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Posts Tagged ‘hair hike’

My whole life I’ve either worn my hair straight, or wanted to wear my hair straight. I grew up hating the two stranded twists my mom would put in my hair when all of the girls around me had beautiful straight hair. That’s what I saw. Pretty straight hair that was easy to slide their fingers though. Pretty hair that blew in the wind, and didn’t need a half-dozen barrettes and a bottle of hair creme to keep it in place. I had such a distaste for my naturally curly hair I didn’t realize what I was willing to do to change it.

little girl two strand twists hairWhen I was ten, my parents signed me up for acting classes.–I was very dramatic but didn’t have an ounce of talent–Anyway, my instructor was passing out roles for our end-of-session play when she said: “And Jennifer, since you wear your hair in pig tails, I thought you’d be perfect for this part.”

She looked at me, waited for my elated responded when I did something probably no child before me had done…

“That’s ok, I’m wearing my hair down for the play.” “Down” meant going to the salon, and having my hair blowed dry, and pulled straight with a searing hot comb. I’d be at the salon for hours, bawling most of the way through from a tender head, but then so happy with the end result.

“So you don’t want the part?”

“No thank you, I’m wearing my hair down!”

And she passed the opportunity on to another girl my age who was more than happy to take on an additional role for our performance.

When my mom heard what I had done she was so livid, she made sure that my braided pigtails were exactly what I wore the day of the play.

long natural hair straightenedThroughout my life things hadn’t changed much. When I went off to college I promptly found someone who could straighten my hair for me every few weeks. Since I never had my hair chemically straightened (thank goodness my mom had the willpower to resist that temptation) I didn’t get it wet between salon visits. And the only time I ever saw my hair curly was right after a wash, just before getting it pulled straight again.

It’s pretty much been all I’ve known, and all I’ve understood to be accepted in my line of work. It was a battle getting some of my bosses to accept my long hair (which I refused to cut for the sake of TV) so I never even considered going a step further and wearing it curly.

Embarrassingly enough, it wasn’t until having my daughter, that I even considered options for occasionally wearing my natural curls.

naturally curly long hair I grew up hating my hair. But why wouldn’t I? All I ever saw were women with pretty straight hair. Even my mom had her hair chemical straightened. And then there was me. Even if my hair was adorably cute and unique… I felt like my hair was ugly. And I don’t want that for my daughter. Or my son for that matter. I won’t ever allow clippers near his sweet head of curls.

long natural hairThankfully, there’s been a HUGE movement recently where black women are going natural, cutting off their chemically straightened hair and rocking their natural curls. More and more I’ve been noticing beautiful naturally curly hairstyles, on TV, online, and passing by on the streets. I can’t help but admit that these beautiful women, posting YouTube videos, countless blog posts, and tutorials inspired me to give my curls another go, and for the first time in my 27 years of life, I LOVE my hair the way it is, naturally. And as I look at this photo I took yesterday in all its natural glory, I don’t see a “new me,” but a me that I’ve been suppressing the last 27 years. And she’s happy to be free.

I’m always surprised when someone asks me where my kids get my curly hair.

“Really?” I want to ask. But I guess I can’t blame them. After all, most people have only ever seen my hair in its straight state.

I’ve never really regularly worn it curly in my adult life, mostly blaming that fact on my career. They prefer news anchors have a sleek and “professional” look. Which is why white or black, you rarely see anchors sporting curly locks on air.

I’ve never taken the time to straighten my hair myself. I have so much hair I just know by the time I’m done, my arms would be sore and my hair a mess. For this reason I go to the salon to get my hair straightened, or “pressed” as we called it growing up. Using a searing hot comb to pull my hair straight after it’s been washed and blow dried.

Nowadays getting my hair straightened simply replaces the hot comb with a flat iron. Works just dandy.

Since (to me) it’s a big ordeal to schedule a salon appointment ever time I want to go from curly to straight, or just when I want it to get to looking nice again, I preferred I not swim or wet my hair between most stylings. And when I plan things like my crazy 5k, I schedule hair appointments right after, to go back to straight and sleek.

hair-hike

Well, since I’m on vacation, not anchoring anymore, and couldn’t book an appointment before my trip, I decided now was the time for me to start embracing my natural hair. I feel unjust calling it a full on hair journey cause I’m not going very far and wide to change my hair back to a natural curl pattern, but it is my own journey. My little hair hike.

You may run across a lot of #naturalhair hashtags, or hear a lot of hubalub about people transitioning their hair, or even doing the “big chop.” That’s essentially cutting off the chemically relaxed or permed ends of the hair and transitioning back to your hair’s natural state. A reader recently asked if that was in the works for me. Thankfully, growing up my mom never allowed me to chemically process my hair–color or relaxer–so getting it back to it’s natural state was only a matter of getting it wet.

And here’s the result…

naturally curly twist out Well, this was after twisting off my hair into sections, letting it dry, then pulling the twists apart.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m very conservative when it comes to my hair. Aka BORING. I love pony tails and many days I’ve skipped brushing it all together. Wearing it curly requires me to do a lot more maintenance to keep it looking nice. Which is good and bad. Good because it looks super cute (I think), bad because I actually have to do my hair every day.

A friend of mine came over and helped me style the front into a parted halo braid, and I’ve been playing with the back since then. Since I’m in Utah, it’s extra dry and I’m trying to keep my hair hydrated and moisturized without having to wash it every couple of days. So I’m attempting to make one wash last several days in different styles.

I re-twisted and pulled up my hair one day.

naturally curly up doLet them down the next.

naturally curly long hair(I’m just now realizing Big T was in each of these selfies).

And I’m hoping to maybe fluff them up a bit more today and crossing my fingers it’ll be cute. Especially because I’m taking mommy and me photos with my kids today. Rebecca Loren Photography took my last two blog header photos during a shoot Lil’ J and I did with her three years ago. I’m hoping to score a new one with both my babies while I’m here in Utah. The crazy/ exciting/ scary thing to me is that I’ll be representing the curls for the first time in not only these pictures, but our family portraits we’ll be taking Friday (and my brother-in-law’s wedding photos Saturday).

I know it sounds so vain/insignificant/ lame to worry about, but it’s a big deal to me. These pictures will be hanging up forever, so I really hope I like my ‘do.

The good thing is I’m feeling more confidant than ever about my hair, I’m excited to sport my natural hair with my curly-haired kids. And I haven’t set any plans to go back to straight for the time being. I wanted to embrace my natural hair before I turn 30 and by golly, I’m going to do it now!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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