Okay, so I’ve been a hermit for most of September (SO not complaining). What this means for my hair is that between washes, it’s in chunky twists, as big as I can manage at this length- which makes about 15 twists, maybe more. But when I have to leave the house, if I don’t feel like wearing a scarf, the fro comes out to play.
I spend an average of 20 minutes in the process of preparing my very kinky-coily fro for the world, which is really just how long I can take till my arm starts to complain. At this point, I set the comb down and start patting. I do appreciate a well-combed fro fluffed to perfection but on casual days, I don’t always want it looking “perfect.” At its best, there’s only so much my hair can take. Going the extra mile to comb to the accepted standard leaves me with a lot of hair on the floor. Enough to make me wonder if it’s worth it. I try to get it like that anyway, because I don’t want anyone asking me if I’ve combed my hair.
I was going to see a friend last week and after being in front of the mirror for say, 10 minutes, I thought I was ready for the world. Effortless fro, give dem! I was barely out the door when Mr. E asked “Why didn’t you comb your hair?”
I paused. This wasn’t like my mom’s carefully placed suggestions like “You didn’t comb the back or the side of your hair well, should I help you comb it?” His tone was almost accusatory. Ha! I thought about it and at first I was like pleaaaase. *insert mental eye roll* but Mr.E / Public perception won and I went back in for twenty minutes to further comb and tease le fro. World-1. AB- 0.
I’ve noticed that people love a perfect fro. Even when perfectly combed, the shape of your fro can disqualify you. My brother for instance, likes fros that stretch sideways but does not like fros that are heavy on top.
With natural hair, it is too easy for people to accuse you of looking unkempt. Anything less than perfect is cause for alarm or concern or side-eyes. And this isn’t just non-naturals.
So many naturals (both those with some natural curl definition and those without) are on the quest for the perfect curl definition and of course, with that, gats have frizz control. Which is okay I guess (because yes, you aren’t hurting anybody), but some of us actually happen to like frizz (and shrinkage!) I like a perfect fro too, but sometimes, I just want it looking a little less… perfect. It’s like the general idea is: your hair is already naturally at a quarter to scattered o’clock, so try ehn, to keep it as close to perfect as possible. Solange steps out with an “imperfect” fro and it’s almost guaranteed to get natural hair forums and comments sections buzzing, some people even going as far as accusing her of not representing. Not representing what or whom, in fact? Even babies aren’t left out of this obsession with “perfect” hair. If Mama Bey was paid a dollar every time people had a go at Blue Ivy’s hair…
This is not a rant. I’m not waiting on the world to change. *Kanye Shrug* The Natural Hair Journey is a very personal one and there’s no other way. Contrary to popular opinion, I do not think the only way to wear an Afro is a perfectly shaped O. The next time I’m torn between myself and the world, I hope I win.
Now, for some fro inspiration:
Over to you. How do you like your fro?
Till next time,