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Me, My Natural Hair, and I

I used to hate being black.

There’s always been a love-hate relationship between myself and my hair and it wasn’t until I was 17 that I decided to go natural. Growing up I hated getting my hair done and the entire process was so painful, I literally cried every time my mother did my hair. When my mother would mention to me she was gonna do my hair I would pray she would forget and not do my hair. Then, once I got around my teen years, that’s when I made the decision to get a perm in my hair. I literally thought it was the best thing to ever happen to me and my hair... and somehow my tender headedness (I don't think that's a word...) went away after getting my first perm.

Here I was happy and content with my hair finally being straight and having no tangles whatsoever, yet I didn’t realize that me hating my natural hair also played into how I used to hate my skin color. I used to wish I was lighter and most of the time I used to wish I was white. Growing up that’s all you ever see on TV: the strong white male lead, the beautiful badass white woman, all the beauty commercials had only white women, and I soon began to think in order to be seen as beautiful or strong I needed to be white. I wish my mother spent all my life teaching me that I was beautiful and so was my hair and skin color.

It’s a bit hard getting confidence boosters from a person who has low self-esteem themselves, so I went majority of my life hating who I was. I hated my hair, skin, the clothes I wore, how I looked and last two came from getting bullied consistently since the fourth (fourth) grade. Even with the straight hair that didn’t help my case in the slightest. I kept getting my hair straightened for a few more years until one day I abruptly didn’t want my hair straight anymore. It wasn’t something someone said to me or anything but I felt something trigger within me I guess you could say. I just didn’t want to have straight hair anymore, I didn’t want the chemicals, I didn’t want the flat irons, I didn’t want the touch-ups or anything. I wanted me.

I wanted who I was, I wanted to embrace myself, I wanted to embrace the naps and the curls and everything about my hair. So once I hit 17 I told my mother I no longer wanted to have perms and those other things and it wasn’t a problem. I washed my hair and surprisingly enough, I didn’t have any type of heat damage from the perms. Now the thing I have to do is not become lazy when it comes to maintaining my hair and its length, June marks the second time I’ve cut all of my hair off due to me getting lazy and as a result there were too many knots and tangles. So essentially I got overwhelmed and frustrated and cut everything off.

I’ve grown out my hair before, so I doubt it’ll be hard to grow my hair out again considering that my hair was bra strap length before I cut it (my hair goal is waist length… but if I keep getting lazy I’ll never get there). As of right now my hair is neck length, but it’s long enough to braid cornrows, I just want everyone to know that you should love yourself. You shouldn’t feel less about yourself because of the color of your skin, or because of the way your hair naturally is, or because people have negative opinions about you. You’re beautiful in every way, shape, and form and you shouldn’t really give a rat’s ass about what anyone has to say about you.

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