A naturalista shared her story on YouTube. After years of growing her hair curly, long and healthy, many people have asked her about her hair. One day she walked into a beauty store to buy jewelry, and the vendor asked her a question. I want you to picture the scene. It is pretty funny!
Vendor: “Ma’am, excuse-me, where did you buy your hair?”
The girl: “It’s my hair”
Vendor: “Yes, I know this is ‘your hair’, but did you buy it from [our store] or did you buy it from our competitors?”
The vendor thought that she was wearing hair extensions.
The girl: “No, you don’t understand. This is MY hair.”
Vendor: (in denial): this is NOT your hair
The girl: This IS my hair
Vendor: This IS NOT your hair
The girl: This. IS. MY. HAIR.
People at the store were looking at them like they were crazy!
Vendor: (finally realizes that the girl is not wearing a weave or wig): OHH!! This is YOUR hair? ALL OF IT?
The girl: Yes.
This conversation might sound a bit strange to people who are unfamiliar with artificial hair, but my afro sisters know what I’m talking about 😉. Artificial hair has become so common that it has stolen the glory of our own hair. It is just convenient to slap it on top of our heads. Hide it and leave it. Braid it and leave it for months. Sow it and leave it, and for my hijabi sisters, cover it and forget about it.
Okay, I get it. Taking care of our own hair is a daunting task, especially if our hair is kinky, and especially since natural hair care in America is expensive (it’s expensive in Cameroon too by the way!).
In the West, being natural is a sport. We have to ask our African friends or to do our hair, or turn into Do-It-Yourself-ers. In addition, our lives are fast paced, and we don’t really have the time to “finger detangle” and apply a “silk press” on it. No matter how many valid excuses we have, I can’t help but wonder: “why?”
Why, ladies, have we become so focused on convenience that we have neglected this beautiful gift from God? Nothing good comes easy, we know that. If we want to lose weight and live a healthier life, we put effort into it. We stop eating greasy foods, we drink more water, eat more vegetables and exercise. We enroll into gym memberships, hire personal trainers, and do our own research on new trends and personal health.
The same goes for our skin. We want the best products to exfoliate it, make it glow, and hide all those dark circles under our eyes.
But what about our hair?
“Hide it and forget it?” Really?
Our hair is a blessing and a responsibility
It grows out of our scalp and complements a beautiful body. With every coil and curl, our afro hair crowns our head and declares the perfection and the glory of its Creator. Yes, it requires a lot more work than straight hair.
Yes, it has a category of its own, and takes a lot more time to take care of. I have another question for you though: don’t you invest time into the things that you care about? The things you love? Why don’t you do the same with your hair?
hair care is self-care
For me to feel successful as a woman, I need to take care of my mind, but also take care of my hair. This is a special part of our identity as women and it is crucial to give it due respect. Neglecting our hair is actually a reflection of our internal state.
I find that when I am in a stressful period of my life, hair care is the last thing on my mind. Many of us do this, but we need to catch ourselves when we realize we are neglecting ourselves.
This isn’t about looking good in front of other people. Taking care of your body, of your hair, of your self, is a gift to your future self. By honoring that, you generate positive feminine energy, and you can give more love, more attention, and more validation to others. You no longer enslave yourself to other people’s validation, because you have your own.
Start your hair journey
Whether your hair is in its afro state or is straight, invest in taking care of it. Like any beautiful thing, your hair has great potential, and with a lot of love and attentiveness, your hair can grow to impressive lengths. You just need to commit to that relationship. First, apologize to your hair for being negligent. Yes. Apologize. LOL.
Start afresh and vow to make more EFFORTS to nurture it. Do your research on Youtube. Build a weekly hair care routine. Prioritize products that are plant-based and avoid petroleum and other harmful chemicals.
Plan something for your hair every week! It can be a hair mask or just daily hydration. It can be something as simple as putting cream on your ends.
That little touch grows over time and increases self-esteem. It sends positive feedback to your subconscious mind: “hi beautiful, you are important, and that is why I take care of you”. Who wouldn’t want to feel more love every day? ;😊
Let your new love story begin…
Rose Du Sahel
*A Naturalista is a Natural Hair opinion leader.