I have been really conflicted about writing today’s post. One, because I am running a little behind schedule and have had to push myself a little more (in self-isolation), and two, because I don’t want to seem insensitive.
So about a week ago I was asked a question about my hair – how long I have had it for and whether generally, I enjoy visits to the salon. At the time, I answered the question because I needed to. I, however, went home and while I was looking at my hair that evening, I couldn’t help but be happy for how far I have come on this journey.
In all honesty, having decided to go natural two years ago has taught me so much about my hair that I originally took for granted.
Growing up, I always believed my natural hair was too hard to maintain, and in comparison to those who had relaxed hair, less beautiful. I decided that I would relax it as soon as I was able to – and that I did.
Then came this craze around natural hair. There were more products in the market, and for mee, it seemed like the easier option. The hairstyles done on natural hair also looked really nice and creative. I admired them, but for me, it just didn’t feel like something I wanted to do.
I wanted something different, yet easy. Something that I knew I would also look good in.
I decided it was time for a change. I chopped off my relaxed hair and decided to be a rasta babe!
For the first few months, it was messy. I had been told that I needed patience. But exercising that patience when my hair would look rusty was the hardest part for me.
I liked the change but simultaneously felt the compulsion to make sure other people did too. When someone would say I needed to make my hair neater, I knew it looked ugly. But it was just a phase.
Two years after The Big Chop I sat in a salon chair watching my loctician work through my hair, waxing it and then styling it as it looked strong and healthy. I thought “This man has done some magic… and I look good!” But the more I admired my hair in the mirror, played with it, and ran my fingers through each loc, I realized it wasn’t the fact that my hair was long and healthy that made it magical. It was the fact that the journey to that point left me feeling like myself in a way I never had before.
The fact that I was able to go from relaxed hair to my crown of locs and still feel beautiful is huge for me.
In all honesty, it’s less about the thing and more about the intention behind the thing. Am I doing this to fit a mold and to hide who I am? Or am I doing it to celebrate a different side of me? When I look in the mirror, do I like what I see? None of us will be able to say “yes” every second of every day, nor will we like each facet of our reflection. But, at the core, do we love what we have been given and who we are becoming?
I do. So I’m going to keep rocking my crown — loc’d or unloc’d. It may change, but no longer out of the desire to conform — but out of the desire to celebrate.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
This Too Shall Pass.
See you next week!