Wisdom – a word I learned to dedicate my life to. Entering adulthood, I vowed to follow a path of awakening while releasing the insecurities of my youth. Growing up, my anxiety about my appearance weighed heavily on me, particularly my hair. For so long, my hair neither made me happy nor made me feel beautiful. I vividly remember the Venezuelan movie “Pelo Malo ” and the remarks about nappy hair, breaking my spirit and limiting my idea of beautiful hair.
By the time I reached my late teens I no longer wanted perms. The stress and the risk of having to constantly do that to my hair became tedious and drove me to research going natural. After much debate, I began my transition.
Transitioning in itself was a journey and the joy I felt about reclaiming my identity through my hair didn’t last long.
I didn’t enjoy the look of curls and waves growing straight ends and eventually, I cut my ends off into a pixie cut. I loved it and thought that I had finally killed my illusions about my curls and kinks. Styling my hair finally became fun and easy. But, like transitioning, the pixie cut didn’t last long either. In between blow dryers, flatirons, and excessive amounts of hair products, not only did I burn my hair but I started to feel confused yet again as to what my hair was trying to tell me.
Why am I just not happy with my hair? I woke up one day, tired of blowouts, and said to myself, “I’ll shave my hair”. It was a sign that I was ready to be fully committed to my hair journey, and no longer wanted to be controlled or defined by my hair. I knew what I wanted, and it was to be free to express who I am, and who I’m trying to become.
Coming full circle, after growing out my hair, and becoming comfortable with its natural state, I wanted another change. I began to look into dreading my hair for some years but never thought I could commit. Through research, I found another series of products and maintenance that I wasn’t ready for until I came across freeform locking. Everything about freeform spoke to me. It didn’t feel like it would be a process, but more and was unique to whoever grew them out. Its spiritual meaning spoke volumes, mirroring how I feel about myself and acknowledge my struggles.
All my experiences with my hair constantly serve as a reminder of how far I’ve come and how long I have to go. I could only express gratitude for all the ups and downs with my hair, as it taught me it’s more than just hair. Every hair journey serves its purpose, reminding you to love yourself and focus on what makes you happy. Let love and light in.
Words by, JaHaira B