I grew up hating my hair. It was big. It was frizzy. It was Different, at a point where I wanted to be The Same. The feeling intensified at secondary school… Oh, how I wanted that swishable, flickable, glossy straight hair I saw all around me. Messy buns and fringes were beyond me. The things I wanted were not things I could have.
Things have changed since then. I have to admit that one factor in the change is that, bar its early morning wildness, my hair is no longer frizzy. It falls in curls. But these days I see beauty in frizz, in the big and diverse hair I see all around me. I learned the beauty in all the Different people around me and, in doing so, tried to reflect on the beauty in myself. I don’t often feel beautiful but I no longer blame that on my hair or skin.
Oddly, one of the things that contributed to this new ease with my appearance was living for a while in a place where nearly no one had Different hair. It meant that my hair was beyond comparison, so I no longer needed to compare myself. I learned, in fits and starts, to embrace what made me unusual. Different suddenly became a compliment because it was said with interest. Hair tourism.
And now I rarely tie my hair back. I wear it proud. I like the fact it has a mind of its own and pens and things get lost in it. At the very least, it is a talking point.
I am happy with what I have because it is mine.