Black Girls Hair


For years I hated my hair,

I have black girls hair and was often reminded.

It made this thing which was important enough

To be sprouting from my head,

Like the rest of me equally despised.

Until I learnt to love it and more so me.

I’m dedicated and hopeful now

But a few years ago was a different story.

We just happened to cross paths

When all the real hard part was done.

And from the angle that I’m look at it from,

I’m convinced there’s good reason to be optimistic.

It never made sense to me before,

How small changes could impact the chaos.

But I had watched it growing slowly, knowing

That rebellion it had required to keep it natural

Slowly caught on, and would be pivotal for many.

A small battle won in a centuries long degrading war.

First let me tell you that before we could identify with it,

It is introduced to us as being unmanageable.

And promised it’d always be a nuisance to anyone

Burdened with the task of having to handle it.

We were taught that it was bad, unruly, tough, coarse, hair

And associated those traits with ourselves then.

It was rare back then to meet someone

Who would wash and oil and gently twist it,

And treat it according to its magnificence.

To this day I remember how it hurt like nothing else

When the narrow comb blades zipped through

Not knowing  then how to make it less painful

And the hours of stinking burning chemicals

Plus countless visits for follow up treatment and such

To deal with  split ends and crusted weeping tender scalps.

Which I’d been ensured were so it could be managed.

I never thought much of it until I had to stop torturing myself

After realizing I no longer agreed it was trouble.

But like I said I’m dedicated now,

And hopeful that incrementally more of us

Are learning to love and care our natural black girl hair.

Simple as it sounds it is a small step in a good direction,

And it’s a sign that not all is lost

To what the wigs, weaves and processing represent.

My dedication is to always complement them,

And let them know that with all the options available

I, as well as others, find encouragement in their bold stance.

In the fight against the self-hate that we have been taught,

It’s these small changes that impact the chaos

Relating to our black girls hair.


Ria 2016

Before we black girls were taught to hate our hair we had loved it immensely and that love is coming back  – slowly but surely in more ways than one.

Ọmọ Oódua -  African Hair
We Had Loved Our Black Girl Hair Before
And We Are Learning To Love Our Black Girl Hair Once More