By Terez Howard
I have a confession to make. I’m vain.
I am ‘excessively proud of or concerned about my own appearance,’ just as one dictionary defines the word. I am particularly vain over my natural hair. I frequently examine my natural hair. I’m fascinated by it. I actually built a website as an outlet to this vanity.
I am specifically vain when it comes to length. I know in the natural hair community we naturals strive to have healthy hair. We claimed victory over our hair when we tossed harmful hair care products, such as relaxers, into the trash. We vowed to never abuse our hair again.
But I don’t just want healthy hair. I want long, healthy, natural hair. Is it so bad that I stretch out my hair to check on length progress every few days? Is it awful that I drool over long naturals’ huge fros and luscious, cascading locs? Is it really a sin to want long hair?
In my family, it was a sin. Women who cherished their hair, whatever texture it was, were not only vain; they were shallow. Don’t think I’m knocking my upbringing because I’m not.
But if you were a true Smith woman, you didn’t care about long hair. In fact, you didn’t want it because if you ever had it, you’d be shallow.
I admit that I am vain, to some extent. Most of us naturals love our hair. We have to when we live in a world ridden with the general image of female beauty as having straight hair.
I confess that I have a strong craving for information on natural hair. So, I read and research the topic vigorously to know what to do with my own and my daughter’s hair.
I would even say that I’m selfish. When I discovered my coils for the first time, I selfishly wanted more. When I got more, I wanted even more. But shallow?
I refuse to be called shallow. A woman with a lot of hair does not mean that her hair is all there is to her. There’s a name for that attitude, too. Judgmental.
What about you and your natural hair? Are you vain? Are you selfish? Are you shallow?
About the author