In one of my favorite natural hair groups the other day, I mentioned that I didn’t want to spend anywhere from eight to thirty hours styling my hair (yes, there are plenty of real people who will do this). I didn’t feel like I need to be a slave to my hair. After all, going natural (and writing a novel about it) is supposed to be a liberating experience. To me, locking myself in a room at home and watching Netflix all day while I work on my hair sounds like the exact opposite of that.
While many people took the time to give me great advice and suggestions, one person in particular said something that struck a nerve with me. I’m never a fan of throwing shade, but this woman thought she was being sly. She told me I was “giving up” and that I need “me time” and that I should make time for the things I value in life.
How you live your life is a reflection of your values. How you choose to spend your time shows how you view yourself, your talents, and your priorities. It concerned me that this woman thought that the only way I should spend my time is by doing my hair. It annoyed me that she thought the only thing I needed to do with my time was to style my hair. It befuddled me that she assumed I had nothing better to do than my hair.
I love to write, so I spend my time writing. I consistently maintain two separate blogs, and a website. I cook most of my family’s meals at home from scratch. I take my toddler to the park and discuss important events with my husband. I take road trips, write novels, and Skype with faraway friends. I volunteer my time for a book festival’s leadership team. The notion that I should sacrifice time actually living just to do hair is ridiculous. While hair is important and can be a reflection of who you are, I rather spend my time with people I love, doing things I enjoy, and eating food that dances with my senses.
We should never be chained to our appearance in a way that undermines our vibrancy. We should never do things just for show. We should always be true to who we are.
But hey, if you love doing your hair for an entire weekend straight, then do you. I’ll be watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.