Learning to love, Faunt, and Free the Natural You
By: Franziska Miles
In the natural hair community, we know that protective styles serve a purpose of protecting one’s crown from constant manipulation or harsh conditions. However, I knew it as a means of hiding my raw self, exchanging its high value for acceptance in a temporary stage. Protective styles gave me security, a certain sense of assurance that I was enough in an environment that questioned how “down” I was, but still held an expectation for me to succumb to the norm. A young queen I truly was, never having the desire to be anything or anyone until I was immersed in what made me willing to break my crown.
Being one of three children yet the only black woman in my high school at the time, I can recall the only moment where my natural was no longer beautiful. In sophomore year of high school, I said to my mother, “Mom, can I straighten my hair?” Being that I never did anything other than twists, braids, or full afro she agreed. I flipped my hair as I strutted down the hallway peeking from the side of my eye as glances turned into stares. I quickly became aware this was beautiful to them as everyone began telling me “it looks better that way”. The endless care for my natural hair came to a drastic halt from not washing my hair because I wanted it to remain straight to adding to the damage by not taking care of my hair underneath.
My hair suffered the consequence of the lack of love and care. Never-ending breakage split ends, and dryness was daily. I gave up moisturizing and attempting to fix what I had broken. With the protective styles protecting nothing but my fear and embarrassment I decided summer of 2015 I wanted to love what was mine. I built a regimen incorporating nightly scalp massages, healthy products, oil treatments, bi-weekly wash days, and trims every 3-4 months. This regimen reminded me of the beauty and versatility of natural hair. My crown began to shine and flourish as never before in styles such as twist-outs, braid-outs, wash and go’s, and more. I was done breaking my crown.
Whether you rock curly hair, straight hair, or extensions each way is beautiful. Just show your hair some TLC in every aspect. Break your crown for no one, as it is God’s gift to you and your gift to the world. Love, flaunt, and free.