Embracing your own beauty
Growing up, I often struggled to love my natural hair. I would want to make it bone straight or hide my curl pattern. I would constantly apply heat and chemicals to alter my natural curl pattern. I tried to emulate the hair shown in magazines or television until my hair was damaged and destroyed. I realized it was time to cut it off, start brand new, learn about my natural hair, and love what I was born with. I began researching about my hair type, porosity, deep conditioning weekly, and finding products right for my hair. I began to see my curls come and spring back to life. Many other naturals share a similar story or have dealt with these issues once in their life. Media has a way of obstructing our views of beauty for hair with magazines, commercials, movies, images, and models. They display and push the same image of only pin-straight hair or loose curls for beauty standards worldwide.
What's the beauty standard?
European beauty standards are pushed upon us and we are told our curls, coils, and kinks are not beautiful and need to be blow-dried straight. We even hear statements like natural hair is “unprofessional” or “ghetto” in the work environment. But that is far from the truth. Many different hair types are underrepresented and not shown in media. It is important to know each head of natural hair is unique and beautiful in its own way. Comparing your hair to others or the media prevents you from realizing how special your hair is. Beautiful hair is not the images portrayed in media or from your favorite natural hair guru, but from properly taking of your hair and having healthy hair. Healthy hair is not determined by how long or short your hair is, but if it is properly moisturized, hydrated, and the elasticity of your hair. Black hair is so versatile and unique. It is truly like no other. It ranges from curls to coils to kinks. We can manipulate our hair into almost any hairstyle we desire. It’s almost like becoming a new person every month! There is such a wide range to choose from to twists, to box braids, to braid-outs, to wash-n-gos, hair extensions... I can keep the list going forever.
We use our hair to express ourselves and make a statement. Many of the hairstyles we can do, hold history behind it and represent Black culture. Bantu Knots is a perfect example that can be traced back to the Zulu people of South Africa. And the common protective style, box braids can be traced back to as far as 3500 B.C. Originally braids were used as a way to identify women from different tribes, societal status, and religion in Africa. Learn to love every curl or coil you have. It can be a long or short journey learning how to love and embrace your natural curls whether you’re a newly natural or have been for years.
There is so much beauty in what you have been blessed with. Black girl, you are so lucky to have hair like yours.