After RSVPing on a whim, to an event for girls with curls, I got excited. Well, a nervous kind of excited, the kind of excited you are when you don’t really know what to expect but you know you need a change. You feel me? I have a few friends (who I secretly envy) who are all-natural with their hair and they love it. They have a confidence about them that I have never managed to have – except on the odd day that I come from the hairdresser. (Which doesn’t happen often – I mean who can I cannot afford that?) Or the first month after I straightened (chemically) my hair – only the first one though as my natural hair starts to grow out then it is just awkward. Curly roots with otherwise straight hair pppffffffftttt!
I on the other hand, have been struggling all my life with issues about my hair. It has never been thin enough. Or straight enough. Not long enough. Or short enough. Not oily enough or too oily. Too light or too dark. Never just right. Not good enough, to make me satisfied or feel confident. I am rolling my eyes while reading over this, because everyone deals with these issues. The biggest problem I have with all this is… Emilie.
Emilie my very impressionable 10-year-old daughter is learning by way of example – to hate her hair. What? Gasp! I hear you say. Have you seen this child’s mane?
We went on a family photoshoot in December and the first thing I said when I got our pictures back was – “Uggghhh my hair is poofy”, and as the disk was passed around I heard Emma mimic “Aaahhh man, my hair is so poofy”. Right then I realised I have made a grave mistake. I have taught my girl, my beautiful child to hate her hair. Possibly with me talking about never wanting my curls to be on show and probably because I literally “sug” to do her hair. Terrible I know. It is almost at her bum, and it knots A LOT. So its tears all round once a week when we do it. She hates me a little, and I wish for her for different hair (I cannot believe I even wrote that #badmom). We both are very frustrated.
I asked Shavon from Cupcakes, curls and curves (organiser of the Curl Talk events) if I could bring Emilie along with me to the upcoming event and she agreed. YAY! I am excited for Emma to see other girls embracing their natural curls and for people to tell her just how beautiful it is. I am excited to learn how to better manage our hair. And most importantly the journey toward loving this natural side to me too. My first step toward this was – wearing my natural hair and showing Emilie by example. And then today.
I. Had. My. Hair. In. Curls. To. Work.
Which I have done before, years ago till about 9 am, when I tie it up again because I cannot stand the volume, the frizz, the curls. Any excuse to have it not down and on show. Firstly, the reactions were motivating – people were genuinely impressed. Initially I got questions about if I had cut my hair, permed it or dyed it. I guessed that this was because it was the kind of different you cannot put your finger on. Someone told me I look younger (YES!), and that it completely changes the look of my face. I took a few selfies so that I could keep track of where the volume was. By 12 pm I was ready to tie it up just because – because. However, I persevered. I am so glad that I did. This evening when Emma and I talked, I spoke about all the compliments I got about my natural hair and how hers was actually so much better because it was so long. She just looked at me blankly. Sunday is our hair-wash day and I think the memory of me brushing it out is still too fresh.
It is too soon for this talk.
Obviously, it is going to take some getting used to but that is what Step 1 is all about right?
In the meantime – loving yourself does not always come naturally. However, it is so necessary!
P.S. If this is you too – join Curl Talk’s Facebook page here to join in on the conversations and hook up for future events! You can also read all about Shavon the brains behind the concept at Cupcakes, Curls and Curves where she blogs as “Just a curly girl loving cupcakes and curves!”