Respect The Fro + Streetstyle/Catwalk OTD

Natural Hair

RESPECT THE FRO

Google “Natural Hair Twist Out” and you’ll see pages full, except the girls wearing them don’t have afro hair. That’s not cool. 

I’ve been natural almost 4 years. I’ve seen every YouTube tutorial, and have checked every natural hair blog that exists. I studied hair typing, became a product junkie, went through the trials and errors of straightening my hair and completely ruining the curl pattern, cutting and almost starting over, letting go of being a product junkie, learning what worked and didn’t work and finding the strength to embrace my nappy hair. (I mean nappy positively here.)

The part of the process that I did not enjoy, and still do not like, is the pedestal for hair textures that aren’t African, in a community of people with African hair, trying to learn how to manage, style and embrace their hair. Of course, many of these girls have gorgeous hair. In no way do I mean to minimize them. But I do mean to say there are colored girls who don’t have a “special grade of hair,” and their hair when taken care of properly is gorgeous too.

I grew up around people who idolized any and everything that looked European. Light skin, blue eyes, wavy “good hair,” (the term good hair makes me so upset because it intends to say that Afro hair is bad hair and this is not true.) etc. The standard of beauty has never been Afrocentric. I didn’t know that I was brainwashed in this way until my hair started breaking from perms and a light bulb came on that posed the question “If your hair was intended to handle these perms, why is it constantly breaking from them?” I started to become very curious about my natural hair texture and as my perm grew out, I found my coily pattern to be beautiful and fascinating. Here’s something I’ve had growing out of my head all along, that I saw as ugly and bad, and at the drop of a dime, it just because one of the most beautiful things to me.

I was lucky to quickly discover what products worked for my hair and to get comfortable with it. But when I’d google or YouTube vloggers/bloggers for inspiration, no ones hair texture was even remotely close to mine. I’d be setting myself up for failure hoping to achieve a look that is simply not possible for my hair texture.

Who told us our hair was so ugly in the first place? Why do we see Afro hair as such a horrible and disgusting thing? Why can’t the women who wish to promote healthy African hair, raise women who look just like them to the same pedestal they do to those women who are mixed ethnicities? It becomes a means to divide for a cause that’s meant to unite. So I am doing my best to promote my #NaturalHair so that if anybody else has hair like mine, we can connect. (I don’t always wear my real hair, but I try to.)

Slave masters told our ancestors that they were ugly, black and burnt foul creatures with disgusting nappy hair, broad noses and huge lips. The idea of straightening our hair and lightening our complexions post slavery, became a desire in order to blend in and to avoid the harshness of discrimination and prejudice. I said this in another post, but we have only been free 150 years. We’re still mentally enslaved to the mentality that we aren’t beautiful just as we are, or that being Afro-centric is a negative thing. It’s not. Kinky hair breeds some of the most beautiful hairstyles when done properly.

Some girls who have “normal” dope Afro hair are Teyonah Parris, Solange, Janelle Monae & Esperanza Spalding. And these girls manage to wear some amazing styles that can be placed on as high a pedestal as Taren Guy or Jordin Sparks.

I know for me personally, it took a long time to get myself out of the mindset (mental enslavement) that Europeans set the standard for African beauty. I had to dig deep within to discover that we are a beautiful culture of people and have our enigma and unique characteristics just like every other culture in it’s indigenous state.

I’m hoping we can see the beauty in ourselves and hold ourselves to the same high value that we do others that may have mixed ethnicities. There’s nothing wrong with kinky hair or big lips, or broad noses or being Afro-centric. It is part of our culture. Take care of your hair. Find all-natural products that work for you. Moisturize it and trim it regularly and watch how beautiful it turns out!

-Deja B.

Thank you for reading! Leave a comment if you want! Listen to my latest #MondayLoveDrop #iWantU below:

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