around the 4B/4C area and that I needed to be using the proper styling tools and products to keep my beautiful, Black, natural hair looking good. I could achieve curled styles, but not curly hair...and that's fine.
When I eventually doing YouTube tutorials on 4C natural hair, I didn’t feel like part of the natural hair community because I rarely saw anything close to representation of my hair texture. Tides have definitely turned as my audience has grown, and others have cultivated loyal followings by celebrating kinkier hair textures. But even as the blogs push out more content that celebrates coils and kinks, you can still scroll go on Instagram and see curly hair largely being represented as the cremé de la cremé of the natural hair movement. My puff without the baby hairs or a French braid sans silky texture doesn't garner the same excitement as many of those images of bouncing curls that are touted as natural hair inspiration. There’s a host of women with textures similar to mine that opt to be ‘natural under their weave’ because mainstream aesthetics still don't include us. Women are still walking the beauty aisles of their local drug stores and picking up the newest gel or curling custard, hoping for the perfect spiral to bounce from their scalp, and still asking others "How did you get your hair to curl like that," without knowing that it isn't something they can or should aspire to achieve.
As natural becomes the norm, let us celebrate the kinks and the curls alike as beautiful and kill this unhealthy hair hierarchy.