Published on Thursday March 24th, 2016 by Afrocks
Happy and Nappy
The tidal wave of Nappy that is sweeping the world lately has certainly not passed you by. Black women started wearing and loving their natural hair, ditching the creamy crack and living their lives without lye.
If you were around when it all started and you decided you wanted to join, you probably did like most of us and joined a forum online to share tips and tricks, techniques and report on the latest products you tried. Maybe you had a blog where you documented on your hair journey, posted pictures of your daily routine, all your hair paraphernalia and pictures of your “hairspirations” (that’s the people’s whose hair you were inspired from). If you were lucky, you could even find your hair twin and you would start exchanging tips, emulating each other, encouraging each other because they could definitely understand !
Pretty soon, some of us started to take it a lot more seriously than others and became internet stars with their YouTube channels, Instagram feeds and websites. We started to see the rise of the Nappy Ambassadors with their luxurious locks, their wonderful looks
The euphoria at the beginning, frantically trying everything, praying for your hair to grow out so you could try something new, attending the first natural hair fairs to discover new brands and spend crazy money on stuff until you found out that you could make your own with ingredients from your kitchen cupboards ! These were the good old days, when you fell in love with your hair all over again, caught “hand in fro syndrome” and couldn’t stay in that cute protective style for too long because you just had to be playing with your hair every now an again.
Pretty soon, some of us started to take it a lot more seriously than others and became internet stars with their YouTube channels, Instagram feeds and websites. We started to see the rise of the Nappy Ambassadors with their luxurious locks, their wonderful looks (and their endorsements). They are the ones who now make money from their online videos, touring natural hair salons and fairs, getting paid for masterclasses (and endorsements).
We loved them, we admired them, we wanted to be them… We started to copy them. Buying the products that gave such amazing results on their video tutorials, trying this new technique they started to bang on about and praying for hair growth like theirs, volume like theirs, curls just like theirs… except… the results weren’t always what we were hoping for. Our afro was never as big and fluffy.
Our twists were never as shiny and regular. Our braid outs were never as defined. And little by little we started to feel like this hair of ours just wasn’t up to the standards of glamour we were hoping for.
The term “natural hair” is not deceiving. It pretty much says what it is. It is our hair in its natural state, nothing more, nothing less
Hair envy is a real thing, dear reader. It is a disease that messes with our mind and makes us want the locks that we simply cannot have. It makes us go in a frenzy of looking for the product, the contraption, the hair salon that will give us the hair we saw on the video, even when that hair doesn’t actually grow on our head.
Because, you see, we have gone from being a slave to the lye to being a slave to other people’s hair.
This is something that needs to stop because there is never going to be cosmetic surgery for the hair that grows out of our head. We will never be able to go to a man with a white coat and tell him “I want this girl’s hair definition, please !” the same way that we can ask a plastic surgeon for a celebrity’s nose or lips. We need to start loving and caring for the hair we actually have. The term “natural hair” is not deceiving. It pretty much says what it is. It is our hair in its natural state, nothing more, nothing less.
We all need to be happy with our own nappy. We can’t be going through life with hair envy. And in the same way that we have given up on the idea of going swimming and simply running our fingers through our hair and be done with it afterwards, we need to understand what it is our hair can do, cannot do and what it does best.
It’s the same process as when we decide to give up on the idea of having that celebrity’s cheek bones and start to love the skin we’re in. We need to love the hair we’re in as well because we are all beautiful in our diversity. We need to celebrate that.
By Jessy Mullings,
Credit picture: The feisty house