My Hair Story…

Image

So. I’ve recently decided to wear my actual hair in its natural state. Which shouldn’t be a big deal because its JUST HAIR, but when you’re a weave connoisseur and former creamy crack addict, then you realize.. Wearing your hair natural is more than a hair style, it’s apart of your true identity…

Growing Up….

Image

I’ve never had long hair… I was a cute, bald headed, kinky haired baby. I imagine as newborn, my hair was really soft. Since my mother never learned how to do hair, I always had a stylist to take care of my hair needs. Whether it was females in our church, or ladies that lived in our neighborhood, my mama made sure her babies hair was combed! I had everything from millions of small ponytails with matching balls and barrettes, to various styles with corn rows and braids as a child. Above is a picture of me at about 5-years-old, with crochets (pronounced crow-shays) in my head, done by a woman who lived across the street from my Grandparents home.  

I started going to the beauty shop at 3-years-old I believe.  Nothing much would get done, except a wash, a blow dry, and my ends would get clipped. I’d leave with silky ponytails after words. The first time I got addicted to the creamy crack though, was six-years-old. Yup, mama sent me to the beauty shop one day, and instructed the beautician to give me a “kiddy perm” so my hair could be straight. The thing is, I didn’t know or understand why my hair had to be straight. Didn’t have a say-so on what could be done with my hair at the time, and I probably didn’t care at the time either. So if mama wanted my hair straight, then so be it. It was done. My young scalp was based and the creamy crack was applied all over my head. I sat for 20 minutes at least for that ammonium thioglycolate to seep through. 

While writing this, I looked up what a perm actually is. The definition said that it is the use of chemicals to break down and reform the bonds of the hair. I guess this perm (the first of many) was a way to reform and break down my blackness…

 

Weave Connoisseur  

I always wanted long hair. And did everything I could to get it. Growing up, I was teased for the way my hair looked, even though it was permed for a long time, it just wasn’t long. It didn’t reach my shoulders, etc. My mother had long pretty hair. (though she ended up getting a short cut)  I wanted my hair like hers. But when it came to hair, I didn’t get her genes. I picked up my father’s genes in the hair department. I began to hate it, thinking something had to seriously wrong with me, because I could not seem to grow long hair. At 12 years old, in 7th grade, I got my first glue in weave. I grew to become attached to weave, loving the versatility, the look, the feel, and the attention I received from it. Weave gave my real hair a break, and allowed me to try so many different styles that I couldn’t do before. 

Image

Those pictures above are from ages 16-18, a time period where I wore weave the heaviest. I stopped getting cheap weave, and had my mom buying Indian Remi, and paying over $200 for a sew-in every three months. Weave is a convenient, yet expensive habit. And although I did transition back and forth from my real hair to weave, I always felt like a crackhead lookin’ for a fix whenever I didn’t have any long hair in my head. My real hair was so thin and chemically damaged from the perms I had gotten over the last 10+ years, and I hated it. Sure it was growing underneath the weave, but not at the rate I wanted it to. Plus, I was too lazy to take care of my own hair. I thought that as long as I felt attractive, then wearing weave was no big deal. To me, weave was not a protective style, but rather a way to have an identity that was socially acceptable.. So I conformed.

My Thoughts On Natural Hair 

Image

The thing is… I NEVER had a problem with women who chose to rock natural hair. I’ve always thought it was cute, just not on me. My father has locks, and I know lots of women who beautifully rock their natural do’s. I always said I would never do it though, simply because I never thought any natural hair style would look right on me. Whenever I took my hair down from sew-ins or braids, I noticed how thick, curly, and NAPPY my hair was. The picture above is of my hair post sew-in, and although I found myself cute enough to take a picture, I said to myself “I am NEVER walking outside the house like this!”

It is very sad to me how black girls are conditioned to believe that our natural hair symbolizes something bad. That we need straight hair to be loved, accepted, and respected. Who the phuck set these beauty standards? And why did most of our black mothers abide by them? Weave is cool, and I don’t shame anyone who chooses to wear it, but aside from convenience, what is our real reason for wearing it? As Malcolm X once said in a powerful speech, ‘Who taught us to hate ourselves?”  

I think most black people are afraid to admit that we live by white beauty standards, and that most of us will do any and everything to denounce our blackness. We as black people, continue to reinforce those unhealthy standards on our children by telling them things like “You need long hair to be beautiful” or “your hair is nappy” or “you don’t have good hair” or “you need weave”

The list goes on and on.

And although it’s just hair, and it should never be this serious, if you grew up like I have, then you will see that yeah, it is that serious. 

The Transition

At the end of 2012, I decided to get a short cut. I was tired of weave, and couldn’t afford the hair or sew-ins anymore.

Image

Image

My short cut was pretty cute. But because I’m so indecisive about hair, I wanted to change styles again, so I did.

In March I played with curly hair which I LOVED

Image

Image

Image

 

Them throughout the summer of 2013, I played in weave. I really love this bob I had

Image

Also this summer, I tried a wig for the first time, that looked great on me!

Image

Then my many box braids and Senegalese twists styles….

Image

Image

Image

Image

To now this. All natural. 100% me.

Image

I just took down my Senegalese/Marley twists about two days ago, and I honestly wanted to let my hair breathe. Of course, I think it’s no big deal, but people have been praising me for my latest hair choice. I have to admit, I came a pretty long way to being comfortable in my own skin. The girl who once said she would NEVER wear her natural hair out, is now proudly walking around her college campus, head held high. I’m happy. And though I may change my hair up again pretty soon, I can say that I am proud of my growth as an individual.. It takes a brave person to do what I’ve done, but then again.. it’s JUST hair! Haha.

 

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “My Hair Story…

  1. Look at you growing up! I’m like a proud mama (even though GOD only knows how long this phase will last). Of course this is my favorite part:

    It is very sad to me how black girls are conditioned to believe that our natural hair symbolizes something bad. That we need straight hair to be loved, accepted, and respected. Who the phuck set these beauty standards? And why did most of our black mothers abide by them? Weave is cool, and I don’t shame anyone who chooses to wear it, but aside from convenience, what is our real reason for wearing it? As Malcolm X once said in a powerful speech, ‘Who taught us to hate ourselves?”

    I think most black people are afraid to admit that we live by white beauty standards, and that most of us will do any and everything to denounce our blackness.

    YAY KIA!!! DO YOU!!! LOVE YOU!!!

    Like

  2. Good read! Imma be straight up I’ve grown more n more attracted to females with natural hair despite rise of chicks rockin weave prolly cus it is so many chicks with ratchet weave too..but more chicks should appreciate there natural roots whether nappy or curly short or whatever..God made u beautiful regardless

    Like

  3. I loved this Kia. I feel the same way. I understand people say this natural hair thing is just a trend but its really an inspiration to love yourself just the way you are. You truly have a way with words girlie. Keep it up.

    Like

  4. My thoughts on natural hair are along the same lines as yours…it’s NOT just about hair. At 6 yrs old, your sister is already being “conditioned” by images and society to the white beauty ideal. She is telling me that she “has” to have long hair or she won’t look “right”. I want her to grow up believing that God made her beautiful and that He knew what he was doing when he made her hair soft, curly, and kinky – all at the same time. If you like the way weaves or wigs look – great and power to you, but it’s sad to me when you’re wearing them because you hate the way your own hair looks that grows out of your head. We need to work as a community to lift our girls up and show them that they are beautiful as they are.

    Like

    • I agree with you Zoe! And thanks so much for reading and commenting. Luckily, Lola has your natural beauty to look up to.
      Many girls like myself didn’t have women to let them know that they are beautiful just the way we are.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s