When I was a little girl, about 10 years old, I remember watching TV with my mother when a Pantene Pro V commercial came on. The women on my TV screen were beautiful with thick, straight, and shiny hair that seemed to constantly flow over their shoulders. In my little girl mind, these women were so beautiful because Pantene Pro V magically transformed their strands from dull and frizzy to straight and full of life.
I remember going to my mother later that day and asking her…no begging her to buy some of that same shampoo so that my puffy, frizzy, curly hair would flow in the wind too. My mom gently explained to me that my hair would never flow like the women in the commercial no matter what shampoo or conditioner I decided to use. Of course, everything she said went in one ear and straight out the other. Little 10 year old Cherrelle thought that mom didn’t know what she was talking about and I would prove her wrong. This is where my hair journey began.
From that moment forward, my own natural texture was no longer good enough for me. I wanted ringlets like Jurnee Smollett or Lisa Turtle, or bone straight hair like Aaliyah…anybody else’s hair but my own. Thick coily textured hair was not attractive to me and I would do everything I could to avoid new-growth.
I received my first relaxer (Just For Me) at the age of 10 and continued to use them at least 4 times a year until I was about 27 years old. Every time I chemically straightened my hair I felt beautiful, like a new person; so you tell me how I felt when my natural texture (new growth) would struggle to make an appearance.
It took me about 17 years to realize that the texture of hair that grows from my scalp is good enough and does not need to be “fixed.” I do not want my daughters, or anyone else’s daughters to wait so long to appreciate their God given beauty. I don’t want our girls growing up believingthat they have to change to be beautiful. “You are beautiful just the way God made you,” are words I say to my girls regularly and are words I feel we should continue to say to one another.
In my blog posts my aim is to offer up encouragement to the mothers and fathers of little naturals. With so many blatantly harsh attacks against our little curlies these days, our angels can use all of the encouragement we have to give. I want to help to empower our next generation to open their eyes to the various gorgeous textures and colors, with which we have all been pleased.
What experience in your natural hair journey sticks out the most to you?
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