I was going through my camera roll recently and came across a picture of when i had just gone natural. My hair was a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro). For context, i looked like a little boy lol. It reminded me of a very horror story that i experienced (honestly now i look back, it was not that deep). When i went natural, it was not a statement or anything like that. I was not 'woke', i didn't think anything of it. I simply went to a salon in Birmingham and asked for the price to get my hair relaxed, the price was quite frankly ridiculous. I literarily thought there is no way i am paying that. I left and ended up leaving my hair to grow out and thought 'hmm, this natural hair thing might not be so bad'. My mum chopped of my relaxed bits about 9-10 months later and that was it, I was natural.
After going natural, i hardly wore my hair out. I could let my friends see it but never for a night out or a special occasion. I didn't really think anything of it. It was just when i was going out or doing something special, i had to have a wig or braids or something that wasn't my hair. Anyways, to my horror story, I had a friend come over and the plan was to simply chill at home. Since that was the plan, i hadn't done my usual cornrows for when i wear my wigs. I had my 'little boy style' in. Suddenly, she suggested we go out clubbing. I'm not even being dramatic but my life flashed in front of me. I literally had no time to ‘sort out’ my hair. 'what will i do with my hair', 'I can't conrow my hair that quick to wear a wig', 'Is my wig even straightened', 'There is no way i can let people see me like this', these were the thoughts running through my head at that point. I wanted to go out so bad so I literarily had no choice but to go out with my hair like that. I thought 'fuck it, it is what it is' lol. I put on my biggest hoops and slapped on some make up. To my surprise, I got quite a lot of compliments about my hair that night. That was the first step to accepting my hair without even realising (the compliments definitely played a part).
Now i look back and think 'WTF WAS I PANICKING ABOUT GOING OUT WITH THE HAIR THAT GROWS OUT OF MY HEAD??'. LOL its my hair! It still was not that easy honestly. I had to get through the battle with my texture. All the '4c' influencers on youtube made me feel like my hair was broken. I always thought i was doing something wrong since i had no defined curl pattern. I tried these wash and go's and looked a hot mess. My shrinkage was crazy. Anyways fast forward, i came to the realisation that i had a weird expectation for my hair based on random people that i didn't know. I came to the understanding that my hair is different (everyone’s is) and its never going to look exactly like someone else's that i saw on the internet. It is not as defined as some people's natural hair, it isn't as long or as full. I can't do a wash and go without crazy ass knots in my hair and that is absolutely fine!
I have gotten to the point where i fully and completely accept my hair for what it is, what it gives me and how it looks. So what if its starts out stretched on Monday and has shrunk all the way by Friday. I still look amazing and no one can tell me otherwise. I have figured out a routine that works for me. I have styles that work great for my hair. It is healthy and thriving. At this point, the idea of braids and wigs are not out of fear of people seeing my hair or for special occasions but just because i want a change or a protective style.
This blog post is not to tell you that i have the golden solution to make you accept your hair. To be honest, i didn't really have an end goal with this blog post. I guess i just wanted to express the struggles of accepting my hair. The main thing that has helped me get to the point of fully accepting my hair was focusing on keeping it healthy. That definitely plays a big part in actually letting you wear your hair out. You are less likely to wear your hair out if your edges are gone or your hair is really damaged. Even when your hair is healthy and thriving, you also just need to understand and accept that your hair might not look exactly like that youtuber's or that friend's and that is fine. Accept what your hair looks like and then try things to see what works for you. I never buy the explanation that people don't look nice in their hair. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOOK NICE IN THE HAIR THAT GROWS FROM YOUR HEAD?? You just have to find a healthy regimen that works for you. Get your hair healthy and flaunt it! Let your use of wigs and braids not be out of fear but because you just want a different style or a protective style!
Accepting your hair takes time and it is a journey!
I hope someone finds this helpful or can relate to my little rant lol.