How Howard Changed Me 

So it’s safe to say I’ve come a long way from who I used to be. Where I’m from and where I am now are completely different. I’m sure you’re wondering what my life story has to do with hair, so I’ll tell you a story. 

  
Once upon a time, in the 757, there was a young girl- ME!  Anyway, all my life “I had to fight”-Color Purple, just playing I had natural hair. I never saw a perm. Although I did see that hot comb and all I had was sense enough to stay still and a prayer my grandmother had a steady hand. The sense took awhile to sink in. With that being said, I always wore my hair straight, well in braids and ponytails until I was like eleven or twelve. I had beautiful hair. It was thick, tight curled, 3C-4A hair and I was always curious about my curly hair. I remember staring in the mirror after getting it washed and playing in my curls wishing I could keep my hair like that. As I got older my curiosity grew. I always had the wash part down but I didn’t know how to maintain the go, so I ended up looking like Mufasa from Lion King. I was completely clueless. At my high school the only girls I really remember wearing natural hair were the mixed girls and while I have my fair share of non-African roots I’m still a black girl. There wasn’t a lot of natural hair inspiration. YouTube wasn’t popping with the tutorials like it is now or if it was I knew nothing about it. Natural hair just wasn’t prevelant. So I lived out 2008-2012 with my flowing, straight hair.   

  Fast forward to The Mecca, The Hilltop, The Real HU, Howard University. With an intro like that you know you’re bound to come up on some knowledge whether you’re trying to find it or not. My freshman year was a time of transition. I didn’t just have a natural hair inspiration I had a natural hair world. When you come to place that’s deep into it’s roots you learn to find your own roots, and that’s what I did, literally. I found my roots. I was researching natural hair, trying new protective styles, going to information sessions. There’s always a booth, table or something set up for hairstylists or companies. Miss Jessie’s always has a tent during homecoming. With such easy access to products and information I finally learned the “go” part. 

 

Whenever I go back home I always take a mental note of how things are very much the same as far as natural hair. There’s more now like my nieces and some of their friends but not a lot. I’ve noticed that the 757 has fallen into a stereotype. You know the one were there’s bad hair and if you’re black you automatically have it. So not true. There’s no representation. At Howard I see a variety of hair types and all are beautiful. I’ve seen the prettiest girls with the prettiest natural hair and guess what it’s that 4B hair. You know that hair that “isn’t quite good enough”. I just want my city to understand that it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to be the inspiration you see in others. Proctor and Gamble said it, “my black is beautiful”. My words of wisdom are that the best things are accidental and completely without precedent, so be that! 

  

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