Don’t put me in a box!

By Natasha Ferguson

Ok, so how many of us are guilty of jumping on a new trend? “I want to try something new. I want to be different” We are a culture and society that soak them in. Rocking the fro is the latest to join the line for all things fashionable. The other day I was on the tube and I saw for the first time in a while an advert where an ethnic woman was being promoted with her afro. It made me think how much we think of our naturally beautiful hair. First and foremost we need to recognise that going natural and saying we have natural hair is two different things? What do I mean by that? Millions of women of different race and colour have natural hair which has never been manipulated to become something it isn’t. And going natural is allowing your hair to return back to the original form.

No matter how you wear your hair permed or natural and whatever condition it’s in have you noticed that we have now become a generation where everything is labelled? You’re able to put you and your friends in specific boxes because of the way they all wear their hair. Now it’s not something that we do consciously, however labelling who’s who I believe does create a subconscious division. We’ve been put in a box. Even within the natural community. We have created a system of labelling how curly and kinky your hair is. From 1to 4 (4 being the kinkiest) Now this system has been put in place so that the products you use alongside many methods that are out there for washing styling and maintaining your hair, will become effective if you’re able to categorise your hair Does it work? What does it matter? Either way your hair is always going to be unique to you. It may look similar to other women’s in texture length and coils, but it will never be the same. Now I’m not saying to scratch it out completely. To some it is useful. Just don’t let another system make you feel that what you have on your head should look a particular way.

I started my natural hair journey almost three years ago. I permed my hair for convenience. And I continued on a cycle because from an early age my mum couldn’t manage my hair, and so she permed it when I started secondary school. I maintained it with treatments as you do and don’t get me wrong I was impressed by the length, but over the years the quality went downhill. As I got older I realised how this particular “look” kept me in a box. However becoming a mother planted a seed that I wouldn’t have fertilized off my own back. My daughter had incredibly soft beautiful hair. As she got older it grew into a head full of curls that sparked the question that everyone asked. “She has really nice hair, what side of the family does she get it from? And that question bought me to where I am today. Natural and proud.

My hair is not like my daughter’s. And that’s ok. Because just as her hair is gorgeous so is mine. Now I enjoy not looking like everyone else. And this is the very lesson I want to continue to teach my daughter. However you wear your hair, it is imperative now more than ever for them to be confident in themselves on the inside and out. Never stop telling them how beautiful they are. Because the moment you let go the media grab onto their weakness and insecurities and thrive of that through social media in this technological age. We as a growing natural community need to be educating the younger generation on how to manage their hair and to provide them with the time and tools needed for that to become effective and for it to become the new normality. Each and every one of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. And it’s up to us no matter how you wear your hair to remember that.

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About The Author

Hi, my name is Natasha. I am a vibrant kinks and curls naturale. As a Freelance Journalist, Editor in Chief of Urban Gospel magazine 2BReal and Mother, I believe in being bold in finding who you were created to become, emphasises why finding our purpose in life is so important.

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