My hair is versatile, I can do whatever I want with it.
Taking care of it takes time but I am happy to invest in it now that I feel better than when my hair was relaxed.
I learned to love my curls in their natural state progressively, years after my mother forced me to use relaxers in order to get a position at her workplace.
The reason why she pushed me to do this was that, in her opinion, my natural hair didn’t look presentable and professional enough. Something needed to be done, this mane had to be tamed!
Years after this happened she is still very open with the fact that she doesn’t like my natural curls. She relaxed her hair her entire life, this is how she does her hair, and she will stick to it to avoid having what she defines as a ‘wild’ look.
This lack of maternal support made exterior comments more difficult to handle. I will never forget that day at school when someone told me that I looked like a character from the Planet of the Apes…
However, I am glad I found support elsewhere, on social media more particularly. Youtubers played a strong role in my hair acceptance journey. It made me realise that yes, you can be black, have long hair, and be beautiful.
I work with one of the leaders in the mainstream cosmetic industry. They have a ‘natural hair’ range but interestingly they are not investing in research as much as they would do with other markets. Considering that black women spend much more in cosmetics than Caucasian women, this is not the cleverest business strategy, is it?