Hair dilemma

Posted: 25th June 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

These last few days I have been debating about my hair. My hair is such a hard thing to handle. I am African American, so my hair is really tightly curled. Unfortunately, I happen to have 4c hair, which is the thickest and curliest of African American type hair. Naturally, I have struggled my whole life with my hair. When I was little, I wanted it to be like the other girls in my class; bouncy curls and easy to manage or straight and easy to manage. My mom always said (and stil does) that I have beautiful hair, but as a kid and a girl in her early teens, my hair frustrated me beyond belief.

Growing up overseas where there was no African American hair products, my family had to bring boxes of stuff for me to take care of my hair. I remember that it used to take twice the amount of time to take care of my hair and style it than my sister’s hair (who is Hispanic). I remember the first time I relaxed my hair. I was sure it was going to look just like the other black women in magazines that had nice flowing hair. On the relaxer kit there were also pictures of black women that had really loose and perfect big curls. I was majorly disappointed after the painful experience to see that while my hair was straighter, it was not flowing like I wished it to be.

Fast forward a few years. In my mid-teens my hair was so damaged from relaxing it that I was finally persuaded into cutting it all off (although I did leave my bangs untouched, just so that I could give my shaved haircut a unique style). I left my hair like this (trimming it once a month) until a year ago when I decided I wanted to grow my hair out once again.

This is where I faced major problems:

I wanted to see if, starting from scratch, I could grow my hair out into a nice long and healthy looking body of hair that reaches a bit past my shoulders. I should have known that this would be impossible. See, here (Chile) all the information people have about black hair is what they get from the media. So when my hair started growing and growing, I immediately started getting asked why I didn’t straighten my hair so that it would look like Beyonce’s or Tyra Banks’. I eventually straightened my hair again so that people would stop nagging me. BIG MISTAKE. My hair became damaged once again.

Fast forward a few months, I now have mostly natural hair which I straighten with a hot comb (I don’t use relaxers anymore). Since the hot comb still damages my hair I decided (about a week ago) that I was done. From now on I will try to do anything got not damage my hair anymore. I still want long hair, so I am going to try going natural. Just left it grow out have a natural texture.

But, here is my dilemma. How is that going to affect my life in the U.S.? Will people think that I don’t look professional enough if I wear braids? I refuse to have an afro (I don’t really care for afros), so my only other option is to wear my hair in braids or twists. But, I begin to wonder if that is going to affect my job opportunities.

My family says wear it natural, but I have a feeling that I am going to opt for a weave or extensions. Why? Not because I hate my hair (I have learned to love my hair), but because while I let my hair grow out, I want to have a hair style that is neutral in order for my job opportunities to not be compromised.

So, now I have my hair in braids (quite hard to do, my hair is only 7 to 10 centimeters long) and as soon as I go to the states, I plan to buy some extensions with money I have saved.

Oh, here is an interesting show about the subject black hair:







Tell me what you guys think! =)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Yolanda and Gloria! I will definetely keep my natural hair and try my best to learn to be proud of it in its natural state. 🙂