it so short and curly, would it "behave" in this hot Florida weather (yeah right!) and of course, what would others think. I am a woman who wore 1 inch long relaxed hair for 20 years! What was I afraid of?? I admit afterwards I was a little freaked out because I wasn't sure exactly what to do with it, but i figured it out and I really am loving it. I am embracing its current length and loving how little maintenance it takes (versus my 3 hour ordeal during my 7 month transition).
Loved this post, and I do love my hair.
Love it more and more every Single day
Yeah, some days I love my hair, other days it frustrates me. I think a lot of it has to do with the two different textures because I'm transitioning. I'd like to believe that once it's all natural, I'll love it more. I do have more good hair days than bad hair days now that I'm learning my hair.
The Grow Out Challenge has forced me to really explore my hair options, products and has put me in contact with some wonderful people. I'm forever grateful for that! I'm sad to see the challenge come to an end… so much so that I decided to continue chronicling my hair journey on a blog of my own. It's http://AHairStory.Wordpress.com
I must admit I have a love/hate relationship with my hair – more love than hate. Once I got through the "scab hair" phase, I learned that my texture was not what I wanted it to be. I've since learned to embrace the hair texture God's given me. I truly enjoy the texture, versatility, and freedom I have (especially the longer it gets).
This is certainly heartening. I love that all of you have brought to the table, different ideas and emotions about something so tied into our identities. Not to get all existential on you, but this is making me think about philosophy and what it means to be "me."
Do I love my hair? There are days when it frustrates the hell out of me and I feel a little jilted. But there are other days when this mane is glorious and powerful. It's all a day to day thing. Hopefully we will get to the point where it's an afterthought?
Anyway, I know Evelyn already did it, but as the co-writer of le salon des naturelles, thank you Nikki for letting our voice be heard, thank you to the readers for being passionate to continue the dialogue and thank you to Evelyn for writing such a brilliant piece.
Please stop by salonnaturelles.blogspot.com and read more!
I like my hair TODAY. I have hit the 15 month natural mark and it is finally a length where it doesnt look crazy with the shrinkage. My twist outs finally look decent so I dont look in the mirror and shriek everyday. So I guess I will say I am falling in love with it now.
I like my hair. I will be 1 yr natural come July 24 (yay). It's not as long as I thought it would be in a 1yr period (I was not expecting SL hair in 1 yr). But I did have a 3 month mishap. I don't wear my hair out naturally; I put it in braids. I told my self that when my hair reaches the middle of my neck I will wear it out naturally. (& I guess I'll love it then too.) I do the twist outs & braids out & I love them, but I just don't like the length of my hair right now.
I didn't care for perms but I only got 1 because I didn't know what to do with my natural hair. I hated perming my hair after the 3 times that I went. I was over it
so I only premed my hair once in a while & last year July 24, 21 yrs old was when I said bye bye to the perm & big chopped. My hair stylist was mad but I was glad & happy.
SM – Canada
I do love my hair, and yes, it does get on my nerves sometimes, especially the longer it gets. I can tell now that my hair is long, when I wear my afro, not as many people think it's cute, and I don't get as many compliments. I'm cool with that, because I know who I am. Of course, I feel like sometimes it would be so much easier to deal with (maybe cuter) if I had type 3 curly hair, but like I said, this is me, take it or leave it. I'll take it! I LOVE MY HAIR!
I agree that natural means not having a perm, period, point blank. I don't think that people should qualify what is natural either. That was not my intention with this post. My aim was get us to think more critically about the choices we make with our hair and the way we feel about our hair. To know the sources of our feelings and behaviors. Are they youtube videos? Words on a blog? Personal insecurity or pride? Of course no one is going to love everything about their hair or anything else all the time, but I'm addressing the silent discontentment that some of us have with our hair (i.e. wishing it was longer, wishing it layed more like so and so's). Thanks for the feature Nikki and thank you for all for the comments! 😉
Evelyn of http://salonnaturelles.blogspot.com/
I'm just annoyed with this topic all together. Not the I love my hair part, but the topic of wearing our hair "naturally". I mean so what if a person is natural and she never wears her hair in a fro? Does it make me less natural than a chick with a natural updo? UGHHh its just annoying. Natural is relaxer free…We as naturals need to stop over analyzing this….BTW whether you are relaxed or not everybody hates their hair sometimes.
I will admit that I that there are times when i can't stand my hair or how it acts when I am having a bad hair day. But I wouldn't ever have it any other way… I am "growing" to love hair.
No I don't love my hair. I'm 26 and don't ever remember not having a perm. I stopped with the creamy crack last October and just BC'd in June and I don't know what to do with it. I haven't gotten over the learning curve. I'm recently laid off as well so I'm not able to experiment with different products like I would like to. I do love how thick and strong it is and how fast it's growing.
i JUST tweeted today "i'm in love with my hair." i BCd two years ago and primarily do wash and goes… i wear my hair out everyday so i get to see it, feel it, play in it. a couple of months ago, i was plauged with terrible ends that gave me so much frizz and many SSKs, but i still loved my hair. i trimmed about 1.5 inches off and my hair is behaving soo differently and the curls are splendid. and you know what? i love it just as much, which is A LOT 🙂
Today in this very moment my hair and I are not getting along after a failed attempt at a twist and curl last night left me pinning everything up today. 🙂 Now on thursday when the t-n-c was freshly styled — I was loving it! :)I am about 10 months into a transition with a couple of mini-bc's along the way. I do get hair envy at times when I see the well moisturized and well defined curls of others. However, at the end of the day, I chalk it all up to experience and look forward to what the next day will bring for me and my hair.
Lately I just haven't been getting along with my hair. It's frizzy, keeps curling up and won't lay right. My hair is normally more cooperative than this. I am thinking about getting braids to give my hair a rest. Ugh, I can't go on like this.
When I first went natural, I figured that the longer my hair got the more I would appreciate it and fall in love. Earlier this year (3.5 years later), I had reached a point where my kinky hair fell to my shoulders, but I still was discontent. I didn't like how I only had a few curls and how my hair never looked shiny and luscious, like other naturals. My hair was not enough for me no matter how many of my friends told me it was beautiful or so "full". Because I couldn't appreciate my hair, I shaved it all off again…buzzcut. I figured I had to learn to ove my hair for what it was and the best way for me to do that would be to start from the beginning. Now with only an inch of hair on my head, it's still a struggle. I want my hair to be finer, shinier, and less fuzzy and kinky, but now I really see that it can't and won't ever be that way. It doesn't make the process easier, but somehow I can now see that there really is nothing wrong with my hair, it's more that there is something wrong with me. Basically cutting my hair off made me realize that it's not simply a fact that I don't love my hair, but my true problem is that I don't love myself enough. Because I struggle to love myself, I have a great difficulty with embracing all that God has given me (as far as physically and mentally). I know this is all a little extra, but it was an important realization for me and my journey as a natural.
To be perfectly honest there are times when I am in-love with my hair! Then there are times when I'm not! And some times I fall some where in the middle.
As my hair grows longer…thank you Jesus! lol I tend to do different styles as the previous ones don't look they way they used to…and I simple have other options now; which is great!:)
We have truely been conditoned to hate our hair for so long that it's going to take a while for us to come full circle when it comes to "HONESTLY" and "UNCONDITIONALLY" LOVEING OUT HAIR!!! BUT WE ARE GETTING THERE!!!!
Until I get there "COMPLETLY" I'm going to do whateva it takes for me to stay natural (i.e. wearing braids, wigs, twists, etc. get my drift?).
I too love my hair. It's not perfect. There are some things I wish were different about it just like my body or face, but this is who I am and whatever that is I must be content with myself. I love who I am because I have worked hard to become me, how I look is something I can do very little about, but it is part of me…I guess I agree with your article.^_^ This is the reality of true love not fantasy.
Also, I love my big picked out afro, but it is a hairstyle that gets a lot of attention. I tend to not like to draw a lot of attention to myself unless its some type of occasion. That is true of certain clothes and other things too.
I BIG CHOPPED my hair 3 weeks ago. Initially, I was NOT in love with my hair. I took it down to one-inch of color treated straight, stringy, no-life-whatsoever-and-I-don’t-care- how-much-curling-product-you-use-I-aint-curling!!! LOL! My hair was dry; soaked up every bit of moisture-laden product like a sponge and still was dry! BUT from sites like this I remained excited and optimistic. I started doing all of the recommendations on using products filled with moisture and adding essential oils to the mix. Fast forward 3 weeks and another chop (now I only have one inch of color treated hair left) my TWA is responding to the moisture and happily my curly pattern is returning. My hair is softer; has sheen and shines ALL DAY so I no longer have to mist it throughout the day (loving SheaMoisture’s everything including it’s curly mist). I love the diversity of my TWA. Everyday is a wash n’go day, BUT I’m still able to switch it up depending on how much product or whch type of product I use. I find that the gel is a great stretching aid verses leave-in conditioners which makes my curl pattern tighter. So I switch it up and use the Aloe Vera Gel on the top and very little on the sides to give the illusion of a Mohawk. Or I’ll completely gel it to give my curls a softer more defined texture. Or I’ll simply leave in the conditioner and finger style and go which gives me a less defined curl pattern but still very moist and shiney. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my hair! Can’t wait for it to grow out, but am enjoying the experience and learning my hair through my TWA. Sidebar, I always considered myself natural since I did NOT have a perm (perm-free for 12yrs) BUT during my twelve years I always supported my local Dominican Salon thinking as long as they could “get it straight” and straight they did!!! I was cool. After twelve years of heat damage, dyes and finally fallout/thinning, in a last-ditch effort to save my tresses I gave it all up. SOOOOOOOOOOO glad I did. I love every bit of my nappy kinky ethnic hair and thank GOD for it.
I do love my hair. Just like all women, I mostly have good hair days and some bad hair days. Some days I'm more frustrated than others (usually having to do with tangles, moisture/protein balance, etc).
There are certain styles I wont wear anymore. A free flowing fro or a light product wash-n-go is not practical if your hair is almost bra strap length, porous with fine to medium strands. Talk about tangles and breakage! My 4a/3c curl pattern has nothing to do with what styles I can and cannot wear, its all about texture. Not all naturals can and should wear their hair in a dried picked out fro.
I really do love my hair. I will admit, transition was HARD, dealing with two textures was not ideal. But once all the relaxed ends where gone and I settled into a hair routine that worked for me, it's great. It's all about really knowing what your hair can do, and not trying to make it be or look like someone elses.