Natural hair is complex and beautiful. There are those good days when you're head-over-heels in love with your hair. But then there are other days when you unapologetically reach for the nearest hair wrap to cover up the tangled mess hiding beneath it.
There's a fine line between the things you can love and hate about your natural hair, from the attention it will always get to its versatility.
Here are six things almost every natural can relate to:
1. Hate: The Attention
While most people are great about keeping their admiration for luscious big curls or an awesome afro to themselves, others are not so well-mannered. There’s the ever-annoying question: "Can I touch it?" Let’s be clear, petting and reaching for the hair on the top of another human being's head is never acceptable. So keep your hands to yourself.
2. Love: The Attention (The Flip Side)
As the girl with the big fro, it can be very hard to go anywhere unnoticed. Sneaking into a room? Forget about it. You will always be easy to spot in a crowd. That big beautiful hair or super cool low fade will always get you tons of attention, smiles and sometimes it's a decent icebreaker to start up a conversation. It can be pretty awesome.
3. Hate: Misconceptions and Stigmas
We often hear stories about people who are discriminated against in the workplace and in school or are denied opportunities because of their natural hair. Let's not forget when actress Zendaya’s locs were described to smell like weed and patchouli oil by "Fashion Police" host Giuliana Rancic. However, as of recently more and more people with natural hair are becoming present in the media from Maria Borges, the "Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show" model, to singer The Weeknd to Lupita Nyong'o. Now, all types and textures of natural hair are cropping up on the big screen, the small screen and even magazine covers. This larger representation will hopefully break down those negative notions about natural hair.
4. Love: Versatility
You can braid it, twist it, coil it, and so there are many other styles! Natural hair is so flexible that you could probably rock a new look every other week. If you’re really feeling fancy, you can even switch it up by having a sleek, straight hair look, too. When you're natural, your hair becomes another accessory in your ever-changing look. You probably often get comments from people complimenting you on how often you mix up your look. Embrace it.
5. Hate: Detangling
It is a process done only for the greater health and good of your hair. It can be annoying and tedious -- the slathering of product on your hair, the sectioning and combing each section so that you can be tangle-free. It can be so frustrating and it only gets more time consuming with the longer your hair gets, but don't reach for those scissors just yet. Because just cutting it all off sometimes seems incredibly tempting for me, too. But it's the end result of hair that you can almost run your fingers through without running into any snags that makes it all so very worth it.
6. Love: The Roots
Being able to touch my natural hair and feel my roots is absolutely indescribable because, as a woman of color, something as simple as loving your hair can be a hard pill to swallow. The hair politics and the fear of no longer looking pretty actually prevents a lot of women from embracing their natural hair. However, whenever I touch my hair I realize that there is something very beautiful about its unique texture, and I take enormous comfort in knowing that's exactly how it's intended it to grow from my head.
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