Anyone on the natural hair journey has experienced side eyes, “shade” or even disapproval in some form or fashion for their choices. It seems like, no matter how we wear our hair, we as black women always have to take heat (no pun intended) for expressing ourselves the way we want to. Because of this, I’m convinced that it does nothing but build up our own sense of self-love in the process. Here’s why:
We learn how to take risks
Going (or returning) natural can be a very scary thing to some ladies. A lot of times, the decision comes at a transformative point in our lives. Maybe we’re at a crossroads and we’re ready for a new look, a new beginning. Maybe we’ve started to follow healthier decisions all-around and better hair care is the next appropriate stage. Maybe we’ve been carrying a lot of emotional baggage in our hair and we’re ready to let it all go.
Or maybe we just want to try it out because it looks bomb on all of our friends. Whatever the case may be, going from regularly wearing straight hair–whether chemically relaxed or via weaves/wigs*–to rocking your natural curl pattern is a very big change.
Because of this, there is always going to be a risk involved. We could be risking our comfortability in our office space. We could be risking our very job. We could be risking our comfortability in our own skin, even.
But how many of you know that love takes risks? Playing it safe and being sure about every outcome isn’t love. How much more should we take risks with our own self?! I can testify that once you take that leap of faith, you’ll be met with comfort and relief in unexpected places. It just may take some time.
We learn how to own our decisions
Those of us who have big chopped know that there’s no real “going back” afterwards. Meaning, what’s done is done. We have to learn how to own this new self. We have to look at her in the mirror and love her.
We have to stand in our truth and build up our confidence. We have to remind ourselves of the decision we make and assure ourselves that it’s going to be okay. Our hair will grow back. It will be healthier because of this decision. We will have a great adventure on this journey.
If you think about it, all relationships get to the point where a partner has to make hard decisions. Sometimes even harder than making the decision is standing in it. We can’t back down or waver from our choice.
When we’re cultivating a better relationship with ourselves, we need to teach ourselves how to stay true to our word. No more “wishy washiness”. If you don’t want someone to be inconsistent with you, then don’t do it to yourself either.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we can’t change up our hairstyle or wear a wig*, weave or braids every once in awhile. What it means is that, we can’t start hiding again if our intention was to be more vulnerable. Only we know in our heart of hearts what would be going “too far” for our personal convictions.