In the last few decades or so, there has been a visible appreciation for natural hair in all its forms. Whether it be the Type 1a hair texture that has smooth strands or the 4c hair texture with tight coils, many women have begun to see the glory of their hair without chemical relaxers.
What’s important to note is that contrary to what most people think, the natural hair community doesn’t just focus on hair care but also informs women about making healthier choices in general. This is not to say that any other alternatives are wrong seeing as at the end of the day, everyone has the right to choose what to do with themselves and with their appearance.
With the glorified natural hair textures, there came other issues such as hair texture discrimination, which is a notion that a certain hair texture is more beautiful than others. People seemed to prefer looser coils and went ahead to try all sorts of products to imitate them. With the natural hair community, there also came an obsession with hair length. Thus, in the end, we started to go for creams and serums that help us to achieve this.
Again, this is not to say that there’s anything wrong with doing so. In my opinion, however, it beats the purpose when we profess our love for natural hair, and go against that factor by not loving our hair at all stages. Short hair is beautiful too!
Perhaps the origin of hair length obsession stems from the fact that long hair tends to be among the Tertiary Sexual Characteristics used to establish a character as female. Long, luscious hair is regarded as an archetypal feminine trait in quite a few cultures and commonly accompanies other such traits. Cultures such as these need to be done away with, if we are really preaching the love for natural hair.
In a recent conversation, someone pointed out to me how sad she was that her hair grows at a very slow rate. To her, in fact, it doesn’t grow at all. She compared herself to her friends and online influencers who seemed to have recorded more than double her hair growth in half the time that she has.
But this is probably not the first time hair-length obsession has come to light. In fact, statements such as the shrinkage is real has been thrown around until they became a norm. We tend to bad mouth shrinkage because it prevents hair from showing its true length, when in fact, shrinkage is a sign that hair is healthy. Shrinkage makes the hair versatile.
It’s rather ironic to me that while we are promoting the love for natural hair, we are discouraging people from embracing their short hair. If you are to enjoy your assertive natural hair which chooses when to do what it wants to do, then I highly encourage you to learn to love your hair in all its forms. Whether short, shrunken, and as an afro, or long, bra-strap and shoulder-length, natural hair is beautiful. It deserves all the love in the world.