My hair is a form of self-expression but also a tool of rebellion for me. I change my hairstyle very often and really enjoy this versatility. However, I am annoyed by the fact that sometimes, people see my hair instead of seeing me.
At work, for instance, me changing hairstyles will often mean that colleagues won’t necessarily recognise me.
The more I embrace my natural hair, the more I notice people’s negative reaction to it. I really feel like many try to question my ability to be a professional individual simply because my hair is not as polished as they would like it to be. I am really good at my job and my hair shouldn’t define the way you view me professionally.
After years of relaxing, I decided to transition and go natural. It took me more than a year to accept and embrace my hair. I will never forget the day when I thought I noticed lumps on my scalp, panicking in the shower, to finally realise that these lumps were actual curls, growing and blossoming at the top of my head (laughs).
This pressure we face about relaxing our hair is in my opinion linked to curly-haired women's lack of representation. Obviously, it’s great to get in a London store and see brands like Shea Moisture displayed but why are these brands separated from more mainstream ones? Why do these need to be in specialised aisles, far from TrèsSemmè and L’Oréal?
This clearly shows that curly/kinky hair is not considered as being part of the whole, but we make up the whole.
For me, this situation is the reflection of a deeper issue: when people see something different from what they are or know, something they can't describe or understand, they simply put it on the sidelines. This is what happens with curly hair in the beauty industry.
I am not saying that it’s not evolving, I am just saying that it’s not good enough!