Marie Claire (South Africa) - - REAL LIVES -

‘A com­mon opin­ion among black women is that nat­u­ral hair is high-main­te­nance. I think for many of us, it comes from hav­ing painful ex­pe­ri­ences at sa­lons – chem­i­cal re­lax­ers burn­ing your scalp, hair­dressers who yank and rake through your hair, and re­turn­ing for the same dull pun­ish­ment, again and again. Af­ter enough time, those ex­pe­ri­ences just be­come your truth. In 2013, af­ter ques­tion­ing all this pain for a long while, I stopped re­lax­ing my hair in or­der to grow an afro and even­tu­ally lock it into dread­locks. What a dif­fer­ence. I do still wear a weave from time to time – the truth is, both op­tions re­quire some ef­fort. More and more black women are get­ting woke to the myths around nat­u­ral hair. It’s beau­ti­ful, and we need to be sur­round­ing young black girls with that pos­i­tiv­ity. To me, wo­ke­ness is a process of learn­ing, un­learn­ing and grow­ing. It doesn’t ever stop. I’m still com­ing into my­self, un­der­stand­ing my con­vic­tions and bound­aries, em­brac­ing my beauty, and let­ting those sharp edges – which I was once so des­per­ate to smooth – stand out. I love my­self now. I’m more picky about who I al­low into my per­sonal space, and less con­cerned with mak­ing my­self palat­able to the world. I’m me, rst. very­thing else is se­condary.’ @keO­mogolo

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