I Don’t Like My Hair

As I shared in this post, I got my hair done recently. I bounced out of the salon feeling very happy. I got into the car and Mr. E (my mother’s driver) said “ You don finish?” (Have you finished?) Ah. He had waited for more than 4 hours, how could he seriously be asking me that? So I said, “Ah ah, Mr. Emmanuel. Since that time? Do I look like I never finish?” And he replied, “Ehhhn, e look like say you never start.” (It looks like you haven’t started) Sigh. Did it sting? I’m not sure, but Mr. E is my homie and he’s 58 years old anyway.

Later in the day, I bumped into some guy that looked pretty familiar. We talked for a bit… small talk, exchanged names for the first  time, and then this familiar stranger (that turned out to be a classmate from Law school) said, “Yes, I know you. You have this really tall friend and you always had this shaggy…” I blinked. He continued, “…this shaggy hair do. I’ve never seen you like this with your hair done.”

At least he acknowledged my hair was done. But pause. My ‘fro? The one I would spend all of or more than 20 minutes combing? The same combing that I didn’t realise cost me a lot of length I could have retained if I knew better? That ‘fro was what this guy was referring to as… S H A G G Y?

me and my SHAGGY fro. :) NLS, February 2014.
me and my SHAGGY fro. NLS, February 2013.

Okay, I didn’t realise I was mad yet. After this encounter, I sent the mister photos of my new hair; one of the left side, one of the right, and then he decided to make a joke. No, sir! Wrong timing! It’s usually all fun and games, but I was sensitive from all the lowkey insults and I flipped. It escalated in little time to a small fight.

After having some time to think, I realised he wasn’t insulting my hair. If I wasn’t already burnt by the comments I’d been getting, especially as I thought my hair was all that and more, I wouldn’t have been so defensive. I would have seen that he was teasing me in his usual manner.

By the next day, I was in a state of zen, Dani Alves to the hair haters. My mom saying “Is this the hair? You paid money for this thing? Is this what you travelled all the way to Dolphin to do?” did not pinch me in the slightest. Balance had been restored.

I may not be team wash-n-go, but I LOVE my kinky coily fro!! ^__^
I may not be team wash-n-go, but I LOVE my kinky coily fro!! ^__^

That first day, though, got me thinking about the time on Curly Nikki, when I posted a comment about spending time combing my hair to look perfect (read as acceptable in a formal black/white environment). I got a bunch of replies, mostly people telling me I was living for others and that I needed to do me. Message received. But that’s not exactly how they put it. In some cases, the tone was almost accusatory. I know that their scolding would go into second gear if they heard that oh, I felt offended, a little angry even, at negative comments on my hair.

In this post on NikkiSho’s blog, she went over her hair journey; the things she likes and the things she doesn’t, asking for help with her issues. Someone came out of the blue, ‘Anonymous’ of course, accusing her of the usual. Haba.

nikkisho
Na wa!

Many times, in natural hair forums or discussions, I observe that there is this “All or Nothing” mentality. Probably because the greater part of the black race views natural hair as stressful (I maintain that it isn’t), naturalistas feel like we have to show that everything is peachy. Some people make it look like you aren’t allowed to complain. And I don’t get that.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to like them all the time and I think the same thing applies to hair. It’s a journey, it’s a process. I LOVE my hair, you guys know I do, but does this mean I can’t complain? NO.

I understand that hair has always been a hot topic, but it’s still a part of the body. I love my body, but it was a tough journey for me in my mid-teens to get here. And even now, I don’t like my nose all the time. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes it just spreads. I don’t like that my eyes often look very tired. I’m not interested in getting a nose job even if it’s free & painless, but if I’m selecting a profile photo, I definitely don’t want the one where my nose and eyes are looking “somehow”. This is not your cue to preach to me about latent self-hate. If you like, quote Martin Luther King. NAH.

Insecurities. We all have them. But somehow, we naturalistas make it look like hair is immune from these feelings. You can encourage someone with positive energy, without coming off like you’re scolding.

I look forward to Washdays. I enjoy the time I take to baby my hair, but when I get a real job, and start working 12 hours a day, I know days will come when I’ll resent wash day.

I’m in love with my coils. I’m in recovery from hand-in-hair syndrome (70%), but sometimes my hair can be like a crying baby. Those times, I need to protective style to give me peace. I need someone else to cater to it, lest I cut it off.

I look at pictures like this (below) sometimes- and I’m like dang. My front hair too is about the same length when stretched, but look at her volume!

3c shrinkage

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to sometimes wish you had a curlier or more kinky texture, a faster growth rate, different hair porosity or maybe thicker hair if your hair is fine, as long as you understand why your hair is the way it is, and you accept that what you’ve got is beautiful. If you don’t love it yet, just remind yourself that as with good relationships, your feelings for your hair will grow. On this journey, I’ve learnt to accept and appreciate my own hair for all it can and cannot do. This appreciation is way deeper now than it was a year ago, cannot even compare to when I was transitioning! Just because I’m in this happy place doesn’t mean I must shove it down someone else’s throat.

Would you believe me if I told you that Curly Nikki did not like her hair for many many years? O_o It took years, and plenty of support from her boyfriend (now husband), for her to see her hair through the right glasses. She has since become a great source of natural hair info and inspiration for millions of women worldwide. Her hair story is over here.

This hair thing is a very personal journey. It is mostly rewarding with many ups, but let’s not forget there are downs too. With love and gentle encouragement, you can get another person to see the beauty in her hair.

My hair is mine, I do it for me. I know who I am. I LOVE my hair, but I don’t like it ALL the time. And in those moments, I reserve the right to complain, to feel how I want to feel.

Welp. This has been a long rambling rant. I hope you get my message. If there’s anything you don’t like about your hair, anything you find or found yourself sometimes wishing you could change (right now or in the past), feel free to share in the comments. No judgment here! 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

 

0 Replies to “I Don’t Like My Hair”

  1. I totally agree.Many things I wish could be different about my hair -being softer and longer (would hopefully get there soon) but for the fear of “bullying “,it’s kinda difficult to speak.Some people are yet to realize we can’t love our hair all the time,natural or not.

  2. I can relate. I LOVE my hair most of the time. But there are times when I dislike it. My hair in the back does not have the beautiful coils that I have everywhere else and the top doesn’t grow as quickly as the rest. This is very annoying to me. I hate that my hair doesn’t stand up like it did when it was shorter. Now that I have more length, it hangs, which is what I wanted when it was shorter. Go figure. My hair seems to have a mind of its own at time but I’m OK with that now. I can honestly say that I’m in love with my hair now more than ever.

  3. i just recently cut off my 7″ hair to go natural. i just thought it would grow better without the relaxed ends getting in the way. Its been almost two months since then. i had no idea so many people “are going natural” like a friend put it while judging me. And i’m getting pretty much the reaction i expect from people, the ‘what has gotten into you?’ look, and sometimes it gets to me. Had to rush off to braid it (dreads) some 2weeks ago.
    i saw this post’s link on google…this post was God sent, and all these comments..these people, WOW! i don’t even know what to say again.
    Pfffft i just got like a thousand confidence boosters…and boy, that won’t change! Plus my hair is gonna grow!^^
    i’ll visit this blog every now and again for tips to maintain my hair (if you don’t mind, im a newbie). i don’t so much care for it to grow fast or long, i want it to, but i’m more about it being healthy.
    i hope you don’t get irritated by this long comment, i’m sorry. This is the first natural hair blog i’ve come across, didn’t even know there are natural hair salons.
    ^^

  4. shaggy hair ke? don’t mind him jare. you even tried to send him your pictures. Lately, I haven’t been feeling my hair, but I won’t say that I don’t like it, as its a part of my body. I find people who “complain” are the ones who have the wrong mentality from the start, it takes positive thinking, encouragement and motivation to stay positive. It’s even more difficult for someone who grew up in an environment where kinky hair isn’t seen as beautiful to suddenly start loving their hair overnight. I find keeping a blog and sourcing beautiful hair keeps me motivated. The compliments that my hair gets also helps 🙂
    http://www.themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

  5. I do get those too occasionally since I decided to transition. But thank God I receive more praise than insults. But really at the end of the day, it’s not what people say.. it’s really all about what makes us happy! My natural hair makes me happy and that’s all I needed to know. 🙂

  6. Wow! I so totally agree. It was like you reached out and spoke to me :).

    There’s nothing as annoying as transitioning and having people give ‘helpful’ advice about how you should return to relaxer because your hair is too ‘hard’. Excuse me? Which hair is too hard? This one that I can gently run my fingers through its roots? This hair that I deep condition and moisturize often? This hair that is the softest it has been?

    I always feel like yelling a big Urgh! People can be so annoying at times.

    But you know what’s even more annoying? On the days when I’m looking at my hair and I realize that I’ve screwed her up big time and I don’t know how to fix it. For a brief moment, I consider how easier things were when I was relaxing! I mean, this screw up happened on wash day after I’d carefully deep conditioned my hair (details of what happened exactly are on my blog), and then I had no moisture left in my hair, and I had to re-deep condition the next day. (whew), I love my hair. I love the transitioning process. But there are days when I just want to break down and cry. Luckily for me, being overwhelmed isn’t a state I remain in for too long. I got over it, acted, and now I’m back to loving my hair. Does that make me fickle or what? *rofl.

  7. love this post! my hair at the very back of my head (the ogo area lol) is very ANNOYING! it shrinks up to 30 percent while the rest of my hair shrinks 50 percent…it is stressful detangling that area but what can I do? 3 years running, I have learnt to be patient because I cant change it. it is what it is.

  8. This is my 3rd BC this year and presently I am loving my kinks and all. I am just praying that the kinks still remain when the hair starts growing out. My rant is not about my hair. I have always wished I had bigger boobs and wont mind having a boob job done when I have plenty of money floating around. In the meantime I wear every padded thing I can get my hands on.

    Personally, I do not think there is something inherently wrong with having insecurities or wishing we had something that someone else had. Jesus has a reason for letting us know that we are totally complete in Him, For me, thats what I hold on to when I see myself getting envious of the next person. Self appreciation is a journey and something I will continue doing until I die. So in the meantime, if its a day to whine and complain about the thing I hate about myself from my hair down to the soles of my feet or my job or business…I will. If you do not want to listen, please block your ears.

    I totally enjoy reading your posts. You possess such an objective and balanced view and I must say its very refreshing. Please keep the posts coming.

  9. I love this post. I feel you, AB. I have a lot of experience with people making negative comments about my hair and it does get me down sometimes , especially when I’ve put in a lot of effort to style my hair and someone asks me why my hair is so rough or why I haven’t combed it. But most times, I know these people are speaking out of ignorance and their definition of what “good hair” is, so I just ignore and smile.
    That said, there are things I dislike about my hair, as much as I love it. My hairline for one is a constant battle, not to mention shrinkage and a lack of volume. My hair is doing great length wise though you never see it because of the aforementioned. Still, I wouldn’t trade my hair for anyone else’s. I love the different textures on my head, I love how soft it is, how versatile it can be. I love my hair. And this is what helps me when I get so frustrated with it, I grab a pair of scissors.
    Great job, AB. I love your blog.

  10. AB, I love your hair. I just had to tell you.
    We all have something we wish were a little different, even if we would never actually try to change it, and we are allowed to complain sometimes.
    I love myself and adore my hair but I don’t really like my hairline. It’s just more sparse than everywhere else and I find myself envying really thick hairlines. I love where you said “this is not your cue to preach to me about latent self hate” lol. Abi? Can’t a girl have a quick rant in peace?

  11. Great post dear and love your pics and hair of course, see that is why I love WordPress, all girls I have dealt with have only positive nice kind comments to say, love the naturals, transitioners, relaxed, texturized, you name it, these girls are all here to really build each other up. So doll, keep rocking those lovely tresses, ignore the ignorant and stay GORGEOUS!!!
    Smiles!!!

  12. Im totalling feeling your rant. I big chopped 7.5 months ago and every other day I get negative comments from people. I used to get upset initially but my skin has thickened somewhat so I either smile at them or ignore them cuz im loving my twa and im not going to let anyone steal my joy. Lol

  13. Interesting write up,at some points in all of our lives we get to feel we are less than who we really are when we let people’s opinions get to us.I could remember the first time I went to sch with my fro everyone just looking at me like I was an alien or sum’in,lol. Just acted like it was nothing ,got all kinds of comments like “the hair looks Shabby”,it looks razz n so on. Fastforward to the present they all want to go natural and it seems natural is d new cool! I’ ‘ll keep saying this being natural in our society is all abt being Daring!

  14. AMEN! I absolutely agree with everything you said . We all have insecurities. I am very self conscious about my nose too {ESPECIALLY}, overbite, weight, tired eyes and coarse hair. I have my moments. I wish my hair was softer. I think too many people are so judgemental now adays, its annoying, everyone’s natural hair journey is different. I appreciate your post and I can absolutely relate 🙂

  15. Today I got my hair cornrowed for the first time since my BC last year, and walked into the office feeling pretty fly. The only other female lawyer in the firm walked up to me, stared for a long while, said “you know this makes you look younger right?” and left. I was mad for a second, but I reminded myself that she wasn’t worth it.

    I’ve just looked in the mirror again. I still look good abeg.

    1. Lol.. It’s good still.. Where women are looking for the holy grail skin product to make themselves look younger.. I would even take that as a compliment!

  16. I hate the fact that the hair at the middle of my head naturally has a different texture compared to the rest of my hair.

  17. Your last paragraph says it all. Its your hair so YOU can feel however & whatever you like. Thats the beauty of self acceptance.No one else is qualified to tell you otherwise. I’m still in a hot romance with my mane, you know how new love is 🙂 still if I ever have any issues with her, imma rant like my name is Ranti! Haters-in-loving-supporters-clothing be damned 😀

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