AITC Media
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AITC Media

How I really feel about my hair

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair.

For me, it’s been a source of shame, a part of my body I needed to desperately hide and an envy trigger.

I’ll never forget this one time I was straightening my hair, in my early teens. I was desperately trying to straighten my fried, dried and discoloured hair (from relaxers). I think the reason I still remember this is the intensity of my frustration.

I spent that session running a straightening iron through my hair, over and over. Wondering why the shit wouldn’t just get straight, why my hair just had to be frizzy, why it couldn’t bounce like “those white girl’s hair, at school”, why it would just awkwardly float and clump up. I hated my hair.

Fast forward to now, I wonder what my hair would look like if I had treated it with respect from the day I was born. Ok, well at least from the time I gained some agency over my appearance.

I went natural for the first time in late 2016 for about two years. When I got bored and wanted to do something different, I went and got it braided. I noticed the difference in the way I was received. It’s like I was a new person. Can I be mad at people for having their “preference”? Are we really socially conditioned to hate 4c hair, or is it simply the least attractive hair type?

I recently took my braids out after having my extensions in for about 7 months (I know, gross). So disrespectful. My ends and edges paid the price. Now, I’m scrambling to find something to grow my hair back out.

I realized that unlearning is a continuous process, there isn’t just one awakening. Sometimes you fall back asleep. I drank the Kool-Aid a little bit… But what if I really do like my hair better braided? Does that make me a self-hater?

I feel freest sporting my natural hair. I love running my fingers through my strands in the shower, feeling the cushion that it is, thanks to its fullness. I enjoy finger detangling with my Jamaican black castor oil, the connection I feel as I run the tips of my fingers from root to end. I miss all the length I would have had, had I treated it with care.

Now, I’m in a space where I want to “take the power back” so to speak (Rage reference).

I don’t want to feel bound by the idea that I have to “get my hair done” to do a photoshoot.

I don’t want to cower in shame, on my way to the car with my hoodie on, to go get my hair braided.

But to this day, I still wonder if I really do like my natural hair or if I’m simply, dutifully trying to love it.

About Ado (She/Her)

I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Mount Royal University. But most importantly, I am a musician. I love pop culture, of course, not through the same lens as my 11 year old self. I talk about music, hair, mental health, social issues and other topics that might interest me along the way. I look forward to writing and connecting with you all.

https://medium.com/@adoa

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