Rocking your natural hair is something that has recently became something of a trend in the African-American community. Guys and Dolls are loving their natural curls and locs and something that was seen as "nappy" and "unprofessional" is now a trend many follow. Now the words "can I touch your hair" is something we're all quite familiar with. I have been natural for six years, so this was before there was Beyoncé and her pro-black, love-twerking sensation "Formation." I went natural during the time of natural hair hate, and although there's so much fro-love now, believe it or not there's still some hate, sometimes even self-hate. So I give you my story and hope you come out of this in love with your fro, because those are the real #frogoals.
Not all Afros are the same.
When I first went natural, I had this belief that everyone was going to have the natural hair type you see on TV. The girl with the defined curls and caramel brown hair (if you can't picture it refer to the girl above). She was what I thought my hair was going to look like, so when I styled it just like the girl on YouTube, I was furious it didn't come out the same. It didn't make sense to me how she could wash her hair and go but I washed my hair and it shrunk.
Then I came across a hair chart. I learned my hair was type 4c and the girl on YouTube was 4a. No matter what I do, my hair can't look like that. I accepted it and learned to love my 4c hair by styling it in ways only 4c girlies could rock, like the 70's fro blow out . Learn your hair and love it for what it is
You are beautiful no matter your hair length.
I did not go natural by choice — my hair was falling out because of my continuous use of perm which was too strong for my hair. For a long time, I had a teeny weenie Afro (twa), and instead of embracing my short hair, I often blew it out and straightened it to make it appear as long as possible.
So caught up in my hate for my short hair, I never had time to give it love and for a long time I was stuck at a plateau. This actually forced me to love my length (or lack thereof). I rocked my mini fro realizing it wasn't going to get anywhere if I didn't take care of it.
Treat it like your baby.
My hair is my baby; she is spoiled — what do I mean by this? Most people set aside money on their paycheck for clothes, tattoos, shoes, etc. I set aside money for my hair. You're more likely to love your luscious locs if they're not dry, brittle and unhealthy.
So I spoil my hair — I buy the best products for it. I watch what I put in it and I try my hardest to prevent damaging my hair. I treat my hair like a new-born child, but this unusual behavior brought me to love it and help it grow. I constantly took care of it because you don't just stop taking care of your baby, right? You love and nurture it forever.
Don't compare yourself to others
What took me the longest to learn was that I needed to stop comparing myself to others. So what, she went natural last year and her hair is twice the size of yours. Hair grows at different paces. How come her hair looks like that and mine doesn't? Hair is like categorized snowflakes, each one is different. Love your individual hair. Stop comparing and the love will come after.
The more you compare and strive to look like another, the less likely you are to love your curls. Embrace the curly mess on your head, take care of it, love it and it'll love you.