I recently read an article by Nikisha Brunson, co-founder of Urban Bush Babes. I've been following them for years and they're truly an inspiration for the beauty in being a minimalist. The article talks about the struggles and ridicule of growing up with curly hair. This article got me thinking about my own hair. When I was younger, I would never wear it out. It made me wonder why I didn't like my hair growing up. Grade school? I went to a predominantly African American school with a few Latinos in the mix so it wasn't like other peoples hair wasn't like mine. But what I do remember is that I was never really taught how to take care of it. Disclaimer: This was no ones fault (but maybe my own?). Let's break it down : My mother has straight hair, as does my older sister, and my father is the one with curls. As luck would have it my father didn't have to do much to his hair but comb through it with a bit of leave in.
I remember being taken to the Dominican hair salon for a blow out and feeling like they were ripping out my hair. Now that I look back on it I don't even understand how I didn't reach hair damage before the age of 20. My mother didn't really know how to handle curls and although she would braid it to help me maintain it, I was never really told to wear it out. It was always slicked back in a bun or cut extremely short to avoid not knowing how to manage LOL.
I recall the first time that I wore my hair out. I was 13 years old in the 8th grade and everyone was so amazed and shocked that my hair even looked the way it did. I was like the woman with the amazing body who always wore double XL t-shirts to cover up. I think that was the first day I started to embrace my hair. I was too scared to wear it out because I thought I was wearing my own hair the wrong way. How could that be? How can you even wear your hair the wrong way? Sure, correct me if I'm wrong but I feel like this is what a lot of young girls struggle with understanding.
I thank God for YouTube and platforms like CurlsUnderstood for educating naturals on hair care and for being a platform to teach. I encourage mothers and fathers alike to teach their children to love their hair and learn about how to manage it with their child. Learn about natural products that won't damage your scalp. Enlighten yourself on how heat damage can actually ruin/cause damage to your spirals. One of my favorite commercials is the Dove "Love Your Curls Commercial". I'll talk more about that in another post. But it's interesting how just one read can make you think about a random thought like this. Cheers to loving your hair, the natural way!