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I Am Not My Hair

This is one is for every little black girl that was ever teased about their hair. This is for every little black girl that has ever begged her mom for a relaxer. This is for every little black girl to know that you are not your hair. You are so much more! You are beautiful! You are talented! You are intelligent! Most of all, you are NOT your hair!

My mom combed my hair until I was in the 8th grade. Imagine being in middle school in the 90s with pigtails and hair bows. She only combed my hair once a week on Sundays, so by the time Wednesday came around, my hair was pretty much a mess. That's normally when the teasing would start. "Nappy headed self, you need to get a perm, that's why your momma still combs your hair." I heard it all child! My mom would always say the teased because they were jealous of my hair, but I was so jealous of theirs.

I grew up in an era where sleek, straight hair was the "thing." The creamier the hair crack, the better. I got my first hair relaxer in the 9th grade. I began to be more comfortable with myself after that. Boys started to notice me and I gained more friends, but my hair suffered. I had a stand in appointment with my beautician every 2 weeks all throughout high school. My hair was ALWAYS laid. I had all the trendy hairstyles in high school.

Once I graduated high school and went off to college, my perms lasted for a few more months but I stopped getting them because I was living on my own. I didn't have the funds to get them, I didn't know how to apply them, nor did I trust anyone in Monroe, Louisiana in my hair. I would say that's where my natural hair journey started. I guess I started before it was a movement. My hair was too fair damaged at that point though. It was stringy, weak, and brittle.

My best friend Drea is the best example when I think of this topic. When I met her, she had just chopped all of her hair off for the 1st time. She's always believed that she was more than her hair. She's beautiful, educated, cultured, and did I mention beautiful? She's chopped her hair more times to count and now she's on a loc journey, where she's fallen even more in love with the woman that she's become.

In society, we (black women) are told that we have to tone ourselves down to sustain a professional appearance. Our hair, our bodies, our sense of style and the way we dress, we have to sacrifice so much to be accepted. We are told to straighten our hair, cover up our curves, and be more eloquent when speaking. We are so much more than our hair and bodies. Why can't we be accepted for who we are? Let's start the conversation ladies! The more me talk about it, the better chance it can become a normalcy for black women. How does this make you feel? Comment down below and let me know. Let's fix this broken system. Until next time...

Phoenix

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Phoenix Beauty 101 started as my name in my faux business plan when I was in cosmetology school. I needed a name to finish my project to graduate. It stuck! Fast forward and its been my social media persona since 2011...

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