When I started my natural journey, I started in witness protection, so to speak, because I was so ashamed of my TWA.
I hated the way it looked on me, so I protective styled until it got to a length that I thought was doable. That process took about 8 months.
When I took a break from protective styling I was very happy with the results. I finally was able to get a really good look at my natural curl pattern, do a real wash and go, and also tried twist outs. However, the excitement and hair love was short lived.
I live in one of the biggest cities in the world, NYC, so not only are there massive amount of people in general, there are a ton of naturals.
One day I was riding on the train to work and I couldn’t help but to stare at a woman’s voluminous fro with perfectly defined curls. It was breathtaking! Then one day I was waiting in line at Starbucks and like clockwork, a group of naturals walked in, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘wow, I wish my curls were that long, I could do a lot more styles.’
I mean, the envy was real! It was as if I couldn’t shake it too, because whether it be on the street, or even inside my home on social media, or tv, I always saw someone with curls who I thought were better than mine.
One Sunday, on wash day, I stepped out of the shower, with soaking with hair, and literally stood in the mirror for 5 minutes just saying positive affirmations about my hair.
It may sound silly, but hair hate is similar to self hate, and nobody can change your perception of your hair or self, but you. It started that Sunday, and then it became a wash day ritual.
I even found myself giving myself mini hair compliments in the mornings too before I would leave for the day. I’m not saying that I have totally overcome my struggle with curl envy, but I am certainly making progress.
I had to realize that no matter how long my hair grows, or what I do to my hair, there will ALWAYS be someone else out there or around with hair that I ‘envy.’ So instead of envying others, I celebrate their hair. Now, I think when one natural has fab hair, that’s a win for the natural community as a whole!