Why I Love My AFRO’

It’s World Afro Day on 15 Septem­ber, and here Fred­die Har­rel – blog­ger and founder of ex­ten­sions brand Big Hair No Care – tells us why she is de­voted to her nat­u­ral curls…

Look (UK) - - FIRST LOOK - @Fred­diehar­rel Fashion Blog­ger & Founder Of Big Hair No Care (bighairnocare.com)

To my afro, I must say that in th­ese 30 years of life, you and I haven’t al­ways been BFFS, but what a jour­ney it’s been to find you, my crown.

I re­mem­ber grow­ing up want­ing you to grow down­wards in­stead of up­wards, to flow in the wind, like the cool girls’ hair in those Amer­i­can se­ries. I des­per­ately wanted to be like them. They didn’t have to wait pa­tiently for six hours to have their whole head braided, or sit through a painful wash­day with a mum who didn’t be­lieve in de­tan­glers, haha. I wanted easy, breezy and flowy hair.

Ac­tu­ally, I wanted to look like Aaliyah. I barely slept the night be­fore re­lax­ing my hair, I couldn’t be­lieve I’d fi­nally get to be cool, I was so ex­cited! At first I didn’t mind the scabs and the burn­ing sen­sa­tion the chem­i­cal would leave on my scalp, or the way it would de­flate my ’do and leave me with a limp pony­tail.

I al­most found my true self ac­ci­den­tally – I got lazy. I just stopped re­lax­ing my hair and would braid it all the time – you grew back and I started to love you more and more, your soft­ness, the way you feel like cot­ton wool, the pat­tern of your curls, so freak­ing tight and elas­tic. I never knew how full you were, and how beau­ti­ful you’d make me feel.

I love look­ing after you. Watch­ing how you re­spond to my care is so re­ward­ing, and I can’t be­lieve I spent so many years sim­ply ig­nor­ing you. Now you make me con­fi­dent. I love to play with you, so much that it’s chang­ing my life.

I cre­ated Big Hair No Care (bighairnocare.com) as a way to en­hance and pro­tect you without harm­ing any­one, we’ve even cre­ated a spe­cial space as an ode to the mod­ern, lib­er­ated and self-be­com­ing black woman.

So to my afro hair, thank you for com­plet­ing me, for mak­ing me proud and for giv­ing me pur­pose. Now that I’ve found you, I shall never leave you. I hope you in­spire oth­ers to let it fro.

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