Embracing your natural hair isn’t just a physical transformation. It involves a mental change too. Though you may have accepted your curls, it doesn’t mean everyone will. Many of us learn this around this holiday season. It’s a time where you may be revealing your natural hair for the first time to family members you haven’t seen in months or years.
While some family members can and will praise your new curly style, others won’t. Of course, there is always that one person who just has to say everything that comes to their mind. Unfortunately, your hair may be a target.
For me, this was the exact case. I went from long, relaxed hair in 2010 to short curls after my big chop in 2011. I expected strangers on the street to criticize my hair but not my own family. For me, my grandmother was the one to put a laser focus on my new style during a holiday gathering.
She couldn’t understand why I would intentionally wear my hair “nappy” as she called it. Each time I saw her for the next two years, she said something negative about my hair. Years later, once my hair grew longer, she ended up loving it and wanted me to style her hair too.
You may or may not have family members like mine, but there is an upside to this story. There are things you can do to prepare yourself for these moments. The moments where people say words that truly hurt and make you question embracing your natural hair in the first place.
If a family gathering is in your plans this holiday season, here are a handful of tips to keep in mind.
- Stand firm in your decision: Reflect on the reasons why you went natural in the first place. This will help you not only answer questions family members may ask about your hair journey, but remind you of how much of a great idea it was.
- Be confident: This is where the mental impact of embracing your natural hair kicks in. Know how valuable you are and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It may also help to wear a natural hairstyle where you feel most comfortable.
- Build a response: Create a polite response for someone who may have something negative to say about your hair. Although you will most likely want to say something negative back, remember this: their issue with your hair has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. It’s a personal problem and you don’t need to defend your choice of hairstyle.
Prepare for this holiday season with these tips and time with your family will go over even smoother than you imagined.