I always wore my natural hair but used to have it braided or twisted until high school.
As soon as I decided to wear my natural hair out, I realised that I couldn't succeed in this journey without experimenting new things. I believe that experimentation is a key element when you want to understand your hair better.
I am not saying that accepting and embracing our natural hair is easy, but if other communities are wearing their own proudly, why couldn’t we?
I am originally from Martinique where relaxers, wigs, and weaves are leading the way when it comes to black hair styling practices. However, curiosity around natural hair is a rising phenomenon and it will hopefully get bigger.
In Martinique, people's perceptions of my hair vary a lot. Many are bothered by my afro and feel uncomfortable around me because of it. It almost looks like my hair is nothing but a violent and aggressive expression of my personality and identity for them. Sometimes people are looking at my hair rather than my face when speaking to me. I can't help but find it strange, rude and frustrating.
Even though there is a better acceptance in regards to our afro hair in my island, many still feel entitled to be vocal about it, often in a negative way.
If my mother decides to go to work with her natural hair out, her colleagues won’t hesitate to ask questions about her wellbeing, trying to make sure that this hair (that they aren’t able to appreciate) isn’t an indication of some personal issues.
They wouldn't consider the idea that she might want to change her hairstyle for once and wear it natural because she finds it beautiful. Never!