On Hating the 4C Natural Hair Struggle

Today we are talking about the natural hair struggle. So you probably already know my hair story and if you don't well, here. I want to be frank about MY own hair struggles, which I assume is the same with other black girls or at least those with the same hair pattern as me. Mine is 4C according to the natural hair gurus. 4C is usually synonymous with coarse, annoyingly-tough, kinky, always matted and tangled hair. That's my hair. Some parts of my hair might look like 4B though. Or no, I'll put it this way: whenever I manage to tame the hair and make it look nice, people swear it's a 4B and not a 4C. So the lower you go, the fancier the "curls". That's all BS to me. But I'm no expert, which is why I am choosing to talk about MY hair.

My hair stresses me. To be fair, even when my hair was relaxed, it was hard to manage. I like my hair. I really do. But why do I have to pre-poo, wash, condition, deep condition, do oil treatments, mix gazillion oils together to get good hair? Why do I have to do so much to grow it, and then when it finally grows, I have to tuck the hair under protective styles to retain this length? What then is the point of the length if it's going to always be hidden in protective styles? In all honesty, I don't do as much as others, but I do a lot too. Except during really hectic weeks, I spend about three hours (or more) EVERY week deep conditioning, shampooing, pre-pooing yidi yada.

What's funny is I don't know how, when, and why I bought into the hype. If you read my hair story, you'd know that from childhood up till I finished secondary school (high school), I never permed my hair AND I was in boarding school. Being in boarding school meant there was barely time to shower, much less care for any stupid hair. I only washed it and conditioned whenever I was home, which was about once in three months or so. My mom used to buy me hair creams, shampoos, conditioners (which, by the way had minerals and sulphate and other chemicals millennials would never touch with a ten foot pole if their lives depended on it). Anyway, so I would never ever use these products she bought me, because I was the most lackadaisical, carefree teenager in this whole wide world. I just had no care in this world. So no I never moisturized my hair. But my hair was so freaking full and HUGE and long. The hair blossomed. I wish I had a picture from those days with my hair just in its afro state. But I don't. My hair was so much that my aunt always joked that I had too much hair so if hairdressers mistreated my hair (which they often did) I shouldn't bother. I never did bother anyway. So with no care, the hair still thrived. Lesson number one: GENES play a huge role in hair growth.

Now I'll be foolish to revert completely to my old ways as a teenager. Because what my body could tolerate then, it probably can't now. It's the same way we used to eat all kinds of rubbish as kids, and we'd be fine. But the older we become, the more noticeable that belly pooch is. Still, moderation is key. It doesn't help that these products are ridiculously expensive. I don't really mind that. It's the time that kills me. That, and water. I detest having water run from my head to my face so much, I was VERY close to chopping all of my hair off my last wash day. Now I know without a doubt that I prefer my hair without relaxers, I don't like it bone straight; I don't even blow it out. I like it coily. Not those weird "definition" YouTubers advise you to get by contorting your hair into many different pretzels. I mean, I like my hair as is. So relaxers are out of it. I wish it was more manageable and I wish it tangled  less. But I like it. So to not have to hate something I like so much, I have decided to ignore every stupid natural hair rule and just do me. It means not pouring water on my head every single week. It means just leaving my hair alone. It means doing protective styles I like.

If you feel the same frustration with your hair that I do, I understand. It doesn't help that societal definition and expectation of fine/pretty/beautiful hair is not necessarily ours, not even among the black community. Many people with our hair type genuinely think 4C hair is ugly and are disappointed about that. It's like, why would God make our own hair so...undesirable. If you type in Google: why is 4C hair so... the first word that pops out is ugly. That's why that Shea Moisture ad irritated me even more. If any group of women have hair struggles, it's definitely us black ones. But that's for another time. Anyway I think fussing too much over hair makes it more frustrating. Lesson number two: do you. Really, do you!

This may sound corny, but beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. It's your hair, love it as is. And if your preference is bone straight, get out and buy that relaxer now. Perm the hair, fix a weave...seriously, do your hair the way you prefer it, not as some other person defines it. At least that's my plan henceforth.



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