It feels oxymoronic to write a post about a journey to feel comfortable wearing my hair as it naturally grows from my head. Then again, it’s 2019 and whole laws are being passed to ban discrimination against our natural hair. But, I digress.
A few weeks ago, I posted a poll on Instagram asking my followers if they felt comfortable wearing headwraps in the office. 70% said Nah. I started to get DMs from professional women asking about my experience rocking my fro* in corporate America.
The real question was “Sis, how did you become comfortable wearing your natural hair?”
Honestly, it took years.
In December 2013, I found out that I’d be giving birth to a baby girl the following summer. I shaved my head the next day. I knew that I wanted her to not only love her natural hair but understand how to take care of it and appreciate all of the nuances that comes with the journey. My parenting style is to practice what I preach. I couldn’t preach self love and acceptance in the comfort of my curly sew in. Not with a head full of kinky coils being hidden because I was afraid of … how it would be received?
1. Rock It On The Weekends
Going back to when I had a relaxer, Friday nights have always been hair nights. After I big chopped, I’d use this weekly hair night to deep condition and check my hair for even the tiniest bit of growth. As it began to grow, I would re braid my cornrows that I wore underneath my wigs. It was during one of my braid takedowns that I decided to rock my braid out for the day. I ran errands and everywhere I went, my hair was a topic of conversation. Some women (and men) would compliment my hair and keep it pushing. Others would ask about the products I used. These encounters would turn into hour long conversations about everything from insecurities about wearing our natural hair to sharing the IG handles of our favorite natural hair influencers.
2. Find a Muse
Embrace YOUR natural hair type. I spent countless hours watching YouTube videos on how to maintain and develop a routine for natural hair. The issue was that I followed women that had hair types that I desired. I had to face it.. my hair just doesn’t curl up when I wet it. And that’s fine. Once I started following women with hair types like mine, I learned what my hair can and cannot do. I figured out what products worked best for my hair and how to do styles that look amazing on kinkier hair.
I gained a new confidence when I tried a style (and it actually worked) that I’d seen on Pinterest. I felt as confident sporting my coils as the women on the pics I’d screenshot and saved to my phone.
3. Just Do It
Sometimes you just have to just rip the band-aid off. The band-aid, for me, was a combination of things. My wig. My ego. The need to be accepted. You can watch all of the tutorials you want and read every blog post on the topic, but at some point you have to to jump out there. I won’t say that I felt as confident on Day 1 as I do today. But, had Day 1 not happened, I wouldn’t be here today. Just like with anything else in life, enjoy the journey as much as the thought of reaching the destination. You can do it, girl!