MY HAIR IS A POWERFUL ART OF SELF-EXPRESSION

I started my natural journey in 2016 towards the end of the year.  This decision was inspired by my daughter and her growing beautiful Afro.

After I had a baby in 2011, I experienced a major hair loss. Like most newly moms go through this phase which can take months for some, but it can also become extreme. I suffered from Postpartum Alopecia that occurs after childbirth because of the sudden change of hormones in my body.

For me it became extreme for few years up until I decided to that I needed a fresh start. By this time, I had already lost up to 60% of my hair. Like most people, I thought braiding my hair would strengthen it so as an alternative to wearing it out; I braided a lot until I had to face the reality.

I had healthy and strong hair growing up; I was that girl you always go to for hair advice. I struggled coming to terms with the fact that every time I looked at myself in the mirror, my hair was not what it used to be. 

I started developing low self-esteem issues because not only am I losing a part of me but I’m also a teen mom whose body teared apart bringing a life into this world, my world was already filled with a lot of self-doubt and imperfections. I’ve had my hair since the age of three years so I didn’t really know who I was without it.

Transforming from relaxing to natural hair was a challenge for me and also because the society has taught us to conform, it taught us that straight hair was better and that’s what beauty is and I also had no one in my circle of friends or in my family with Afro; basically I had no one to look up to.

I decide to cut my hair short to leave the roots out to grow and remove the relaxed hair on top and that was the best decision I’ve made for my hair;even though for a month or so I walked around Campus wearing a doek every day because I wasn’t sure I made the right choice.

I finally went to the barber after a month to get a proper cut. I started reading on natural hair and I was inspired and motivated by women who are unapologetic about their skin, who rocked their crows with absolute confidence and bravery. It’s amazing how much you receive when you’re open to learning. As much as I didn’t see much of people with natural hair around me, it was never about them. It was always about me loving myself completely and embracing who I am.

Once I was grounded on that truth, I started seeing so much beauty and confidence around me; I started seeing beautiful black women embracing their crows in so many different ways. I was inspired!!! It encouraged me to start this journey with my daughter. I wanted her to understand the power of self-acceptance and push out the society standards that make us believe that our black hair is dry, dirty or nappy. 

“I like my baby hair with baby hair and Afros”

” Afro hair is more than just what grows out the top of some people’s heads. It’s the summation of a cultural experience, a point of black self-expression and empowerment that’s borne out of one of the most accessible pillars of black community” – the barbershop.

I now know that hair does not define me because I have the freedom to define what beauty is and what it looks like to me. My hair is more than just a trend, it is a powerful expression, a movement and a solid work of art, created to perfection.

What’s important for me is healthy hair more than the length. I make sure that I get my hair into a routine that would get me those results. I am a 4B & C hair type and my daughter is a straight 4B.

  • I wash my crown once a week using TRESemme’ Care & Protect Breakage Defence Shampoo.
  • Condition it using Black Pearl (Afrobotanics) and braid it to let it dry.
  • I then apply MPL oil (coconut) on my scalp to strengthen my hair.
  • Then throughout the week, I apply Afrobotanics Mukaya African Oil Blend, which is a combination of Avocado, Baobab, Coconut, Marula oil and Shea Butter.
  • To style my hair, I use Eco styling gel but before styling it I must apply the Dark’n Lovely Naturale Afro Moisturizing Butter which is perfect for softening and moisturizing your hair to get that perfect look.
  • Water – Drinking water has so much impact on the health and growing of your hair…do it.

This journey has been imperfect and beautiful at the same time. I am not an expert when it comes to natural hair but I’m always open to learning so much more.  And doing this with my baby girl has made it extra special for me.

“There needs to be a greater acceptance and understanding of black hair and its many permutations. Black hair can make for artful forms of self-expression, not possible anywhere else. It’s a crying shame that there is so much tension in black hair. It’s so much more than a visual punch line.”

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