In the words of Solange Knowles herself, hair has become one of the most mentioned and most speculated topics of the past year 2016. Whether it’s about the numerous amount of natural hair gurus that are growing in numbers on YouTube or the amount of flawless transformations of weaves and braids on Instagram or simply the fury one can get over their hair rights in South Africa, leading girls as young as 13 to protest over their right to afro hair in Pretoria. Whatever it is, hair has just become more than a thing that grows out of your scalp. It’s become a symbol of personality, of identity and of self representation.
Well for me hair has become, a more realised quality of mine as I usually didn’t really care much about it. I was always relaxed as a kid and honestly I had no choice of being to be honest. I guess mum didn’t have the time to detangle and co wash and all the other 1000 things you have to do when it comes to natural hair! On the other hand I guess I also didn’t see a problem with it. It was my hair after all whether straight or kinky and it was coming from my head so it must be mine. Or was it really ?
It wasn’t until 2014-2015 that I discovered girls were going natural. Simply abstaining from relaxers, texturizers, perming creams or whatever you want to call it! and simply letting their fros spring out and live it’s life to its fullest. Why ? I asked why was it such a big and controversial subject for girls to not relax their hair. After all it did help with looking after it. It was easier to comb and more appealing when styled. I then realised that I just wasn’t being me in a sense and was transforming my hair to avoid the tag of being “nappy headed” as they say… When researching more into this fascinating subject , I found out that there was a time where girls wanted to appreciate themselves more and present themselves as black and beautiful human beings with nourishing hair. They saw themselves as having hair that was European looking and saw themselves as trying to assimilate to the idea of long straight hair being the “beauty” of society or having straight flourishing hair, as that is what ” seemed better looking”. Honestly speaking. That hit me.
It didn’t affect me that much as I thought what does my hair have to do with my identity? But I certainly did understand the affect it had on girls and not embracing simply the hair that grows out of their head. It’s God given and it’s natural – so why do we have to manipulate it to fit a certain societal standard? I then looked at thousands of youtbers that were going along transitioning and big chopping and thought hmm this is cool, I could do this loool. So there I went transitioned for 2 years and finally big chopped in 2016. It was a pretty good decision simply because I love the way my natural hair grows and my goal for this year is to continue to let it grow whilst inspiring more people who are afraid to wear their natural hair out in its real form.
Hair has become more than pieces of strands that grow out of your scalp every now and then. Think of it as your child. You clean it, nourish it, make sure its well looked after and I guess you get angry when it disobeys you ha ! But its become a movement and a spiritual walk with ones self. A girl or maybe even a boy coming to terms with their natural state and accepting themselves for the way that God had created their hair to be is something moving and self satisfying.
Well, that’s my story…
Photo Credit : Lizzie Lauchlan