Thank You, Natural Hair, For Showing Me Who I Am

Thank You, Natural Hair, For Showing Me Who I Am

I never knew that going natural would not only change my hair, but it would change my life as a whole.

Shalayna Burns

My freshman year of college, I made the decision over Thanksgiving break to transition my hair from relaxed to natural.

I have been getting relaxers since about the age of five, my first relaxer being for my kindergarten graduation.

I loved the idea of straight hair and felt that I looked very cute. My hair was so easy to comb and manage, and it was very nice to be able to do so. When my perm finally gave out and my hair reverted back to its coarse state, I felt that it was the end of the world. The fear of getting made fun of for my "nappy hair" made me never want to embrace my "fro." I even remember a girl in my second-grade class who came in with bantu knots, and the whole class kept teasing her. That also added on to my fear of wearing my hair in its natural state. I'm 10 years old, why should I get myself laughed at? I let my mom keep my hair braided, wear box braids, twists, and weave when I got to high school.

My first day wearing my hair curly was very nerve-racking.

My calculus professor stated that he didn't notice me because my hair was different and I automatically felt like I looked stupid. However, the professor, as well as other peers, complimented my new hairstyle and I felt confident. I was very shy and closed off in high school, and during my freshman year of college, I felt my confidence progressively boost. I started experimenting with my hair, doing my research, and learning cool styles that work for me. Being confident with my hair led to me being comfortable in my whole body.

Thank you, natural hair, for showing me who I am.

Thank you for helping me become the carefree, careless, and unapologetic woman that I am today. Even if my natural hair isn't the direct cause of it, my coils helped me flourish in all aspects of my life.

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