3 years ago I decided to do the ‘Big Chop’ and cut off all the chemicals that straightened and damaged my hair.
For years I had been using relaxers in my hair to make it straighter because everyone else around me was doing it so I mean why not.
One day I woke up and I didn’t like what my hair looked like anymore so I decided I wanted to go natural. So here I am at 16 with a pair of scissors looking at my reflection in the mirror. Obviously that wasn’t the smartest decision ever because I had not experience whatsoever in cutting hair so I ended up looking ridiculous. Luckily my mum wasn’t so mad at me and she decided to take me to a hair salon where they professionally cut off a large amount of my hair into a small afro.
I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time when I saw my head in a short afro but I quickly learned to love it (and thankfully it grew fast).
Now what is an Afro actually?
It is defined as a thick natural hairstyle with tight curls that sticks out all around the head.
To me, my Afro isn’t just the way I choose to wear my hair in the morning. My Afro is part of my identity. My afro isn’t just a hairstyle that I do because it looks nice, it’s my political stance.
Around the world there is controversy with ‘The AFRO’. Controversies such as people getting suspended from school, applicants being rejected from job applications and many more.
Growing up, everyone was trying to straighten their hair because it was ‘more socially acceptable’ or it ‘looked nicer’. Now don’t get me wrong, straightening your hair is your right and if you feel more comfortable with it, by all means go ahead.
My issue is someone telling me I’m not good enough because I was born with a certain texture of hair.
Therefore I promised myself I would never go back and relax my hair because it pleased others.
Hello my name is Hafsatou and I love my hair the way it is!