Are naturalistas obsessed with length?

Today is my nappyversary. Its 3 years since the big chop and not a single regret. I am excited for my natural hair journey, how far I have come and where I am going. I am sharing a few thoughts based on a conversation that I had with a friend a few weeks back. It went a little like this:natural hair

She: you’ve been natural for longer than me, but my hair is longer than yours..
Me: Ok, soo?
She: I mean why’s my hair longer than yours when you’ve been natural for longer?
Me: is there a point to your question? Why is this a point of discussion? (Ya, sometimes I go from zero to 100 real fast)
Me also: I actually think this is hair shaming.
Me also: when we’re both dieting, do I ask you why I am thinner when you’ve been dieting for longer than me? (Like I said zero to 100)

Luckily she’s a good sport and is not easily offended, else this conversation could have ended badly. The short answer I gave her, genetics. It boils down to your genes. Of course recognising that there are routine behaviours that affect how our hair grows and that contribute to healthy hair.

But the point of this discussion is if we are obsessed with length as naturalistas? I am leaning towards, yes. More so, I would say we are obsessed with long hair as a people, natural or not.

Firstly, Long hair is a more globally accepted ideal of beauty than shorter hair. Even when you decide to wear a fro, this remains true. The fuller, the longer, the better. No winning right? For me, it is one of those unlearnings that takes time. In the same way that we are unlearning which hair types are beautiful, professional and desirable. It is gradual, as with anything else that has become a societal norm and needs dispelling.  Secondly, we are competitive by nature, willingly or otherwise. I need to be better than you. In natural hair circles I guess that means, my hair needs to be longer that yours.

I generally have fine, low density hair so getting it to look voluminous is a challenge. But a challenge accepted!  I am changing a few things in  My Current Hair Routine  to see if this is possible. I’ll share my new routine soon.

In the meantime lets focus on getting healthy hair. All things stem from there.

Chat soon,

Your fave Malawian 😉

2 thoughts on “Are naturalistas obsessed with length?”

  1. Hey! I’ve been natural most of my life and it’s hard for me not to feel competitive or driven to have long hair. I actually get really embarrassed when I see someone who just started their journey with much longer hair than my own. What are your suggestions for overcoming these feelings? I feel like after 10 plus years my hair length after many set backs and hair mistakes is almost indicative of me being a failure. Sometimes I want to hide my hair.


    1. I fully understand you feeling this way! Many of us naturalistas feel the same way. My suggestion for overcoming these feelings is knowing that every hair journey is unique and that there are so many factors that influence length and length retention, such as good hair care practice and genetics. Rather than focusing on length, let’s focus on health. Lets grow healthy, strong hair and if length comes as a result, that’s great, if it doesn’t that ok too.

      Liked by 1 person

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