There is no denying that we as human beings, especially females, are obsessed with our hair with the average women spending almost £50,000 on hair and beauty products by the time they hit 40. But why is this the case? This isn’t a new phenomenon, even the bible makes reference to a woman’s hair in 1 Corinthians 11:15 ‘but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering’. And even till this day Muslim women are made to cover their hair to preserve their beauty for their husband only. With so much value placed in our hair it’s easy to see why we spend so much time and money on it. Being completely honest a black female’s natural hair does not resemble society’s idea of beautiful. Many of us have coarse hair with tight curl patterns that won’t ever be similar to the women we see on L’Oreal adverts. Consequently, from the ages of 10-16 or even earlier we are made to believe that permed hair is the only way to go; while I was growing up it was often viewed as a rite of passage when moving from primary to secondary school. After about 16 most people had relaxed their hair, and staying natural wasn’t seen as a real option, but now with the power of YouTube and the development of more natural hair care products it is becoming a more realistic option.
April 2014 I started my natural hair journey and I’d like to share with you my reasons behind this choice.
- I would like to see myself the way God intended me to look:It’s right to say that God makes no mistakes, and if this is the case, then the hair he gave me is no mistake either. When each of us were formed he had a vision for how we should look, so I want to see God’s complete and perfect design of me.
- I want to learn how to manage and style my own hair: To be honest before this journey I thought natural hair was very limited and boring. However from watching YouTube channels and reading different black hair blog posts I’ve been exposed to a range of styles that can only really be achieved with natural hair.
- I want longer and healthier hair: My hair wasn’t particularly unhealthy when it was permed and it was still very thick. However now that more than half my hair is natural my hair is a lot softer, thicker and just comparing the two textures reveals my permed ends as almost straw like.
- For my future children: When I eventually have kids I want to be able to demonstrate to them that their hair is versatile, encouraging them to have a positive image of their hair in its natural state. Ultimately I would want them to see that there is beauty beyond the European standard. On the other hand one of my biggest problems with natural hair is the time and effort it takes to maintain and look after, from pre-pooing, detangling, shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning, hair masques, hot oil treatments, moisturising, styling etc. You have to be disciplined with your hair to ensure that it gets all the necessary nutrients it needs and to maintain moisture. Natural hair can also make you look a lot younger than you are, and as a 21 year old with a severe case of baby face, this is not the ideal situation. Therefore although I am on this journey I could not rule out ever perming my hair again altogether. Permed hair is a lot more manageable for me and takes a bit less work, but for the moment I am committed to achieving a full head of natural hair. I am not sure when I am going to big chop, people say you will just know when the right time is, so for now I will just wait it out and see.
By Toro Kehinde
Twitter & Insta: Toro_ox