self esteem

Feeling Claustrophobic

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Global hair texture map

“So what do you plan on doing to your hair?” This question has been asked from day one. At first I expected these type of question (Why did you cut your hair?, What made you decide to go natural?…) from family and friends but I just assumed that they would adjust and accept that I am no longer using chemicals to alter my hair. Apparently I was wrong, I’ve been natural for eight months and this question has occurred more frequently. When I respond by saying: I plan on letting my hair grow. They can’t seem to accept that as an answer. Believe me my curly fro is always intact when I step outside. I spend extra time in the morning applying products and shaping my fro so I look presentable. Maybe I should explain when I say “I plan on letting me hair grow” , maybe I should say: “Honestly I don’t know what I am going to do with my hair. I am getting to know my hair and I am enjoying the journey. I don’t know what my hair is going to look like when it becomes longer. But, as time passes and my hair starts to show some length I’ll start to look into styles.” What I really want to say is: What is it to you? I know that’s mean but I’m starting to get annoyed. One of the reasons I went natural was because I wanted to be free from the type cast society places on people.

Have you ever noticed, especially in the United States, that we categorize things we do not understand? For example hair type casting, there are hair types 1, 2, 3 and 4 as well as A, B and C. Why is it that my hair has to be a number and letter to be part of the natural hair community? It’s like if you don’t have the right hair combination you are not allowed into the club. Basically a hair type tool used to help people take care of their hair has become a hindrance. We placed limits on the tool created to help us. We divided the hair type casting into the best and worst hair type. 1 and A type hair being the best and 4 and C type hair being the worst. Everything in between is okay because it’s closer to type 1 and heaven forbid you have different hair types on your head. I have 3C/4A hair. So I can’t be part of the type 3 hair group because I have type 4 hair. Ladies we have to do better. Did you know that no two individuals have the same hair texture? You might have similar hair texture with a group of people but it’s not identical.

I’m tired of feeling like I have to be placed in a box to be accepted. I am different, I am special, and I am one of a kind.  So to be categorized into a hair group is ridiculous. So the next time someone tries to place me in a “box” by asking “What do you plan on doing to your hair?” or “What is your hair type” I’m going to respond by saying “I don’t know.”