We Are Built to Follow

I recently watched a video that explained and tested the theory of inclusion.  The reality that as a social animal we are built to naturally follow the herd. We are built to want to be included within the group, to not be the outcast.  This is the reason we conform. We conform to feel included. To simply not be excluded.

After watching the video, I could not help but question my own position on life and breaking the norm. I would love to say that I step outside the norm and the roam free from the herd, but am I just following another herd or am I actually independent.

The reality is I am somewhere in between. I did not take a full day to analyze the complexity of the situation, instead I came to a simply assumption.  The important take away from the video came to something quite simple.

Its important to feel included. Inclusion and feeling wanted is within our nature.  At some point our survival depends on others and the social connections we keep. On the same notion, its okay to feel connected to the people, but to be a part of a group and conform without questioning anything that feels wrong is not.  There should never be a time that you do not question something that does not sit well or make sense to who you believe you are.  Being able to stand up and go against the norms when the time is right is what makes us more human and less animal.  Simply everything is a balance, and its finding the balance that is most important part of being human.

Natural Curly Hair: The Struggle.

Growing up within an interracial household has impacted my life on so many levels (Which I will explain further in the future), but one struggle has been accepting my natural curly hair.  I am the middle child.  This leaves me with an older half-sister which is white with perfectly tame straight hair, and a younger brother who keeps his hair in a bald fade.  So I had no one to compare my crazy curly hair to.  Growing up, I hated my hair.  It was a fro or styled by my mother in pigtails and braids.  As I got older, the hatred for my natural hair grew.  I got my first relaxer at 11 or 12 and straightened my hair daily after.  At the age of fifteen, I decided to go somewhat natural.  I decided to no longer use relaxers, but I still straightened my hair on daily basis.

As I have grown older and towards my senior year in high school and especially through college I have embraced my untamed tight curls.  From day to day my hair changes from straight to curly. i have rocked way too many styles to count.  I still have a love/hate relationships with my natural curly hair, but here are some of the struggles of naturally curly hair (In my case mixed curly hair).

1. Your hair will never look the same twice.

Even if you use the same products and the same technique, it will never look the same way that it did the first time you styled it. it is truly a mystery on the way it will turn out.

2. When you go from straight to curly, people will always ask if you recently cut your hair.

I used to be really polite and explain that I have naturally curly hair and that my hair is long but my curls make it look shoulder length. Now i simply look at me people and say with great sarcasm “No I washed my hair so the curls came back”

3. Even worse is when you actually get a hair cut and no one notices.

There have been plenty of times that i have gotten a completely different style at the salon and no one notices at all.  It slightly sucks.

4. People ask If you just got a perm.

Does it look like I would stylistically do this to my hair? Do people really waste money to do this to their hair?  I mean to each their own, but the answer will  always be No. This my natural hair.

5. Never being able to truly brush you hair.

You keep brushed ten miles away from you head at all times.  Using a comb becomes you best friend. Oh and comb it while in the shower or it is freshly out of the shower if you want to have a decent hair day.

6. You will never be able to wake up and just go out the door.

I have never been able to wake up after sleeping more than an hour with my hair looking even somewhat decent.  It takes at least five minutes to un-flatten the side you were laying on, or fixing the birds nest that has formed.  One of many reasons I become jealous of naturally tame hair.

7. SHRINKAGE

You leave the house with long curly hair and on your return you hair has shrank in size, but grown in width

8. Constantly being asked how you get your curls so tight.

UHMMM…can you ask mother nature. I really did not ask for this death wish.

9. You mortal enemy is the humidity

People hate when the turn on the news and see a high chance of rain, but I want to spring a tear when the announce the humidity levels for the day.

10. Running out of condition, but never buying shampoo

I think I buy shampoo once every other month, but I buy a bottle of condition every week to every other week.  I think they should adjust the size of bottles for curly hair products. 5 ounces of shampoo and 35 ounces of conditioner.  Maybe I will finish them at the same time.

11. Finding that lost bobby pin you hair about two weeks later.

Two weeks after doing your hair in an up-do and you feel something stabbing you.  That is that last bobby pin you thought feel out.  it was just temporarily lost in the abyss.  Needle in a haystack complex.

12. People Always seem to want to touch and play with your hair

Overall I love my natural hair.  Unfortunately it comes with a bundle of struggle, but I do not think that I would ever change it.  After years of struggling to manage it, I have gotten to a point where I can leave me hair in it’s natural state or style it in tons of different ways.

If you need any tips or questions on naturally curly, Leave a comment.