Up until fairly recently, my relationship with my hair could only be described as fraught. As a child, it was hours sat clamped between my mothers’ legs as combs snapped straining to make it through the thicket. It was hard hair. It was rarely tidy. It was a constant battle to beat it into submission.
As a teenager, it was relaxed. It was smooth, shiny, brittle and heavy with product. It was constant upkeep. It was dodging swimming lessons. It was Vaseline on burnt skin. It was hiding regrowth. It was expensive.
For much of my life, my hair was something that needed to be dealt with. I never liked it, let alone loved it. I rarely cared for it. After suffering years of breakage and burns, I decided to quit relaxers. It wasn’t some big act of self-love, it was accepting defeat. I didn’t like my hair so why pay to not like it, when I could return to my natural state and not like it for free?
I had read about other peoples natural hair journeys and seen pictures of bountiful afros online but I was convinced my hair wasn’t going to be beautiful. It was going to be hair and I was going to make the most of it. You can imagine my surprise when I fell head over heels in love with it.
Like any good rom-com, it started with a meet cute. The first little curl revealing itself at the nape of my neck. Shiny, bouncy and absolutely perfect. I was afraid I would wreck it so I was overly protective. Only the very best for my curls and kinks. I read about hair constantly. I watched tutorials on YouTube and attended hair shows. I bought products. I made products. I changed my diet. I had never paid myself this much attention.
Falling in love with my hair started me on a journey that forced me to reconnect with my body. The care I gave to my hair I started to apply to the rest of me. I took the time to unpack all my body issues and build myself up again.
I no longer view my body as the human shaped box that holds my take it or leave it personality. It isn’t something to look past. It has value. It is big brown eyes and prominent cheek bones. It is a large bust and a soft stomach. It is multiple shades of brown and topped with a glorious crown of curls.
For all our trials and tribulations, my hair is what got me here. My hair led me to myself.
*all views are written from the perspective of the blogger.
Mariam Bashorun is a blogger at www.amu-dat.com an afrocentric fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog. She is also the founder of www.blackbritishbloggers.com a service linking bloggers to brands for work and collaborations.