Lately I’ve found myself really pondering the question of what good hair is and exactly how it is determined. I’ve come to realize that sporting “good hair” is not the same as possessing good hair. Good hair is healthy hair that is grown from the roots. In essence, good hair is naturally well maintained hair. Yet when commonly used, the term “good hair” is not referring to well maintained and healthy hair but rather it is a description of less kinky and nappy hair.
Growing up, if someone wanted to insult you all they had to do was to make a comment about your nappy hair. The words “kinky” and “nappy” were and still are never used as a compliment even within the natural community. You will never hear someone say, “Wow, that girl is so beautiful and I love how she’s rocking her nappy hair.” As Africans the words “nappy” and “kinky” has a negative connotation and are words we use to degrade each other. When I started my journey from relaxed to natural hair, I found myself having to beg for my mother’s support. She was completely against the idea of me embracing my naps and kinks and wanted me to perm my hair. She would often make jokes about how nappy my hair was and how it would look better if I permed or straightened it. Almost 3 years later, my mother now understands the importance of me embracing every aspect of me, even the texture of my hair. She’s become more supportive of my journey and has even started the process of transitioning from relaxed to natural hair.