Sunday, May 25, 2014

Having natural hair

I love having natural hair.  It is very versatile and not too hard to take care of.  I tend to wash and go sometimes and I don't have to be concerned with too much shrinkage.  According to the Naturally Curly website, my hair is 3C, or curly coily hair.  My hair is thickest at the crown and my hair tends to grow the fastest around the ears and in the back.  I am not worried about the hair in the front.  I have what some black people call "a good grade of hair".  I have come to realize that while those who say that meant no harm, it is rather an unfair, unkind thing to say.  I wonder then, who has bad hair.  What is bad hair?  Why is some hair labeled good, pretty hair and others not?  I have noticed that I have an issue with my own hair texture because it is not labeled"bad hair".

I think that we live in a society that is permeated with images of people who have a certain look, yet many people on television look nothing like me, even most black people.  I think the whole "good grade of hair", "good hair", "bad hair" thing is rather sad.  Good hair shouldn't mean black hair that is closer to a more European, non-African slant, which is an insult to people who have thicker, curlier hair.  It is similar to how people are defined by skin tone.  Some people think that a person who is lighter skinned or "mixed" is more attractive than one who is darker-skinned or "more African", whatever that means.  The truth is, there should never be such a thing as good hair or bad hair, or "more African" or "less African".  There is just too much division within the black African diaspora, especially in the US.  I have noticed those subtleties ever since I was a child.  I remember the relaxers and the hot combs that have gotten me more compliments because of my "pretty hair".  I wonder now if I were to get those same compliments from the same people if I were to wear my natural hair in view of them.  Would they still say I have "pretty hair"?  Or would it be "bad hair"?

Should we even use the phrase "good hair", even if the definition of "good hair" is that of well-conditioned hair that is properly taken care of?  I wonder about a lot of things, but that is something that has opened my eyes.  I have learned much about myself with the natural hair that I have.  I love my hair just the way it is.  I have grown more confident going outside with this hair.  You know what makes me really happy?  It is the fact that with natural hair, I can finally be who I want to me.  I am freer than I have ever been and I can finally be myself.
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