Corrine Bailey Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jasika Nicole… These women are famous to us Naturals for their beautiful, curly tresses. Some of us see these women then grow hopes and dreams of having hair just like theirs. We dream of running our fingers through our soft flowing curls and having admirers of our hair. Of course we want to obtain healthier locs, but the beauties of their crowns of glory are all too tempting, and sometimes we slip in efforts to achieve the look that we want so desperately. I have seen it first hand; women who go natural for the hope of having hair just like theirs, realizing that their texture is different, and then choosing to use alternative methods to get that loose curl. There is nothing wrong with this, but I must admit that I am a little discouraged when I see women who go natural just for the sake of obtaining this look and then walk away from the natural when the curls do not fall as they would like. Far too often I have witnessed women who are eventually turned away from their own natural hair; choosing not to love their hair because it is not what they originally envisioned. I believe that this may stem from living a lifetime of relaxed hair and not actually having a true concept or idea of the actual texture of their own hair. They then become disappointed when theirs does not look like the “dream” of a loose flowing curl and this upsets me. So unfortunately, when we see these photos of natural women and our own hair does not mimic that look without extreme efforts on our own behalf, we may become irritated and give up on our hair. Ladies, in case you were curious, this is not the answer.
There have been many nights when I have looked at my hair and questioned why I did not have the same curls as others, but I realized that my own texture is not theirs. I understood that my hair has a tighter curl and that it is not as thick as I would like, but at the end of the day, it is mine and I love what I have. I have seen women that are going natural, or have gone natural in the last year and in the final hour decided to either relax their hair, due to frustration, or texturize their hair to loosen their coil. I do not judge their decision, and it is definitely not my place to do so, but I do wish that I could urge to these women to be proud of their hair as it is.
The different textures and variety of our hair is what makes it so beautiful to look at and work with. Capable of so many different styles and looks, our natural hair truly makes a statement to those looking for and contemplating a change in their own coiffure. In the end, acceptance of what your hair texture is will be the key to your own personal journey and transition. I find that loving your texture and learning how to work with it, instead of manipulating it to be something that it is not, is a very effective way to stay committed to your coil. Doing this taught me that my hair is pretty much able to do anything. The versatility of my hair alone makes me excited to try new things because I am curious to know what my coils can stand up to. It is tough in the beginning for some and it may even be easy for others, but it is really worth it to embrace the natural that you have been given. So whether you have a coil here, or a kink there, it’s your hair! Love it and texture and all.