I love writing about dating, personal development, and getting into Ivy League schools, and I often wish that the things I write about were more “hot” right now. Yes, people are always talking about love and relationships. And there will always be people eager to get into impressive schools. But dating and personal development, while popular subjects of interest with millennials, aren’t the hottest thing. You know what is hot right now? NATURAL HAIR! It’s a shame that I don’t care enough to write more about it or to strike out on my own as a Youtuber. I bet I’d have my own mini-empire by now.
I’ve had natural hair since 2003, when I realized that I could feed a small village with the amount of money I was spending on straightening my hair. No longer near my relaxer-wielding mom, I was finally realizing just how expensive it is to maintain the illusion that my hair grows out of my head straight. To make matters worse, my hair never quite looked the way I wanted it to. I wanted my long, straightened hair to look exactly like Aaliyah’s. It never came close. So I did the big chop in 2003, and spent three months getting mistaken for my male colleague as I taught middle school.
Despite having natural hair for the last nine years, and donning “neat” locs that cascade past my shoulders, I just don’t care that much about the natural hair revolution. I’m happy that women are embracing the natural way that their hair grows and learning how to do all kinds of sexy and creative hairstyles. There is a veritable pantheon of natural hair bloggers and YouTubers who can teach you how to do any hairstyle or treatment you can think of at home. In fact, last week, I sat down with a Chescalocs tutorial and gave myself sexy spiral curls using pipe cleaners. However, if it was up to me, I would have gone to a salon and paid a natural hair passionista to wash, retwist, and curl my hair for me.
One consequence of the natural hair revolution that I hope comes to pass is that more hair stylists in mid-sized cities will begin doing natural hair. I live in Austin, Texas where women are still largely afraid of their hair in its natural state, and I have no idea what to tell inquisitive newcomers to the city when they stop me and ask where they can get their natural hair styled. Even though I’d rather not, I wash and twist my hair myself at home while catching up on episodes of Shameless or Real Housewives of New Jersey.
I don’t think the natural hair revolution is anywhere near over. I think that the Youtube stars will continue in their (much deserved) rise to natural hair fame, and more and more women will big chop and begin discovering the myriad of ways they can wear their hair. In the meantime, disengaged naturals like me who are happy for them but just don’t care enough to become natural hair experts will continue to watch from the sidelines, eagerly waiting for one of our natural-hair-loving sisters to open up a salon within walking distance.