Reflection of a Natural Head

By contributing writer, Edidiong A. Utuk

Everyone has insecurities, especially when trying out new looks. I would say I have been pretty bold with different hairstyles since my big chop, but there has been one area along my natural hair journey where I have felt insecure, twists. Twist outs have become my staple hairstyle and due to my fear of "old hair," I redo my twist outs daily. This has meant many nights with only a few hours of sleep, so I could rock a fresh twist out in the morning. Crazy, I know. During a visit home over the Christmas holidays, my sister and cousin saw my twist out routine and were shocked at my commitment to the nightly twist out. They often told me how beautiful my twists looked and asked me why I didn't just wear my twist instead of putting myself through the torture of twisting my hair every night. My response was a short laugh and then the phrase, "I can't pull off twists."

"I can't pull that off." This is a phrase I have abhorred since I decided to stop relaxing my hair. It was a phrase that ran through my head, every time I thought about going natural or I saw a girl walk by me with amazing natural hair. It's a phrase I thought I said goodbye to once I had my big chop and my hair was only an inch long. I know it might not seem like a big deal, they are just twists after all, right? Well, when I cut off all my hair, it was not only about no longer suffering of scalp burns from relaxers, but it was also about embracing myself totally. So for me to say that this natural style would not be flattering on me, sort of defeated the purpose of my big chop.

My cousin and sister finally convinced me to wear my twists outside one day. I swear to you guys, I felt the same way I had when I had my big chop, insecure. I could not look people in the eye at first, because I was so concerned about how I looked and I could not help but to constantly pull at a twist or two to make sure they were in place. Sadly, I only embraced the twists after several people complimented me on my 'do. Funny, huh? But sometimes that is how life works out, many times others see the beauty in you that you refuse to see in yourself. I have come to embrace my twists and even rocked them during most of my finals period.
2 Responses:

It's funny...the first time I grew my natural hair out, once my hair got past a certain length I had no problems wearing twists. This time around, even though I was willing to wear them at a shorter length, they were SO SPARSE compared to five years ago that they just didn't look right on me. The reality is that while IMHO EVERYBODY can wear natural hair, certain styles don't work on everybody...and that's okay!

Great post. I know how you feel; I was insecure about my twists too. But one day, I was so late to church that I didn't have a choice. So I threw on a cute headband and kept it moving. I felt insecure until several people complimented me. I don't know why I was so hard on myself; my hair looks fab in twists, especially now that I'm CBL (collar bone length) and almost SL (shoulder length).

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