“Textured” Hair- By Alexandra Hilliard

As a child, I hardly paid any attention to the way that I looked. My socks never matched, my legs and hands were always scraped up, and my clothes were dirty. One of my first nicknames was “Wild Woman” because of my unruly, curly hair. My mother is Caucasian with relatively straight hair, and despite her attempts to control my usually frizzy hair with gel, braids, and other techniques, I always seemed to mess it up. In late elementary school I used a brush on my dry curls everyday (Yikes!). In junior high school I became aware of how people saw me and my hair, I was a frizzy-haired girl. Needless to say, I began to wear it in a pony tail frequently. Not until high school did I really begin to learn how to take care of my hair. I can admit that I have only really learned how to make my curly hair look nice since the end of high school. It takes a lot! If I sleep on my hair, it gets frizzy. If I brush or comb my hair, it gets frizzy. If I touch it while it is drying, it gets frizzy. If I don’t put products in it, it gets frizzy. You get the idea. My hair is sensitive, demanding, manipulative, and spiteful. It takes a good deal of effort to make it look somewhat decent, in my opinion, especially because of how I want people to see me. Last semester during a soccer game an opposing player called me a “nappy-haired ****” the key word being nappy… and I often hear that my hair is frizzy. Don’t people realize that it makes me feel very insecure? It is frustrating that I can’t wake up each morning to tame, straight hair which ALWAYS seems to fall into place. Instead, I have to feel uncomfortable about letting my hair be natural just in case someone decides to rudely attribute it to my African-American heritage, rather than just having soft, curly, and fun hair.

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