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Friday, October 12, 2018

Loving My Natural Hair

Growing up when and where I did I was either surrounded by my black friends with fancy corn row hairstyles or my white friends with their straight flowing European hair and I was always jealous. Jealous of the amazing corn row styles and jealous of the long flowing smooth and silky hair. You see I had very thick and coarse hair and my English mum with European hair herself always struggled to manage it. I so desperately wanted long straight ‘flicky flicky’ hair as I called it and absolutely hated my Afro hair.
There was a seriously limited number of hair products on the market back then and even fewer hairdressers that knew how to handle my hair. and you can forget about blogs and YouTube tutorials of black hair care because they never even existed!

As soon as I was old enough I began chemically relaxing my hair, this involved covering my roots in a potent chemical paste and washing it off after about 20 minutes. Once washed and blow dried I had the hair I had always longed for. Between this and colouring my hair on a regular basis I started to notice that my hair was breaking, becoming very thin and even patchy in places.
After seeing how much damage I was doing I finally stopped relaxing my hair about 9 years ago and started trying different oils and lotions to try and reverse some of the damage I had done. Despite giving up on straightening my hair I still longed for a ‘slick’ look which is why I was still pulling it back tightly on a daily basis and holding it in place with several hair bands which meant that I was counteracting any good I was doing.

FAS Hair Shop in Peckham, London

In recent years, the Afro and natural hairstyles have made a huge comeback and with it a much healthier way of styling hair and with it an abundance of hair products that cater for pretty much every hair type and a vast amount of great bloggers and vloggers with their amazing hair care videos, tips and tricks

After a life changing event just over a year ago I started looking at life very differently and one of the thing I realised was that wanting my hair to look slick and straight wasn’t because it was what I liked, it was because it’s what society said looked better. 
So for over a year now not only is my hair all natural but I’ve embraced my curls and am on a journey of discovering what works for my hair and what doesn’t. I’ve still got a long way to go but so far I’m loving how healthy my hair is feeling.

decades, natural afro hair has always been depicted as unruly, undesirable and NOT beautiful and I had unwittingly bought into that idea and black celebrities sporting European style wigs and weaves have reinforced that. Black women have been subjected to images in the media that doesn't reflect them and their afro and natural hair but recently we are seeing more and more images of BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMEN embracing their natural locks and it’s so empowering especially for young black girls.

I’m under no illusions there will be days that my hair will look a mess, not sit how I want it to and drive me completely insane but I’m finally happy with the curls that grace my head and am proud of the head of hair I have, greys and all!

Emma xoxo

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