Our hair, our crown

A Black woman with kinky hair in this wire picture

A Black woman with kinky hair in this wire picture

Bongiwe Nkomazana
Accepting our kinky hair means that we accept ourselves and even though you choose to weave it out in straight/sleek style the next month, the moral of the story is in how you’re able to wear your natural hair and feel comfortable and confident while you’re at it

When they say, “Don’t touch a black woman’s hair”, they’re not lying. Don’t even think about it.

Often times, effort and money go into getting it to look exactly how we want it look and you fiddling with it will ruin it. There’re a lot of undercover secrets and processes that only a black woman will know and appreciate.

I love how we have options on options of how to wear our hair but recently women have been opening up to the idea of growing their hair in its natural state. Black women can now embrace the beauty of their God-given texture and wear that identity proudly.

Other women, like me, are still a bit apprehensive when it comes to going natural but I’m here to tell you just how beautiful our hair is and why we shouldn’t hesitate to flaunt it.

I believe that one way of empowering ourselves as African women is loving our physical selves; from head to toe. Women are very conscious of their self image because they’re harshly judged for it.

For the longest time, straight hair has been seen as more beautiful and more professional and black women have been forced to tame their hair with chemicals just so they can be acceptable.

When I say forced I’m not referring to a law but to a society that has been successful at convincing us that anything else is better than our kinky coils.

Hands up if you have heard a black man say that they’re into black women and with the same mouth say that they prefer a woman with straight hair.

How? I know men especially will think that hair is the least of our worries as a people but our hair is very much linked to our identity and our heritage and to not embrace it and love it on your black women says something about us.

Accepting our kinky hair means that we accept ourselves and even though you choose to weave it out in straight/sleek style the next month, the moral of the story is in how you’re able to wear your natural hair and feel comfortable and confident while you’re at it.

I’m not a reporter but two stories have gone viral within the last two weeks both around black hair. Apparently black girls at Girls’ College in Bulawayo were told to cut their hair because it made them “less beautiful”. The other story was about an African-American TV anchor’s hair being too crazy and unsuitable for TV.

You would think that today, in 2017, the world would have less derogatory mindsets and that diversity would be embraced and celebrated. It is occurrences like this one that make me realise how our black hair is hated so much. We have young girls who are growing up and soaking up a lot of what is happening around them and what I hope for is that these young girls who see their sisters and mothers wear natural hair see them as role models and follow suit.

God did not just throw our hair on our heads because He had run out of ideas but because He thought it was good for us and our features and so we should wear it with pride.

The advantages of going natural are boundless and my favourite one is how much more extra time and extra coin you will save.

When we were getting ready for my sister’s wedding, my aunt who has natural hair paid $2 (technically $1 because the other $1 was a tip) to refresh her Mandela line. I had to relax, oil treat and straighten my relaxed hair for way more money. I know this may be debatable because some people may think that natural hair is also high maintenance.

However, this is how I see it…no more expensive relaxers, no more expensive salon visits, no more breakages and weakened hairlines for which you have to pay expensive treatments for. Also, black hair is fragile already but it is most healthy in its natural state. We see a lot of women who suffer and are frustrated with thin hair that does not grow past ear length but optimum growth and health can be achieved if hair is nurtured natural ladies.

To be natural does not mean you can’t dress your hair up in any other way. The opposite is true actually. The versatility is amazing.

We can still wear braids, weaves and wigs and do big thick twist outs but the difference is that all these other hairdos are done on a healthy bed of natural hair as compared to thin, weak, damaged relaxed hair.

It is summer and a lot of us can’t even entertain the thought of going swimming because of our relaxed hair or synthetic weaves…am I right or am I right? We women of colour have let our hair deprive us of enjoyable things like swimming, taking a shower without the noise of a shower cap or working out because the sweat will frizzle our hair.

While others are praying for rain, we’re subconsciously sending it away because it would totally ruin our hair. You know the struggle. However, if and when you are willing to transition to natural hair, you’ll find that it will be a freeing experience…to think less about hair and more about life and to be able to just dance in the rain. I love how there is a whole afro/natural hair girl community now. Let’s not deny that natural hair is a beautiful trend and it is about time it’s celebrated.

With time, those that don’t appreciate our hair in its natural form will stop perceiving natural hair as clumsy and undesirable and will start to look at us in our curly crowns and see powerful goddesses that exude self-confidence and self-worth.

So truly think about your hair and what it means to you and all the different pros and cons of going natural. It might be for you or it might not. The core of this article though is for us to pull away from the beliefs of other people that have brainwashed us to think our hair is not good enough…that stop us from wearing our natural hair because we are less if we do. That is a downright lie. Our original hair is our original crown!

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