About a month or so ago my fellow local natural hair bloggers and I took part in the #comboutcurlism challenge on Instagram. I firmly believe that the fight for acceptance of all natural hair types should not be a once-off thing, but rather an ongoing process on social media, in the media, in the workplace and social spaces. However, what I really wanted to do with this post is make it personal and bring it a lot closer to home. While the main aim of the #comboutcurlism challenge was to speak out about texture discrimination, it’s also important to note that the point of the natural hair movement as a whole is accepting our beautiful God-given hair.
The reason I created this blog was to share my own experiences with natural hair and inspire others in regards to the beauty of natural hair and its versatility, hence why I flaunt my hair because I believe it’s beautiful and I want others to believe that about their own hair, too. But when I get queries from fellow naturals especially rookies asking how to get their hair to look like mine, I cringe. I cringe for a myriad of reasons, the main one being that these queries are usually coupled with descriptions of their own hair using objectionable terms like “kaffir hare” amongst others. As someone reading it from a different standpoint, the thing that worries me most is that there’s a level of personal hair hate that comes across – minute or significant, it comes across loud and clear.
I’ve always said this and I’ll continue saying so until the cows come home because of its truth…it doesn’t matter whether I use the same products as you, my hair will never come out looking exactly the same as yours and vice versa. Natural hair is complex in that sense considering aspects such as curl pattern, density and porosity which come into play with every single head of hair. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Your hair is uniquely yours, just as my hair is uniquely mine. The idea has never been to get your hair looking like mine or mine looking like yours, but rather to help assist with your hair care maintenance if needed and get you to a point where you love your hair completely, warts and all.
That said, I understand that some naturals use certain terms to describe their hair as a way of reclaiming their identity and by all means do you, I can’t and will not tell you how to describe your hair, it is yours after all, but I do think it’s important to think about why we use certain words to define our hair as that frames our thinking and can shape the relationship we have with our hair and furthermore, how successful we are in our individual hair journeys.
True, we don’t have to like every aspect of our hair, but hating on it unconsciously or consciously just ain’t the way either. As long as it’s our hair – beautifully and matchlessly – and growing on our heads, let’s try loving it more. How about we do that instead…?