Written By: Candace Lelo
I dibble and dabble in different styles but nothing makes me feel more like me than being in the skin I’m in rocking my own natural hair.
Little girls are brought up to believe that their crown is their glory. And like all girls, I, too, was instilled with the same belief. Hair: It’s what makes a woman stand out. It accentuates her beauty.
I got so many compliments from people about how long and beautiful my hair was as a child; and I internalized it. Then, I cut it as a pre-teen. I was questioned non-stop. ‘Why did you cut off all that beautiful hair?!’ I cut my hair because I knew it would grow back. I wanted something different. From 5 to 95, this is what girls do. Feeling like you want a change? Cut your hair. Feeling like you need a new start? Cut your hair. Out with the old and in with the new? Cut your hair.
Hair is symbolic of so much more than strands of keratin. Something about changing up a hairstyle is empowering. I chopped off my relaxed hair to go natural. My goal was to start anew with a head of healthy hair unaltered by chemicals. I wanted to see how my hair would flourish in its natural state.
I went extreme and got a fade, which is a very low haircut. I got so many positive responses. I didn’t get this response when I went to college, walked onto a division one track team, or even moved out of state on my own. At first I was perplexed. People called me brave, courageous, daring. Why all of the accolades for shaving my head? But those are the words people associate with a woman cutting off all of her hair. It may sound silly, but I felt the change this cut gave me. I felt empowered. I felt people could see me better. I could even see myself better.
Two years later this hair is all grown out. And I feel like this kinky curly afro is all me. As I have cared for it, it has taken on a life of its own. It is my crown and glory. My goal was and still is to see my hair flourish. I dibble and dabble in different styles but nothing makes me feel more like me than being in the skin I’m in rocking my own natural hair. Not to knock the girls who say they are not their hair. But this hair…its just a part of me. I “AM” MY Hair.
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