I went completely natural when I arrived to London, a year and a half ago. Reconnecting with myself, with my identity was the main goal, as I could feel that wearing weaves wasn’t for me anymore.
In France, natural hair isn’t perceived positively, especially in the law sector, in which I am working. I would very often hear questionable comments such as ‘little broccoli’ or ‘weird hair’.
Why do people feel entitled to approach us that way because of our hair. Am I a pet? A zoo animal?
London was an eye-opener. Seeing so many black women wearing their natural kinky hair proudly made me think that I could look good with my afro too. Following my decision to go natural, people’s behaviour towards me changed.
A lot of people would come to me in the streets, complimenting me on my hair, on the way I look. It boosted my self-esteem, I became more convinced that I would never go back to fake hair.
The social pressure in regards to hair is really strong, so strong that it can lead you to change the way you look to fit in, to be accepted.
When I got my first job in London I got really apprehensive about my natural hair but decided to let go.
It was difficult to get out of my comfort zone, especially because I grew up convinced that my hair wasn’t easy to handle, wasn’t beautiful.
The idea that our hair need to be tamed, hidden, was deeply ingrained in my mother’s head who transmitted this mindset over to me but I am glad I succeeded to go beyond that and she seems to have as well.