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Beauty, Hair, Let's Talk About It

My Hair Journey: How racist comments shaped my love for my natural curly hair!

PLEASE READ: As a child I was bullied because of what I looked like. Kids would make fun of my skin color and my hair. I was called names like frizz head, sunburnt and poopy pants (so original and creative, I know). This created psychological damage without me even realizing it. Since I grew up in an all white community I was surrounded by white people and I was made fun of for looking different. How does this not mess with a child’s head? Unfortunately, It created a very sad and very real hate for myself. I hated looking different and I hated my natural curly hair. I wanted to have soft, shiny, long and flowy hair like all the other girls I knew. Then and only then would I be pretty. At the age of 14 I started to straighten my hair almost everyday. It took up to 3 hours and was damaging my hair but I didn’t care. I wanted to change to be accepted. 

In high school I was still one of a few black girls in school. I wore it straight everyday. I’ll never forget the day I finally gathered the courage to wear my hair curly to school. I hated the stares, the attention and the comments (even if they were positive) that it brought me. I felt like a zoo animal on display. Everyone so fascinated by something different. That same day I was told by a boy that I looked better with my hair straight. It destroyed any self confidence I had left regarding my curly hair. That one naive, negative comment outweighed all of the positive ones. 

As you can imagine, as I got older my hair was getting more and more damaged. It was starting to break off. I ended up chopping my hair and starting over. But I continued to straighten it everyday. 

It wasn’t until I was in college that I discovered #WIGS! Wearing a wig not only protects your natural hair underneath, but it also encourages regrowth. I could tuck or braid my hair underneath and no one would know. I wore wigs for years and got pretty dang good at it. During this time my hair was reviving itself and growing like crazy! Wigs were the best thing that ever happened to my hair! Until people found out. When people found out I wore wigs they acted flabergasted! I was back to that zoo like feeling. People thought that their curiosity would excuse their inappropriate behavior. I had a women ask me IN PUBLIC to take off my wig and show everyone what my hair looked like underneath!! I had people at work ask “It’s not halloween, why are you wearing a wig?” I felt like I could not do anything without getting ignorant, racist comments. I still love wigs and I still wear them occasionally. But this nonsense has got to stop. We should not be judging others for how they look. We should not be condemning others for how they look. We should not be killing others for how they look. I am sure many of you black women have experienced what I have. 

Wearing a wig changed my relationship with my curly hair. It might sound counterintuitive, but my obsession with wigs has given me a deeper connection and love with my own curly hair. I am not calling an act to “only wear” your natural hair- but to embrace it and celebrate it. We can all wear braids, extensions, wigs, etc….but at the end of the day we need to love what God gave us. Do not let the ignorant and unintelligent people of the world shape who you are by letting their negative, racist comments affect you. BE YOU- CELEBRATE YOU! #celebrateyou #naturalhairmovement #wigs

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