Nappily Ever After: Black Hair and the Struggle to Fit into a Society That Doesn’t Respect Our Beauty

Growing up, I’ve always had long hair and it stayed relaxed and straightened. Every six weeks I would be in someone’s salon, in someone’s chair, at someone’s sink, and under someone’s dryer. I hated it. It was all to meet this standard of society that my hair needed to be straight. From such a young age, I was indirectly taught that wearing my natural hair was unacceptable. During this time, I didn’t know what natural hair was or that it existed.

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My hair was always down my back and I swung it like the white girls, though I never wanted to be like them. I guess in the black community for girls, you are expected to basically assimilate and accept another culture while rejecting and suppressing your own.

I used to think that men only wanted women with long, straight hair. What I realized is most men don’t care or they prefer a woman to wear her natural, kinky, curly, coily, 4c hair (I say 4c because that’s my hair type). When I was about to graduate from college (circa 2010-2011), I stopped getting perms. My mom said I needed to do something with my hair because it was just nappy and everywhere.

So, every two weeks, I went and got it washed, cut, and straightened. This was gravely damaging my hair so I went the bold route and cut it all off with scissors. Everyone was shocked. The next day I went to the salon and got it all cut even, basically a bald fade. I rocked that for a little while then let my hair grow out for about 2-3 years and then cut it all off again. Can’t really remember how many times I’ve cut it, but I made a vow the last time to never cut it again and I haven’t.

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I’m really loving all of this women who live in the public eye who are reverting back to their natural hair. I know that in Hollywood there is a standard for what your hair must look like: bone straight like the white women. Well, as black women, our hair doesn’t grow like that and we have to do a good deal of work to get it straight.

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Nappily Ever After with Sanaa Lathan is an inspirational movie and not only that, if you check out her IG, she’s been rocking her natural curls. Many black women, famous and not, are rocking their natural hair and I couldn’t be more proud of our culture. I’ve been rocking my natural hair for 8 years now and I can’t see myself going back. I also am not a fan of weave, wigs, or makeup.

Why do you rock your natural hair and what does it mean to you? Also, what did you think of the movie?

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3 comments

  1. First of all I loved Nappily Ever After, it was so raw and relatable!!
    I’ve always been one to constantly change my hair and have always used the its need to be ‘tameable’ excuse… That was until I cut it all off, like you I took the scissors to my long damaged hair in June this year and I’m now rocking my TWA and I love it!!

    Lucia x

    Liked by 1 person

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