2016 was all about eyebrows. 2017 is all about hair. This hair movement encompasses embracing natural hair and dismantling beauty standards. It’s about treating your hair with respect and keeping it healthy. It’s more of a self esteem and self love movement. Hair is closely tied to a person’s identity. That’s exactly why I still relax my hair in 2017.
Just cut my hair and got it relaxed! ?
This movement quickly shamed relaxing hair and anything that upholds European beauty standards. It’s totally understandable. People of color are denied opportunities because of how their hair looks. Many of them relaxed their hair because their natural locks were considered unkempt and protective hairstyles were seen as too thuggish.
This movement is a big deal to me because I am someone with coarse hair. I’ve been told I have kinky hair and just overall bad hair. It’s nappy, but I’m happy. My hair is pretty difficult to manage and coils tightly. It’s stiff and very dry.
People didn’t want to accept that I was fair skinned with different hair. I was quickly and constantly told I have N**** hair. I’ve been told I’m ugly for years. I had to deal with comments about my hair since I was in elementary school. You can safely assume my hair affected how I perceived myself.
I begged my mom to relax my hair in the second grade. I was the only girl in my class with my hair type. Everyone had straight hair and I felt like I didn’t fit in. No one complimented my hair. People just wanted to touch it or make weird comments. My mom has thinner and way more manageable hair than I do, so it was a relief for both of us.
My hair, my rules
I’ve never wanted to go back to my natural hair. I wouldn’t give up being able to style my hair how I wish and spend way less time on it daily. I’ve been shamed for still wanting to relax my hair and not go “natural”. What people don’t seem to understand is that everyone likes their hair a certain way and finds empowerment through it however they wish. On study abroad, my roommates constantly questioned my decision to relax my hair. They constantly worshiped one of our peers with curl hair and said I should have my hair the same way. Gurl, you’re NOT in my shoes. Unless you’re going to be the one tending to my hair, MIND YA OWN BUSINESS ?
My hair was never something I liked doing anyway. If I can make my life easier while keeping myself happy, why should I do something differently? Additionally, my roommates were POC with protective hairstyles. Their hair was readily taken care of each day unlike mine. If I were to get a protective hairstyle, I wouldn’t hear the end of it, despite my roots and heritage.
Relaxers make my hair easy to deal with and that’s all I want for my hair. I don’t even know how to do anything besides a simple braid or light curls with a curling iron anyway. How am I realistically going to invest so much time and money into hair if I’ve never really cared about it lol? And to the people that say relaxing solely damages the hair, I do it every 2-4 months and my hair is still soft and luscious ?
I still have curls even with relaxed hair. I can get more if I sleep overnight with a French braid like I did here! ?
Intro to Hair Care Series
I don’t need my natural hair in an afro to love myself for who I am. European beauty standards are detrimental if I were to dress and style myself to uphold them. I present myself however I’m most comfortable. Sure, my hair is apart of my image, but it’s not who I am. Hair is just hair to me. I don’t have to love myself the same way you love yourself. If you’re really about women feeling comfortable in their own skin, you’ll let me relax my hair in peace ✌️
I want to introduce a hair care series to discuss all kinds of important hair decisions. I also want to share hair care for everyone. Let’s embrace the hair care movement without policing someone’s hair choices, unless you’re culturally appropriating. That’s a topic for another day ?
Thanks for reading! ?