When a relative of mine (you know who you are) is being mean, provoking or just being a straight up be-yatch, she likes to remind me that my newly natural hair isn’t silky. Remind me in a Denzel-Training-Day voice that Joan (i.e. Tracee Ellis Ross hair) has nothing on me. She likes to gently, not so gently, allude to the fact that Scary Spice tresses are not in my future. As if I didn’t know that already. As if when I viewed my newly natural hair for the first time, shorn and wet from the shower, I didn’t hold my breath hoping and praying in those first glorious seconds that I would see curls, glorious curls, wispy tendrils or oceans of waves. Unfortunately dear reader, that didn’t happen. What I saw instead was me in the mirror with a head full of cotton-like coco puffs. For the first few moments, (hours if I’m honest, okay, days if I’m being real), I was disappointed. I wanted to throw a texturizer in that bad boy and stunt, front and pretend that I was a curly girl. No one needed to know. Having been a permed little princess since preK, no one, including myself, had ever seen my hair in its natural state sans relaxer. A stealth application of creamy cracks cousin, codename Just for Me, and the next time I stepped out looking all Tia Mowry, I could say, don’t hate. I woke up like this. Eye roll. Shoulder shrug. Finger snap!
But in the days that followed the big reveal, my hair, with its kinks and coils, its tight curls and its puffs grew on me. I recognized that this hair of mine had its benefits. It’s strong, it’s hella thick and it’s soft (most days) to the touch. Despite sharing DNA, I don’t have the ‘family’ hair, meaning Joan hair, Mel B hair or any of those curly girl equivalents. Wishful thinking will not gift me with light, shiny little ringlets that go on for days and that’s okay. My bushy, big and beautiful kinky afro grows like a beast, it is always large and in charge and it will be half way down my back before anyone (yes you, family) even blinks. Take that!
Don’t misunderstand me, my hair and I argue, fight and regularly disagree. It combats styles, resists being subdued and routinely does whatever the hell it wants. Style disaster after style disaster and I for one am looking forward to the day my hair and I call a truce. Until then, familial hair wars aside, whether I love or hate my hair is completely up to me. Loving it is a choice. My hair and I are on a journey.
Do you have a curl crush? Are you a knotty natural with ringlet envy?
Tags: African-American, Afro Puffs, Beauty, Black Hair, black women, Coils, Curls, hair envy, Kinks, Knotty, MelB, Nappy, Natural, Natural Hair, natural hair journey, Team Natural, Tia Mowry, Tracee Ellis Ross