I’m relatively new to the natural hair social media phenomenon. Although I have not relaxed my hair since 1996, I am only recently engaging in the conversations and controversy surrounding something that black women find as one of the most important fashion statements they will ever make. Hair. Hair. Hair. For some, it is what makes or breaks who we are. Let a young woman emerge on the scene (remember Gabby Douglas) without her hair coiffed a certain way and the tongues begin to wag and the posts fly online with a furry.
Is our hair that important or are we making too much of it? No, not at all. Our hair allows us to express ourselves in ways that clothes, shoes and jewelry cannot. Who has not lamented over their hair upon looking in the mirror at the salon and then to the floor to view what was her crown of glory—clipped and cut to pieces? Who has not sat up all night twisting, rolling, braiding and weaving? Which one of us has not ducked beneath a hat because it was a bad hair day?
I for one, am glad to see the natural hair revolution. I am also elated to see sisters with healthy tresses, locs, braids and shaved heads. It’s been long overdue that we take back our roots, claim the cornrows, and rock the ‘fros.
What I want to see all the more, is our young daughters and sisters learning to care for their hair. Natural hair is not unkempt hair. Diet, water intake, vitamins and the right products are all part of the equation. I remember growing up with a grandmother who was a beautician (that’s what they called them back-in-tha-day). Combing our hair EVERY DAY was an instilled value. We went no further than the front porch if our hair was not combed. We weren’t rich, but we weren’t raggedy. Our clothes were clean, our hair was combed, and most days we acted like we had some home training. How I long for those days.
I’m in the conversation, voraciously viewing You Tube videos and spending, according to my husband, waaayyy too much time in the bathroom trying to achieve the right style (I’ve made us late for events more times than I care to admit.) But when I roll out the door, prayed up, coiffed and ready to go, I am the conversation.
I’m hooked—at least for now. I love what I can do with my course, almost mid-back length hair. It has and is a journey.