My hair and I have a love/hate relationship. What started as a way to teach my daughter to love and accept herself ultimately turned out to be a spiraling loop of introspection. While it may seem easy now to stand proudly and say that I love every inch of my fantastic Afro the journey was rather tumultuous. No one warned me that when I looked in the mirror I would no longer recognize myself, after all I have always preached about hair just being hair. No one told me how insecure I would feel and how despite being this smart, funny and extremely charming woman I would feel anything but. In that moment I experienced a loss. I lost my confidence. I have never considered myself to be a superficial woman so I honestly couldn’t understand why cutting off my hair brought forth so many emotions. Emotions that made me very uncomfortable. Then it hit me my friends. I grew up being told that long straight hair was beautiful and that my hair was “bad”. Although I knew that beauty came in many forms I had become brainwashed for lack of a better word. My hair was chemically straightened since I was 11 and I had accepted that as my normal. I remember that day….I felt fantastic. After being told my hair was bad and ugly I was very excited to finally look a little more like the women in my favorite Telenovelas. When I started my natural hair journey I didn’t think I would learn so much about myself, after all it’s just hair right? I honestly feel like I have been reborn.
I wish I had known that the journey would be much more than physical.
I wish I had known that I would learn the true meaning of patience.
I wish I had known how strong I’d become.
I wish I had known how with every new stage of growth I’d love me more and more