We don’t owe you an explanation for loving our natural hair

It’s beautiful and unique like we are

Many fail to see the importance of natural hair. Our coils and curls mean different things to each and every one of us. Some of us ditched the perms to have a healthier mane, while others did it as a means of showcasing individualism. Each person’s hair journey is different:

April Robinson, 20

April

“I’m crowned with waves and loose curls at the front and tightly coiled corkscrews at the back, so I get questioned about my styling practices and heat damage when I share that I’m natural. I try not to get offended because I’ve been natural for about 10 years now and have taken care of my hair on my own since I was 14, so I know my hair better than a stranger or even a misinformed friend.

“I’ve learned its okay for others to have misconceptions about me and my hair. I don’t owe anyone an explanation of my ancestry or my routines to prove who or what I am: I’m authentically all natural.”

Precious Merenu, 21

Precious

“Going natural has been a journey for me, and I imagine other women would feel the same. Initially, I wasn’t thinking about the political implications that being natural would have on my life. I mostly did it to break away from the European standard of beauty and shift my paradigm.

“In short, me going into the restroom with a pair of scissors and cutting off my limp, straight hair at the age of 16, was the subliminal fuck you to the world. That act was a way for me to proclaim it loud that I will not be confined any longer; I will be beautiful and raw just the way that way that I am.

“Unfortunately, my natural-ness hasn’t been completely accepted by others. I’ve been told to cut my hair. Someone once stopped me on my way back to my room, got into my personal space, and groaned and caressed my hair. I just hope that one day the way that my hair grows out of my head won’t be seen as an anomaly.”

Loren Jones, 22

Lauren

“My hair kept me self-conscious when it was relaxed since it was always thin, broken and damaged. Going natural really helped me learn how to love myself – even if my hair wasn’t long and flowing.

“The hardest part of my hair journey is the snide remarks about it’s length and 4C texture, but I’m glad I learned to ignore them because I’ve never felt more confident than with my lovely T.W.A. (Teeny Weeny Afro)”

Erin Morrison, 20

Erin

“The summer before my freshman year of high school, I decided to ‘go natural.’ I had been relaxing my hair since the tender age of 7. I made this decision based on the damage that relaxing had caused my hair. My family couldn’t understand why I wanted my hair to look ‘nappy,’ especially during the four years that were supposed to ‘define the rest of my life.’ Despite my doubts, I went through with it. Fast forward to six years later, and I am still natural.

“Shortly after I made my decision, ‘going natural’ became a trend and my counterparts joined me in my natural hair journey. It hasn’t been an easy journey, especially in the beginning. I dealt with many adversities causing me to be insecure and feel as though I wasn’t pretty enough because my hair was short with tight coils instead of long and straight. But now that others have joined me in my natural hair journey and many resources that help me manage my hair, I am more confident in myself and my beautiful textured hair.”

Gabryelle Williams, 20

Gabryelle

“I’ve been natural for over five years and managing my hair hasn’t been easy. Being natural is honestly one of the best decision I made in life because I can express my individualism through my hair. My favorite natural styles are wash and Go’s, twist outs and crown braids. I strongly dislike when random people touch my hair or stare when I’m wearing my Afro.”

All of these women love their natural hair and inspire me to keep going with my own. Though our hair can be frustrating, it shows off our #BlackGirlMagic. It’s beautiful and unique, just as we all are.

I’m natural because I wanted a change and finally didn’t care about what others had to say about it. I love the small coils in my hair, because the space inside of each coil represents how much patience I have for the overly critical. So let me break this down if you haven’t gotten it already:

• If it’s not your hair, it’s not your business. You have no right to pass judgement on something that is not growing out of your own scalp.

• Our hair does not explain our personalities, nor does it compromise our beauty. For example: do not call me “ugly” or “lazy” because I choose to have short hair.

• There is no “good” hair type. Using hair types as an excuse to tell yourself that you are better than someone else only exhibits how ignorant, jealous, and bitter you are (Sorry not sorry).

Don’t touch.

Slay.

P.S. Leave Gabby Douglas alone.

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