Falling Back In Love (With My Hair)

As a child, I never worried about hair, at least having enough of it. I grew up with dreadlocks, thick, non-uniformed, beautiful locks. My mane was healthy, with nourishment provided by my mother's hand, water, and Nature's Blessing hair grease. Even with the tender loving care, I envied the children who got to rock ponytails and braids. Why? Because they had the freedom to express themselves through their hair, I did not. Fast forward into puberty, I fought to be an individual, to actually choose how my hair represented me. It started with Cherry Red dye, and then Crimson Red, which faded to brown often, and then the decision to go Jet Black happened. My hair, once beautiful and healthy was now brittle and breaking off. 

As a college freshman, I entered school with dreadlocks, thin, fragile, and in need of some TLC. The campus was filled with people that rocked the style of manicured locks. Instead of embracing the beauty of our natural hair, I went in another direction and got a relaxer. This chemical burned through my scalp and left me begging the hairdresser to wash it out. The end resulted in limp hair. One year later, I had a Teenie Weenie Afro (TWA), returning back to my natural roots. 

I share my hair story with you because it is also a reflection of how I take care of myself. I was so busy looking at the beauty of other people's hair that I couldn't identify with the crown on top of my own head. Years of abuse to my hair caused damage, breakage, and ultimately hair loss. I suffered in silence. This was an insecurity I had dealt with for years. Wearing my own hair out became a luxury; great twist outs were far and few in between. 

A year ago, I decided to focus on the restoration of my hair, creating a healthy hair regimen that could aid in this goal. While I still struggle with consistency and products to use, I've made strides in figuring out what works for me. Changing my hairstyle is made easier with protective styles without the cost of damage like before. With the help of wigs, I'm able to take care of my scalp underneath. I especially love the Heat Free Hair Clip-Ins, because they allow me to create natural parts and blend well with my hair. I use the For Kinks collection to match my 4c hair. These clips-ins have allowed me to execute styles that weren't possible before. 

All in all, I'm rekindling a love affair with my hair. One thing that's helped me most along the way is my daily affirmations. Every day at 5 p.m., I receive this message:

My hair is beautiful and flows from my scalp, happy and healthy. I love my hair. Thank you, Universe. 

-Ayana Iman