I am Brown. Half-and-Half as I like to say: Mom is White, my Father is… well, his own ethnic mixtures. Even though I am on the lighter side of the spectrum, I inherited his afro hair though. You know, the Michael Jackson when he was a little kiddo kind of hair. Fluffy and big and more than curly. Afro hair. Yuck.
People seem to have a hard time putting me in geographical ethnicity (it can be funny where they think I am from. Well, just so you know I am 100% French). My hair is afro, but like for “regular” hair, different types of afro hair exist. Mine is curly, fine and not that “dense”. For a very long time (about 28 years, actually), I had absolutely no clue on how to care for my hair. I was just not surrounded by any people with the same hair type I did, youtube and the internet were not available for me as a kid, and until I turned 13/14. My hair was a hot mess, I tried everything.
Until I was about 10, my Mom refused vehemently to let me straighten my hair. We were living in Brittany, that western Celtic part of France. Let me be honest: the population of people of colour was reaaaaaally low; no hairdresser was comfortable in even cutting my hair. Trust me, it sucked big time. The only moments my Mom and I were battling each other were when she needed to brush my hair (just so you know, you are not supposed to brush afro hair, but to comb them).
Seeing all the Black stars and singers wearing such beautiful hairstyles, wondering how come they could be so pretty when I was just lame. I learned that 1) Most of the time, they are wearing a weave (so it is NOT their own hair) 2) They have hairdressers doing the work for them. It is like they are lying b*****s…
When we moved to Canada, I wanted a drastic change and cut all my hair very short. It was a liberating act. Since I never straightened them chemically again and go for the natural look. Failed attempts at colours leave me with orange-ish hair here and there but that’s okay.
Do not let your appearance define who you are.
It’s okay to change what you do not like about yourself. Whatever it is: your hair, your belly, your breasts… if it makes you happier to change this, just go for it. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise because you deserve to love the body you came in.
I often wish my hair were different. Not necessarily straight but… lighter, That they would be easier to dye so I could express my personality this way.
I am not my hair. And my hair is not me. Learning to care for and appreciate them so late in life is hard but nothing is lost. I will soon make an appointment to be seen by a curl specialist, to be helped further.
What is your favourite afro hairdo?