As I sat in a church service with my husband, I noticed a young lady who had some beautiful hair–black and shining like obsidian. I could not tell if her hair was pressed or permed, but it had that long, flowy, free look, curls at the end bouncing, and strands layered to perfection. How mine used to be.
In a moment of (rare) envy, I whispered violently to my husband, “Look at her hair! It is soooo pretty!”
To which he replied, “Yeah. Like yours used to be. But I like your hair better now.”
He caught me off guard. Not because he complimented me or reassured me (he does that often), but because I had lowkey been contemplating this natural hair life.
I do not go to the salon. In the past 2 years I have only allowed myself the luxury of 2 sew ins, my self-gifts for Christmas and my birthday. I wrestle with my hair and my 2 girls’ hair all by myself for the most part. I have tried at least one hundred different products, and a couple dozen styles gleaned from YouTube and Facebook. Sometimes I fail miserably; sometimes I work magic. We have 3 different kinds of hair, so to say that haircare is challenging would be an extreme understatement. I have to hype myself up for several days prior before tackling the masses of curls, knots, scalp, and style.
Many days, I miss having long hair. I have the world’s worst shrinkage, my hair drawing up and out of nearly any style I try passed my usual curly afro. Too much product makes it sticky; not enough makes it frizzy; no product combats the dryness and my hair’s utter determination to stay tight to my head in a halo of squiggly lines. I often long for a good straightening at least with a pressing comb just to see it swing one more time.
Many days, I have regretted the decision to “go natural”.
Yet at that moment when my husband plainly stated that he preferred my natural hair, I understood that my natural hair brought with it a freedom that already screamed from a place I had long ago closed off. The day I had all my hair cut off, I had already begun the process of claiming myself, opening that dusty vault of valuing me. The near shaved head sealed the deal: I would no longer walk fettered by fear or shame. I would be my WHOLE loud mouthed, opinionated,strong-willed, creative, beautifully crafted self.
And the determination to be me brought a beauty that I did not know I possessed.
So, in honor of my 2nd anniversary, I want to encourage someone who is going through the process of leaving behind comfort for freedom. You can do no greater good than to become wholly the person you were born to be. Sometimes that means cutting off something that you think you love, that you think is for you. But once you “big chop”, you will realize that what lies ahead is so much fuller and richer than anything you could have imagined.
Be blessed! And remember to live out loud as you embrace the you that you see in your dreams.