Guys, I have to admit something……..this natural hair world can be too much sometimes.
It’s no secret that the majority of the population still doesn’t understand natural curly and kinky hair. Our own little natural hair world is full of quirky (yet some bullshit) rules and a one-size-fits-all mentality.
So sometimes, it can be a little hard to stay on the natural hair wagon. There can be macro level dramas such as judgement from other naturals and also micro level dilemmas such as worrying about whether your hair is growing fast enough.
Sometimes, we have unrealistic expectations when it comes to our natural hair. The difficult thing here is that although we are exposed to many different curl types on social media…..sometimes we can be succumbed into “hair porn”.
There have been several articles/videos on texture discrimination…..and it’s something I won’t delve into in this post due to my mixed opinions. However, we honestly can’t deny that it exists…..when we are shown images of curls in the media, they still tend to be no tighter than 3b curly ringlets.
In my previous blog post, I mentioned how there is still a severe lack of natural hair within the fashion world and mainstream media despite the fact that the number of successful black models is slowly increasing. It can be very hard to remain positive about natural hair when you aren’t exposed to many positive images of your own unique curl type.
Seek Your Own Inspiration
Sometimes, you need to go out and find that inspiration for yourself.
I think it’s absolutely crucial in your natural hair journey to find a positive role model to look up to. Aim for people with similar hair textures to you! Not the texture you WANT (I used to pray that I could magically become a 3A)….but the texture you ACTUALLY have. Pick out the things you like about their hair and then try to set yourself some goals for your own……whether it’s their length, colour, shine, density, etc.
Your natural hair inspiration could come from anyone…..friend, classmate, colleague, celebrity, model, actress, blogger, etc!
I’ll never forget the stunning woman who first set me on the path to my natural hair journey. Back in 2009, I went to stay with my friend at her university halls. After a very drunken night out, we were hungover as hell the next morning and couldn’t move from bed. My friend told me she wanted to catch up on the show Misfits, and we watched the series on her laptop.
Now, although the show was absolutely AMAZEBALLS, I couldn’t help but develop a girl crush on Antonia Thomas who played Alisha. Although she was absolutely beautiful, what caught my eye was her golden 3c curly hair. I’d never seen 3c curls on TV before…….back when I was growing up, any hair tighter than a 3b fell victim to relaxers!
I was absolutely mesmerized by her curls! And with every episode I watched, all I could think was “but MY hair looks like that!…..” I had fallen into a spiral of hair straightening and clip ins and I just didn’t know how to get out of it! I was lusting after my own natural texture…..
So, as my curiosity grew, I then sought more information on looking after “tight curly hair” online (my exact search phrase there!) Which then lead me to Terri LaFlesh and her excellent book Curly Like Me.
I poured through the pages and devoured the research and advice like candy….I swear, if I had studied like that at Uni, I would have graduated top of the class! Terri is nothing but a curly goddess who has been inspiring me for the past four years. Her book still lays on my bedside table for any quick referencing that I may need to do. She helped me to understand products, ingredients and techniques long before I heard of the militant “curly girl method” that would have ultimately confused the shit out of me and would not have been the best routine for my specific curls.
For anyone with 3b-4a curls looking for a curly hair manual……then Curly Like Me is a must buy! This book helped me to understand my hair in so much detail and Terri’s curls are literally what dreams are made of! (she’s also a HUGE fan of silicones by the way…..)
I then went on to follow Taren Guy, Summer Kellsey, Much More Than Beauty, Sun Kiss Alba and Lipstick n Curls.
Identifying with women with curls like my own helped me with my own self-identity issues and to feel confident with my own natural hair. There were *well-meaning* people who told me that my hair looked better straight. There were people telling me that I was doing something wrong. I’ve had to endure being the butt of jokes by ignorant *and some jealous* individuals…….
Having positive inspirations helped me to move past these obstacles and survive the pitfalls during my natural hair journey. There were awkward transitioning times, haircuts, hair lengths and style related damage which could have easily resulted in me giving up….but having something to aspire to kept me on the right track! Although we should never try to look like someone else, sometimes there’s a lot to be said for using another as inspiration and using them as a source of strength when you are feeling vulnerable.
Here are some of my positive influencers who keep me in love with my natural curl pattern! Who are yours? Leave a comment below!
Thank you so much for stopping by!
The Curly Cockney