My hair has always been a source of comments and constant despair for me.
Popular opinion said, “You should wear your hair straight; it’s much cuter.” So I kept my hair straight for as long as I could.
“You’ll lose your curl pattern!” My mother would yell, frustrated. But losing my curl pattern didn’t matter as much as losing people who liked me (which seemed to be in short supply) over a hairstyle. But finally, at the behest of those wiser than I, I went natural. That also was a struggle. Most of the time, my hair would be a massive puff of weird curls, not like the models in the magazines or other girls I knew.
Finally, one day in June, I whispered “I’m done”, walked into a beauty salon, and told the stylist that I wanted my hair back. She cut and snipped and blowdried, and when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t cry. I was surprised that I didn’t, but now I realize that the old hair on the floor didn’t really belong to me, it belonged to other people’s opinions. Finally, I could start fresh with hair that was mine to control, to wear how I liked, to run my fingers through with pride.
I now realize my hair is my sacred power, and taking control of it was the form of self-care I needed the most.