Good Hair

Written by Moriah Comarcho-Mikhail

Photography by Chike Asuzu

Models

Rachel Harmon (QST '21)

Romunique Clark (CAS '21)

Briah Bass (CAS/Pardee '21)

Naomi Boye (QST '22)

Hoda Sherdy (SHA '21)

Moriah Comarcho-Mikhail (Pardee '22)

There’s this expectation to be done up all the time and fit one look. I felt it growing up if my hair wasn’t blown out perfectly straight or at least slicked back. There was a certain level of freedom I felt when I first encountered the natural hair movement in high school, I didn’t have to look forward to salon trips just to feel pretty. Still, in many ways the natural hair community has internalized standards of acceptability for natural hair that are unattainable and exclusive.

The mainstream movement has perpetuated this idea that you have to have a certain hair type, your pattern has to be perfectly defined, and if you want to experiment and wear different styles it has to be professionally done. I think I tried to fit those standards for some time but they’d make me view my hair as somehow inadequate and I eventually felt like I was losing the whole point of embracing my natural hair in the first place. Friends and other family members have helped me recalibrate and be unafraid to experiment and wear my hair how I wish, seeing other Black women close to me learn, try out styles themselves and even help me out has been a gateway for

me to understand and play around with my hair more.

I’m proud of where I’m at now, I’m free to experiment with styles, test out different methods and products. Still, this journey is not linear or final, there are times I’ll throw a tantrum trying to detangle on washday or give up on a new style halfway through and throw a headscarf on it. Flexibility with my hair is something I’ve come to embrace, if braiding is getting tiring I’ll do a half braided half-out look, if passion twists aren’t twisting the way they’re supposed to, they’ll become jumbo twists, failed wash n go’s will turn into a pineapple bun. I like exploring my hair and its possibilities whether it comes out awkward, messy or not the way it’s “supposed” to look. Having grace with yourself for everything is important and that’s started with my hair for me. I really hope that others navigating their hair journeys find that small community to embrace and inspire them and allow themselves space for grace and growth.

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Going through my natural hair journey has taught me so much about myself and what it means to be a Black woman. I remember a time when all I wanted was straight hair, to the point I would straighten it every week. Now, I can’t picture myself without my curly hair. It has only made me more confident in myself and every chance I have I hope to instill that same confidence into anyone starting their own natural hair journey. -Rachel Harmon

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Once I learned how to love my hair throughout every journey, it has been in my control. My patience and my confidence has improved ever since.

-Romunique Clark

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I’ve always had a very positive relationship with my natural hair, and I can thank my mom for that. She always encouraged me to love my hair and that’s something I try to do for those who are just learning they have curly hair or just starting to learn to work with and love their natural hair. -Briah Bass

My mom was initially hesitant when I decided to go natural. I think she was more worried about how others would view it, but now she’s my hair’s biggest fan! -Naomi Boye

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When I was younger, I got teased for my hair because it didn’t fit the European standard of beauty Egyptians were so obsessed with. I had classmates come up to me and stick their hands in my hair, and relatives tell me I would look so much prettier if I just “fixed my hair.” During my senior year of high school, curly hair started to become a ‘trend’ and my hair went from disgusting to desired. In Egypt, there was no natural hair ‘movement,’ many women were just aspiring to match the new standard. I didn’t feel a strong appreciation for my hair until I came to BU. I met other women who had gone through similar struggles accepting their natural texture and starting learning about how to take care of my curls. The more effort I put into understanding what my hair needed, the better my relationship with my hair became. -Hoda Sherdy

I like exploring my hair and its possibilities whether it comes out awkward, messy or not the way it’s “supposed” to look. Having grace with yourself for everything is important and that’s started with my hair for me. I really hope that others navigating their hair journeys find that small community to embrace and inspire them and allow themselves space for grace and growth.

-Moriah Comarcho-Mikhail