Growing my natural hair is an act of self love

Growing up as a black girl is tough in this white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchal society  that we unfortunately live in. From the time you are old enough to speak, society is already telling you that you are not good enough - that there is something wrong with you. Just look at how  Blue Ivy  has been scrutinized and criticized, like she is an adult.

Five-year old me spotting a Benny and Betty hairstyle

Blue Ivy is just a toddler, but she is being judged for her hair, how she looks and even her mental capacity is being questioned. I googled her name to see the kind of articles that have been written about her and before I was even done Google's top search predictions came up. My heart broke.

Google search of Blue Ivy's name

I and many other black girls have been subjected to the same criticisms as Blue Ivy. Obviously not the same magnitude as Blue (because my mother is not Beyoncé) but there has been negative comments about my looks- more especially my hair.

"Kaffir Hare"is a term most black people are familiar with, At some point in a black girl or woman's life, this phrase has been used to refer to her hair. In fact just a couple of months ago at one of the Feminist Stokvel's Hair Soirees, a woman in the audience used this word to refer to her own hair - we are just so used to it. This makes it even more difficult to accept ourselves and our kinks because the very nature of the language we use to describe and talk about our hair is always negative and full of contempt.

I have been natural for a couple years now and the decision to go natural was simply because I did not want to use creme relaxers anymore  because that stuff BURNS. I was called names and at some point I was even compared to a street kid - apparently I looked "dirty and unkempt". So it didn't surprise me when I interviewed a few young women last year and they all shared stories about how they were not allowed to wear their hair natural in high school. I further researched some of South Africa's school hair policies - the majority of them referred to natural hair as an "exotic" and "fashion" hairstyle. Yes, natural black hair is considered "exotic"in a country that has so many black people.

It is through YouTube and natural hair blogs that I slowly learnt how to take care of my hair. I discovered coconut oil - I swear coconut oil has the answers to life's most pertinent questions! Listen, don't let anyone fool you, maintaining natural hair is a lot of work and commitment - especially in the beginning. At the most it is a trial and error process of finding which products work for your kind of her. Sometimes you will have to mix a few things from your kitchen into your hair. I have had a few disasters, the worst was when my hair was stuck together because I used to many eggs in a home-made conditioner recipe. But it is in those moments of twisting and detangling my hair to avoid shrinkage when I fell in love with it and its magical ability to transform into difference sizes.

My hair regime is the easiest and most efficient way to accept myself and to be proud to be black.. Because of  the time and commitment that is involved with keeping a healthy head of hair.

How can I not fall in love???