I wore my hair natural this summer. Here are ten things it taught me.
1. People aren’t staring, that’s just your anxiety talking. Whenever you make a big change to your appearance, you are bound to feel like the entire world is judging you for it. It happened to me when I died my hair in high school, or when I got my first tattoo last year. But the truth is no one was ever actually staring at my fro, but rather admiring how cool it looked. Except for this one girl on the train. But she really only wanted to know what product I used.
2. The length of your hair means next to nothing. I always used to think that long hair meant you were prettier. For most of my life, my hair has always touched my shoulders (or been longer), and I have had a chronic fear of cutting my hair. Having an afro liberated me from all that, and made me feel pretty with whatever was on my head, regardless of length.
3. Everyone is more badass with an afro. It’s just a natural fact. Don’t believe me? Check these pics out.
4. My mom was 1000% happier with my life choices. My mom has been team natural since I was born, so I’ve always grown up with my hair natural. Choosing to wear my hair in an afro (instead of braids or any other style), made her feel all kinds of proud and happy.
5. Comfort is only a few two months away. Not going to lie here, it took a while to be fully comfortable with my unpredictable hair. Sometimes it made me mad, other times I would wonder why it had taken me so long to wear out like this. Comfort doesn’t come on anyone else’s time schedule but your own. When you finally accept the cool decisions you make, you’ll be surprised how much more you love them.
6. Everyone notices, everyone loves. In the beginning, I dreaded seeing friends, family members, and anyone else I knew. I thought they would think my new look was weird, or ask me too many questions. I figured if I didn’t draw attention to it, then no one else would. #NOTTRUE. But when each and every person saw it, they loved it and were supportive of me.
7. Confidence inspires confidence. People see confidence, it’s hard to ignore. But what we don’t see is how our confidence affects others. Being happy with yourself and who you are makes others want to do the same. Just trust me on that one too.
8. I can blame my problems on my hair. You can too. If I am late, or tired, or cranky, it’s my hair’s fault. Try it. It’s a valid excuse that people seem to accept.
9. New hair evokes new catchphrases. My favorites have been: “I don’t know what my hair is doing, just don’t look at it.” and “My hair has a mind of it’s own.”
10. Stigmas are everywhere. This summer, I had the privilege of being the social media ambassador for CurlyinCollege (which is just a fancy way of saying I ran their social media for the summer). One of the things I have learned while working for them, is that there are a lot of stigmas about natural hair that need to be erased from society… like now. Whether you have long hair or an afro, you are beautiful. Natural hair in the workplace shouldn’t effect the work that goes on. Asking before you touch someone’s hair should always be the golden rule. I mean, the list goes on and on.
I change my hair constantly, but it was cool to spend the summer letting it teach me about myself and about life. Now that is pretty badass.
Vibe on, friends. (Also shout out to my best friend in the entire world, Cherokee, for these amazing pics of me.)