An Open Letter to my Hair

By: Sarah Kabamba

I was obsessed with this ideal of “good hair,” and I thought that I, a black girl, could never attain this. Because black girls didn’t have “good” hair, they have nappy hair, kinky hair, wild hair, and the list goes on – they have bad hair. See, I believed this and because of that I never really tried to take care of you. I would hurt you, hide you, be ashamed of you – but never thought to truly put in the time and effort to listen to you.

I hated you. And I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I that I thought you could only be pretty if you were straight. I’m sorry I stopped doing box braids because a boy said they were “dirty dreads.” I’m sorry that I was ashamed of you when that little boy in grade school called you puffy. I’m sorry that I begged Dad to take me to get you permed when I was nine, you were never quite the same.

I would lock myself in the bathroom when I had to fix you. Never let anyone see you. I would make jokes about you, and laugh. I used to tell people that the only reason I didn’t want a daughter is because I didn’t want to deal with “black girl hair.” That was wrong. I know that now. Should I have a daughter, I will teach her to love her hair, no matter what form it’s in or how she chooses to style it. I will teach her to love her skin, and appreciate the resilience and versatility of her hair.

See, I swallowed these bad memories of you and they continued to grow, bitter inside of me. I forgot the good memories I had of you, with you. So for every bad memory, here’s a good one:

Sunday mornings, Mama heating the hot comb on the stove because we broke the wire. The smell of coffee, burnt toast, and jasmine oil filling up the kitchen. Mama humming as she ran the comb through you, while I sit in the chair, eyes closed and smiling.

Threading you with string so that you sprung like sun rays from my head while Mama would tell me how all the women would do their hair back home in her village, and Dad would call me sun head.

Those ridiculous giant hair bobbles in every colour of the rainbow that Mama would use to make two cotton-candy puffs on the side of my head. The sound they made when I would dance, shaking my head so that you bounced.

Sitting crossed legged on the floor, picking what colors of beads I wanted to thread through your strands.

Sitting on the floor at Mama’s feet, while she put in box braids, told me stories from her childhood and we sang along to Swahili songs.

This is just a start. I want to make new memories with you and I hope you can understand that I’m willing to try. I’m still new at this but I’m learning. I’m learning what products you like, what shampoos and conditioners work for you, and how different products affect you. You know yourself better than I do so I’m learning to listen to you.

I’ve learned that “good hair” is whatever I want it to be, however I choose to style you. Whether it be perms, straightening, weaves, braids, wigs, afro, locs, curls, Bantu knots, cornrows, twists, or even if I decide to go bald (I won’t, at least not yet!). You come from generations of strength, locs and locs of power. You are light filled. Resilient. Versatile. Nappy with nobility. Kinky with knowledge. Wild with wisdom and the waves of ancient oceans – the list goes on.

May we continue to grow together,


P.S. To my fellow black girls, no style is “better” than the other. Wear that weave. Bounce those box braids. Love your locs. Nurture your naturalness. It doesn’t matter how you do your hair as long as you’re doing it for you. You are not any more or any less of a black woman because of your hair. And we, as sisters, should never make each other feel bad for our decisions concerning our hair. Love yourself, love one another – it’s a life-long journey, and we should support each other throughout.

Leave a Reply

37 Comments on "An Open Letter to my Hair"

Leave a Comment

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
1 year 11 months ago

I have just started on this website. I am a high schooler. I am currently transitioning to my natural hair. I am about 5 months post yeah I know not that long. But I just wanted to say that I was the same always wanting my hair straight not caring what it did to my hair because I was scared what people would say to me. I didn’t want them to see the real me. Not anymore tho. Thank you for writing this it was really a eye opener. 🙌🏾👏🏾😊😄😌😌💁🏽


[…] An Open Letter To My Hair […]

2 months 27 days ago

moncler on sale

Completely perceive what your stance on this matter. Although I might disagree on some of the finer particulars, I believe you probably did an awesome job explaining it. Positive beats having to research it on my own. Thanks. Anyway, in my language, th…

2 months 25 days ago

buy fjallraven jackets

Not a unhealthy post, did it take you numerous of time to consider it?

2 months 24 days ago

hunter store online

Hello there! My identify is john I am a 20 many years previous pupil. I love to examine. I dont have a lot of time. This can be why I discovered speed reading courses, I Believe that in the event you examine a great deal of books and megazines youve to…

2 months 21 days ago

patagonia jackets store

I was just analyzing your post its extremely properly crafted, Im looking via the web searching for the right method to do this blog web site issue and your web site is just genuinely impressive.

2 months 21 days ago

patagonia down sweater sale

I enjoyed reading through your post. I really agree with what you wrote.

2 months 19 days ago

cheap lv outlet

Always have to post a comment, I cant help it ! Thanks Sarah

2 months 10 days ago

oakley store online

We find it to be something that really has no relevance to the current topic at hand. It can be entertaining to permit these kinds of things to happen alas they do anyway and without any consent but what can you do.


christian louboutin outlet reviews

Sounds good. This is a useful and informative article. Thanks a lot for sharing this information with us.

2 months 7 days ago

cole haan for sale

I most usually dont post in blogs but your Blog made me, beautiful writing. just unbelievable! The content are different but your Blog and Check Free Credit Score Blog are both the best I have read to this day. Keep up the good work!!

2 months 5 days ago

coach outlet online

Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, regards .

2 months 2 days ago

patagonia nano jacket sale

Congratulations Arizona, Marijuana dispensaries are being listed on PotLocator and are similar to a bunch of websites that you can find dispensaries on just google for more.

2 months 2 days ago

Merrell Shoes sale

decided almanac you chalk up

1 month 20 days ago

canada goose outlet online

You are capable of do your audio alone, no need to inquire your friends guide despite the fact that youre working on your beats.

1 month 20 days ago

jack wolfskin mens jacket

Notable web blog, Distinguished comments that I can tackle. I am moving ahead and can apply to my current job as a cat sitter, which is very enjoyable, however I must additional expand. Regards

1 month 17 days ago

Pierre Hardy on sale

equanimity Amabel patch touched Leni gingham concertos choirboy sensible

1 month 16 days ago

ecco shoes outlet

amazing stuff thanx

1 month 16 days ago

arcteryx outlet online

Nice content here, sounds very legit and useful haha.

1 month 13 days ago

cheap arcteryx jackets

Appreciate writing this. I love the online world because you can study something new every day. I’ll share this with my friends, thank you!


merrell womens sandals on sale

I just got out of the bed and im already reading your articles. this means something! Very useful for constructing my websiteThanks!

1 month 9 days ago

black friday michael kors

Cool, there is really some excellent details on here, many of my followers will possibly find this related, will send a backlink, cheers.

1 month 9 days ago

emu boots women

I am going to go ahead and save this content for my brother for a research project for school. This is a attractive site by the way. Where did you get the theme for this website?

1 month 7 days ago

ugg for cheap

Solid post, nice work. It Couldnt be written any improved. Reading this post reminds me of my previous boss! He always kept babbling about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty certain he will have a superb read. Thanks for sharing!


roberto cavalli outlet online



mountain hardwear聽down jacket sale

Terrific job here. I genuinely enjoyed what you had to say. Keep heading because you unquestionably bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what youve said and still make it interesting. Properly, at least Im interested. Cant wait…

1 month 2 days ago

buy birkenstock shoes

Thanks for the great info! I would never have found this on my own!

1 month 2 days ago

… [Trackback]

[…] Read More here|Read More|Read More Infos here|There you can find 880 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: […]

27 days 14 hours ago

canada goose jackets for sale

Thought I would comment and say cool theme, did you create it on your own? It looks excellent!

25 days 5 hours ago

fjallraven sale

Thought I would comment and say great theme, did you design it for yourself? It looks really good!

23 days 19 hours ago

jimmy choo outlet online store

This is some helpful stuff. It took me a while to unearth this website but it was worth the time. I noticed this page was hidden in google and not the number one spot. This web page has a lot of high-quality material and it doesnt deserve to be burried…

20 days 11 minutes ago

lk bennet shops

Im going nuts this evening.

16 days 8 hours ago

patagonia sale 2016

I keep listening to the reports speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?

12 days 19 hours ago

sergio rossi shoe sizing

The style that you write make it very comfortable to read. And the theme you use, wow. That is a really good combination. And I am wondering what is the name of the template you use?


mountain hardwear聽outlet castle rock

This postis so much better than my buddy Chriss blog. He really doesnt know what hes writing about.

5 days 23 hours ago

patagonia raincoat sale

I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the opinions that this is working for you as well.

2 days 7 hours ago

arcteryx cerium sale

Well-written blog post. I used to be checking constantly to this weblog & Im so inspired! Very useful information, especially the last few sentences. I really need such info. I used to be looking for this particular knowledge for a very long. Thank…