Since getting locs, I feel as if new worlds are opening up to me filled with wondrous secrets and treasures! I’ve found a reason to consciously live outside of white culture and it’s been so liberating! (Especially since I have been living as white for so long I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed my Filipino and Arab cultures.)
Because of my hair I am having to look for hair products in places I hadn’t known existed—both virtual and real—as well as learn about new practices and tools. And in learning about all of this, I am coming to terms with parts of my self I have almost always negated or dismissed.
Despite loving to care for my skin for as long as I can remember. Loving all the different cleansers, lotions, and oils. I have always felt guilty for taking time to perform a proper skincare routine.
Now, years later, I can’t help but wonder how much of that was the Puritan form white culture seems to have taken until just recently about self care.
Ever since as far back as I can remember, to those early days reading issues of Glamour and Marie Claire magazines, women have simultaneously been provided with innumerable ways of caring for themselves along with tips on and the expectation that they will manage it in less time. Looking back, it’s insane.
Why should we feel guilty for taking the time and pleasure in caring for our selves? And why must it be capitalized on in such a way that it has become less about the process than the product?
I am learning so much about simple solutions and process right now. An Apple vinegar mixture to rinse out my hair. Rosemary and mint spray to help when my scalp itches. Castor oil to massage into my scalp. A locally made ‘butta’ for when I twist my locs and smooth onto my ends.
And in being forced, in a way, to learn about and care for my hair I’ve begun to embrace my love of skincare. I’m trying to manage all the steps every night. To enjoy the facial massage, the different textures and smells, and the way my skin feels as I fall asleep. I’m learning I’m worth it. That I can care for and take pride in my appearance. That I can take ownership in this body I make up.
It’s liberating and enlightening and I’m so excited to learn more. To open up my world to more again.