My mother was very strongly against relaxers. With no exaggeration I can say that she was clearly campaigning against it.
She would allow me to do the different natural hairstyles I wanted to do, would accept me straightening it from time to time but relaxing my hair was a strict no-no, especially during secondary school as she was concerned I would destroy my hair at a young age.
Interestingly, none of my family members wore their hair natural, and this includes my mother…
Over time I became someone who love experimenting with my hair, dying it in many different colors to counter the fact that I basically get bored of my hair very easily. I made my hair go through so much and progressively disconnected from it, not realising how much breakage this would entail.
I continue to color it from time to time as I see it as an expression of my personality and creativity but I also learn to understand my hair a bit better. I am now delighted to see that all the family members I was used to see with long straight hair have now gone natural.
To me hair has always been associated to self-care and family: the process of having my hair done at the hairdresser has always been something I shared with my mother. We wouldn’t imagine going to the hairdresser without one another. Hair is also at the core of family conversations, whether it’s with my brother, my aunt, my sister…
Not everyone in a family knows how to take care of hair though, and by this, I mean men! Men are simply not taught that! The first time my dad had to do my hair was very strange as he couldn’t figure out what to do.
For many people our hair is seen as fascinating but remember that it has never been praised before! This can certainly lead to incomprehension and a lack of self-love too.
We tend to emulate what we see, hence why a conversation about hair is needed otherwise we will simply end up replicating the same pattern over and over again.