How Being on TV Almost Kept Me From My Natural Hair


Writing at the Huffington Post, TV news reporter Abi Ishola chronicles her journey to the realization that there would always be a place for her, no matter how she chose to wear her hair.

… I had grown so accustomed to the way I looked with straight hair, I couldn't picture the old kinky hair me. I only have two photos from my time back when I first went natural (digital cameras weren't popular then) so it was hard to see myself as that girl. I placed those photos on my mirror and stared at them for months in hopes of embracing her all over again. She was brave and ready to take on the world as she is. I searched her face for the beauty I wanted to reclaim. I also searched for flaws as a way to talk myself out of parting with my security blanket.

So I procrastinated. I kept cutting it shorter and shorter while still maintaining some length. Then finally I shaved my head and started wearing a custom made wig. When I would come home from work I often took pictures and videos clips of myself with my digital camera to see how I would look on TV. I still wasn't totally comfortable.

Eventually I got sick of covering my head. The wig started to feel like a disguise — a cover-up. I started to feel like a women with something to hide when really I had a healthy head of hair as my natural tresses started growing. I was itching to show off my face again — to embrace myself totally. I was certain that I wasn't ready to go back to being a slave to maintaining straight hair. The experience of seeing it fall out was traumatizing.

In the end, my hair battles had me rethinking my career. I started to embrace what I love. I've never seen myself as the typical local on-air reporter. I'm no longer thrilled by the idea of covering fires and protests while sporting a bob. I love covering Africa and ethnic communities in the U.S. I enjoy writing about beauty, fashion and entertainment. So what better way to represent that than to wear my hair natural, cool and a little edgy? …

Read Abi Ishola's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff. 


Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. 

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`