“I wish I had good hair,” is what I used to say before I fully fell in love with everything about myself, hair included.
Growing up, many Black girls like me are conditioned to believe that our hair is not good unless it’s 1) long and 2) straight. Perms/relaxers were the cure to “nappy” hair. If your hair was anything outside of the norm, it was considered unkept. Being natural wasn’t even a thing like it is today, so rocking an afro definitely wasn’t encouraged.
Now that I think about it, I am completely disgusted with myself for believing in these ideologies, which led me saying things like, “I wish I was mixed so I could have good hair” and “I’m going to marry a white man so my kids can have good hair.”
What if society fetishized afro-textured hair as much as it fetishizes mixed-raced hair? I mean, everybody always loves Becky with the good hair. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my sistas with the afros.
Mainstream media contributes to this lack of love for afro-textured hair. It’s underrepresented and isn’t considered as beautiful as softer, curlier textures. Even people I know personally have this false ideology of what good hair is supposed to look like.
It’s time that we change the idea of what it means to have “good hair.” Black women have good hair. I have good hair. Afro-textured hair IS good hair. I had to stop and question…I don’t have good hair? According to what? The media? Pop culture? Men that drool over these Instagram honeys who are biracial with long, curly hair?
Caring for your hair, loving your hair, and keeping your hair healthy is what should constitute as having good hair. As Maya Payne Smart said in her article, “This Is How You Learn to Love Your Hair, your hair should “reflect great self-awareness, self-confidence and vision. Always remember who gave you that head of hair–your parents, your ancestors, your Creator. Then care for it like the inheritance it is.”
It’s time that we forget everything we were told about Black hair, and restructure our thinking to be more inclusive to all hair types, and realizing that mix-raced hair isn’t the only type of good hair. And for that reason, I rock my afro with dignity, confidence, pride, and love.