There are times when I look back on my hair journey and sigh with great relief and contentment. This is because I decided to do something that was considered 'outside the norm' in some of the circles I was part of, but still did it anyway. I was truly past the point of caring about other peoples opinions and just wanted to be true to myself for once in my life.
You might be thinking, "Who cares what you do anyway?"
For most of my life I have let external attitudes and opinions guide my decisions, even though it made me feel uncomfortable, but mostly because I felt accountable. Some of these considerations were family, friends, colleagues, clients and the church environment. Yes, it was important to me that I always give a positive impression in whatever environment I found myself, and most of all continue to be a good example to my children.
Yet I watched many others turn their fingers up at bureaucracy, by doing exactly what they wanted to do without there being any real repercussions. It eventually began to feel like I was in some sort of bondage.
You might also be thinking, "But it's only a hairstyle!"
Yes, it's only hair but not just a hairstyle. It's also a huge statement. It's an expression of pride in my black heritage. It speaks of my decision to put aside the popular/acceptable ideals of westernised beauty standards and embrace the true nature of my kinky coily hair. It says, I'm proud of my blackness and I no longer wish to conform. It shouts, I am beautiful too and I don’t care if it intimidates you.
So yes, allow me a moment of reflection as I look back over my 5years and 3months of loc'dom, because it makes me feel so happy to be my true self. I'm free at last...free indeed!
"Don't remove the kinks from your hair.
Remove them from your brain."
- Marcus Garvey