I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my hair like most women. I think my particular experience was driven by issues being mixed and bicultural. I attempted to write this post several times and realized undoubtedly that my mother played a big role in my relationship with my hair.
For the longest time I felt like I had no control over my own self image. Every other day she’d come home after having a new conversation with a coworker and now there was a new product to try or a new activity to do.
What I hated most was when she wanted to brush it..I can’t even go into detail of how bad that always turned out. Maybe that was one of the reasons I started to crave straight hair. If my hair was straight, she’d leave me alone. The brushing sessions wouldn’t hurt as much.
One day I went for a relaxer at a salon. My hair burned, my scalp peeled and bled. I looked in the mirror and I felt like if someone stole something within me. Ripped it out and now I was incomplete. My hair fell perfectly thin straight against my face and I tried to push it back up, tried to find my curls again. After that experience I went back and forth between white salons, black relaxers, half relaxers, children relaxers, chopping inches off, over and over again for years, until I finally took control…
In my junior year of high school I had been contemplating hijab in the back of my mind. When I decided to make a change and start to care about my religion I also began to cover my hair in various ways. One day (at the pleading of my mother) I went to a salon to get it cut AGAIN. Everything was chopped until only the longest strand fell at two inches. My mother beamed, and I cried. She loved it probably because it looked like her as she always wore her hair short. I, on the other hand, felt naked and exposed. As soon as I was able to, I placed the scarf over my head and never took it off in public. At one point I remember finally looking my mother in the eyes and saying
"NO. Its mine! My problem, and I will do what I want with it and this is what I want"
Since then, I have never relaxed or cut my hair, and it has grown longer than it ever did in the several years of getting it treated.
Being hijabi, you sometimes can’t avoid the budding curiosity of people around you who just want to know what’s under that thing. In college I dealt with a lot of different reactions whenever I had a “Big Reveal”
Girls you know what I am talking about!
The big reveal is when you have been friends for a while with somebody and they finally get the chance to see your hair.
Usually they either profess their love for what’s underneath or sometimes a mild disappointment. OH I can’t stand it! Why must there be a declaration of everyone’s opinion? Was I avoiding some test and finally need to be evaluated?
It’s difficult looking like a hair commercial model with doves and flowers whooshing by as you whip your locs in their face considering the fact it’s been covered and held down all day!
I remember being in Egypt and feeling normal for the first time. I took of my hijab while hanging out with my Egyptian friends and no one took a second look probably because my hair didn’t stand out in a room with Arab women. I watched my classmate do the same and I wanted to hug her! I would say that my diet, the hair products I was using overseas, and just feeling more self confident all helped me to feel truly beautiful!
Over the past few years however, I have let my hair take a backseat. Any mother will tell you the first thing to go when taking care of your children is yourself. It’s been easy barely touching it and just watching it grow but I should and need to take care of it not the way anyone wants me to but what would be the best for my natural texture.
I love my hair…I think I always have. I’ve been asked before why I wear my hijab so voluminous and its because it mimics the way my natural hair hugs my face. Covered, protected, loved….
So, I decided from now on, I will always keep my hair natural. Never will I hurt you again! I also want to grow it out down past my back like I used to when I was younger so I am starting a hair regime that I hope you will follow with me as soon as I get a little more settled.
Here’s what I am doing/going to do inshallah:
- Taking time to research in detail what is best for myself
- Figuring out what hair texture I am (mixture between 3b and 3c) Figure out what type of hair you have here and what works best with it.
- Revamp all my hair care products-I’m going more natural and more organic
- Keeping to a strict hair care regime
- Taking a hair growth formula
- Drinking more water!
- Wearing my hair in protective styling more often
- Measuring my growth to keep motivated
- Dying it
- Informing all of you about this journey of mine!
Btw I'm getting my hair like this...
|Yes its Mariam Fares (LOVE HER HAIR!)|
How is your relationship with your hair? Do you find it harder to take care of your hair with hijab (if you wear one)? Have you started a hair journey or is there any goals you’d like to achieve yourself? Let me know!