Maintaining My Natural Hair Has Taken Over My Life!

Generic image (Thinkstock)
Generic image (Thinkstock)

In a piece for, Janday Wilson discusses how her need to perfect her curls and twists consumes major parts of her life. 

Taking care of my natural hair has made me so obsessed I often struggle with balancing my hair regimen with life's demands like sleep, spending time with my loved ones, personal time, and work. And lately, I've been questioning my motivations for the extreme TLC I devote to my hair: Is all of this extra work simply a requirement for healthy hair? Or do I have a curl inferiority complex that makes me overcompensate when styling my tresses? …

In a society where "ethnic" looks come second to the Eurocentric ideal, my very tight curls don't measure up to the beauty standard for some people. I sometimes fear that I'm trying to tame my hair by using products that promise to “manage,” stretch, and transform my “dull, shrunken coils” (these words are lifted right off of the packaging). I wonder if I am forcing my strands to conform to a more socially acceptable curl pattern -– call it the politics of respectability for natural hair.

If more people celebrated my high-shrinkage, coily-coils would I be wearing a wash-and-go style right now?


Read Janday Wilson's entire piece at xoJane.

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.

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