A model’s standpoint on hairstyles
I first began going natural in 2008 when I started modeling. I had to cut my hair for Hype Hair magazine. Because of all the damage I had. I didn’t care as I wanted to be in the magazine. It was a beautiful pixie cut that I still adore. However, I knew it wasn’t for me. Especially maintaining such a short style in a relaxed state. I easily saw breakage after a few weeks. I wasn’t mature enough or interested in hair maintenance to keep up with short styles or trimming for that matter.
Heck, during my teen years i only relaxed my hair when my mom told me it was time. OK..ok. I was lazy when it came to my hair care. Since I enjoyed weaving my hair. (Low maintenance lol) It just made sense to grow my hair naturally under my weave. What sense was it to relax my hair just to cover it up. So summer of 2008 was my last relaxer. And that’s how it began.
I was surprised to see many women doing the same thing. Like on some unconscious level we all had that desire to grow our natural mane out. I was part of a movement that I didn’t realize was happening. As for hairstyles and upkeep. I didn’t really pay attention. As I was a low maintenance person. Too low if you ask me. But as time passed I’ve gotten better and I’m still learning about natural hair maintenance.
1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?
Hairstyles are important because as women, we all just love to change it up. If you are wearing your hair natural for the first time, it can be very difficult if you prefer longer hair with a variety of styles as you may begin with shorter hair and may not have a lot of options.
However, over time as your hair grows you will find that there are some options at your disposal. You can wear your hair curly, loose, and straight in an updo or just an afro look. When I used to model, most of my shoots were mostly weaves or wigs, and some with my natural hair. I personally keep my hair in an afro or an updo style. In between I try to change it up but I mostly keep it to those two styles or variations of those styles.
Styling my hair makes me feel creative, as I’m still learning about my hair and what it can and can’t do and it’s just simply fun for me. It’s fun to experiment and explore and learn what’s good for your hair and what styles aren’t so good for your hair. Some styles that require you to pull your hair too much aren’t always the best to do consistently as it may be damaging. Some styles that require you to protect your ends from hair damage, especially during the winter are very beneficial for you.
My hair and my hairstyles make me feel liberated. As I don’t spend time in the salon anymore. Or I don’t spend time getting relaxers. I feel like I am in control of what I want my hair to do everyday. I enjoy my hair and I enjoy growing and learning more and more about my natural hair care.
2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?
I think that black women should do hairstyles that simply make them happy, and simply make them feel good. One of my favorite songs is I am NOT my hair, by India Arie. It’s simply stating that our hair does not define who we are as individuals.
Natural hair doesn’t make you any better or any worse than someone with relaxed hair. It’s all about who you are inside, and our hair is just part of the fun process of being who we are just like our clothes are. People go natural for different reasons, some do it because they feel closer to their culture. Others do it simply because they do not want chemicals in the hair.
I think it’s important to just be true to yourself and do what makes you happy, but also it’s okay to try to get out of your comfort zone if you’re curious because you can always jump back in. I simply went natural because it was a thought that just came to my mind and I went with it. I didn’t feel any social pressure from anyone or felt like it was something I had to do. It was simply a thought and I ran with it.
Life is about living and loving. It’s not about judging one another about whose hair is better than the next. It’s about embracing all parts of us, and accepting each other for who we are and what we choose to do with our hair or anything else for that matter. As long as we are not harming others in the process then we should be free to do anything that we desire. Try new things, be free. Be you.