We’ve been conditioned to think that natural hair in all its kinky, coily glory isn’t ‘glamorous’ or ‘beautiful. The Natural Hair Chronicles is a BNS original content series that celebrates women who are pushing against Eurocentric beauty standards and embracing their natural texture and rocking it on screen, on the red carpet and in their everyday lives.
BNS:How has your relationship with your hair evolved over the years?
I had a knack for dyeing my hair when I was young. I literally had no respect for my hair and just treated it any way I felt like. Bonding glue. Super strength relaxer. Bleach. Whatever my mood – I was going for it. In 2016, I got a pixie cut which I loved. But no one tells you that after a week, you will look just like Naruto if you don’t go to the salon to get it ‘laid’ all over again. After over a year of the pixie – I started to have this craving to see what my natural hair looked like. I think I saw alot of people around me have natural hair and it just looked so thick and amazing and for the first time, I wanted to see what would happen if I treated my hair right. My mum relaxed my hair at 6 years old so I really have never even seen my natural hair. Because I had a pixie, it didn’t feel like ‘big chop’ per se. More like a small chop. Ha. I literally went to the barbers – showed him a pic of a cute girl I found on tumblr with a side part and said ‘make me look just like that’. And that was it really. I remember looking in the mirror right after I cut my hair thinking – “Oh shit, there’s no going back now”. Lol.
BNS:Have you always appreciated its natural texture?
Now my hair is natural, I don’t only appreciate it – I’m fascinated by it. The curl pattern, the shrinkage, the way it soaks up moisture like some kind of living, breathing being…. I’m high key obsessed with my natural texture.
BNS:Do you believe hair and women’s hair choices are over politicized?
I don’t know that I would say it’s overly politicized. I think it’s a relevant and important discussion to have. I still find it difficult to swallow that our natural hair isn’t deemed ‘corporate’ enough in a work setting. I feel the stigma associated with the way a woman chooses to have her hair makes it necessary to become ‘overly political’. It’s like the world is telling you not okay to be yourself. And that’s completely crazy to me.
BNS:What hair style makes you feel the most glamorous and what does your hair mean to you today?
To be honest – I feel most glamorous with a long straight 22 inch European hooker style wig. Yasss, long wig, center part, change my name to Naomi any day.
BNS:Have there been times you felt you were over or under appreciated because of how your hair was styled or not styled?
Hmm. Tough. To be honest, I think I got the most ‘praise’ when I had a really low cut. I think it was a combination of surprise that I cut my hair but also – I rocked it quite well. I think for me, it’s very important to not really take compliments to heart because they screw with you. If you get the most praise with long hair for instance, then somehow your mind tells you you’re prettier with long hair. So, I don’t really care about whether someone appreciates or doesn’t appreciate my hair. As long as I appreciate it – that’s all that matters.
BNS:Are you more or less accepting of your natural texture now?
100% yes. I’m still I the early stages. I think the kids call it as ‘TWA’. (The Youtube naturalista space is like a whole new world I never knew existed and just got my residence permit and I’m constantly meeting new people and finding gems). I’m still learning about my hair. At first, I struggled a little bit. It was always dry and I thought I just had really tough hair. But after my youtube sessions, I realized my hair just lacked moisture and I wasn’t locking in the moisture properly. It’s so many things… I find out new things about my hair daily. It’s like discovering parts of my identity I never knew existed.
Read more Natural Hair Chronicles.