I wrote this last summer and wanted to share it officially here as this was the start to my hair journey. I hope you like it!
Growing up, the relationship between me and my hair has been a very difficult one. Like most girls, I’ve had my share of hair casualties. An example being in year 9 when I let a friend of mine straighten my hair, which led to burning my hair straight. As my 14-year-old self was too excited about FINALLY having straight hair, I did not know the full extent of the damage I had done until a few months later, when my hair started breaking off. The impact of trying to grow my hair, and seeing it break off instead, became the catalyst for my growing lack of confidence.
As a result of this, I usually hid my hair under plaits or braids in order to hide the shortness of my hair. I always felt that, in comparison to other girls in my class whose hair fell past their shoulders, my hair was always… wrong. Too short when straightened, or not curly enough when natural. Even at the age of 19, I usually kept my hair in braids with the sole reason of not knowing what to do with it.
Another thing that added to my hair insecurities is not having anyone that could help. The majority of my cousins and siblings are mixed race, therefore they had a completely different hair regimen, leaving me feeling like a bit of an outcast. Having 4b/c hair made it difficult to do certain activities with my family. I can’t fall asleep without putting it in a protective style and covering my hair with a satin cap. Going swimming with my hair out is completely forbidden due to the maintenance it would take to keep my hair from going crispy (not to mention the incredible shrinkage), and my hair also hindered the time I had in the mornings to get ready, leaving me often on my own doing my hair earlier than my cousins.
Last year, I decided to see what my hair looked like if I left it to air dry after a wash day. The curls that I saw were quite surprising. I ended up taking over a hundred selfies and sending them all to my mum.
It was seeing this change that motivated me to keep going with my natural hair. There were many failed attempts at the beginning but I can finally say that I’m somewhat happy with my hair.
Progress is a long-earned battle, and the battle that I’ve had with my hair has been long and emotional. Hopefully one day I will be fully happy with it, but I’ll let you know.