The narrative about our hair has not always been positive or beautiful.
At a young age we are greeted with a plethora of words and the sharp tug of the comb that tell us these strands on our head are trouble, possibly ugly, and at the appropriate time must be changed to a more presentable and manageable form.
However, today, I had the pleasure to witness the retelling of afro-textured hair. And not in fancy magazines advertising a certain product that will define curls, soften hair or is perfect for styling. Rather, I saw the story of beauty unfold in living, breathing women with poofy, cottony, fluffy hair. Hair that coiled and sprang up. Or curled and hung down. Big hair. Cropped cuts. Fancy updos involving rolls, tucks or French braids.
Where was I? Standing in line at Japonais Lounge in Chicago at a Curly Nikki meetup. My eyes darted from one beautiful head of hair to the next. In one spot, over 600 naturalistas had arrived to sample Motions’recently launched product line for natural hair and of course enjoy the free drinks, and appetizers. Like most of my fellow naturalistas, I hoped to catch a glimpse of Curly Nikki and maybe even snag a picture.
Finally, when Curly Nikki addressed the crowd, she made a special call out to women who
had “big chopped” or those who were transitioning. She reminded them that they were not alone. That there is a community beyond the blogger-sphere who had painfully, clumsily, but purposefully taken this journey to unveiling the beauty of kinky, coily, curly hair. She understood that at times the newbie naturalista would not see beauty when she looked in the mirror. That she would be frustrated with her hair: the time it took to wash, detangle and style. She would find some of the styles obnoxious. And even ugly. But if she looked around the room, this woman had support. She had inspiration.
Afterwards we stood in line for drinks and to snap photos with Curly Nikki. We touched each other’s hair. Complimented each other’s hairstyles. Listened to each other’s hair journeys and stories. Asked for advice about certain hair woes. Recommended certain products, techniques and styles.
Today, I saw the story of afro-textured hair–it is beautiful.