I colored my hair on the 25th. I was excited about the different look it gave me. I wished that the color would be a vibrant bright auburn but since I had virgin hair and my developer was a low 20, I got a deep auburn. As the days go by it’s getting lighter though #winning.
A few days ago I received a message on Instagram that made me angry, confused, happy, proud, annoyed, but most importantly….it made me honest with myself and also forced me to think about things I had never thought of before despite the fact that this is my second time coloring my hair as a natural curly girl.
To summarize the message I received: She informed me that she was a subscriber of mine on my YouTube channel. She loves my content, personality and has learned a lot from me. Her hair has flourished due to her using the advice I have given on my channel. She then expressed to me that she was sad to leave my channel. She felt that she had to unsubscribe because I colored my hair. She only followed me because I was a true natural but now that I have colored my hair, I am no longer a natural haired girl in her mind. She hates that I ruined my hair by being careless and irresponsible with my hair. She reminded me that I have many women and maybe men who watch my channel and look to me for guidance with their hair and my actions actually have an impact on them. She said bye and wished me well in life.
GURL!!!!!!! I was honored that my little internet presence is actually helpful to some people and not just existing without impact. I felt honored to realize that my advice and tips actually work on other people’s hair and not just mine. Where it went downhill for me is when she expressed that me coloring my hair was irresponsible and all that verbiage mentioned above. I almost hopped in front of the camera immediately and state how unbothered I was that she unsubscribed. I wanted to let her know that it’s my hair and I will do as I please. I wanted to show how un-phased I was by her feelings and comments. But I sat back and realized, I’d be lying.
To be honest till today (even with my 1K plus subbies), it hadn’t sunk in that I actually have some influence on strangers that watch my videos or read my post. What I can’t be ok with, is my viewers putting me on this hair goddess pedestal. I document my journey and share my experiences and my lessons learned. I never and will never claim to be the spokesperson for all things natural hair. I am human, I am Yem. Many things I love and many things I intend to explore. Coloring my hair is a way of expression. Unlike many women, I am not hostage to my hair. What I mean is, society and religion, constantly refers to a woman’s beauty attributes to be long hair and fair skin. Since we are brown skinned women, we focus on our hair as if to say “My hair makes up for my lack of white/skin”. Hair grows out daily, we grow daily; mentally, physically and emotionally. The person I was a year ago is not the same today. I have developed new likes and desires. There are things I just won’t put up with too.
To be anally technical, it’s true; coloring my hair did alter its natural state. From black to auburn. Being natural is generally described as having unaltered hair. Exactly as it grows out of your scalp. Coloring, relaxing and adding any chemical does put you in the bracket of un-natural. I just never really focused on hair color as I always equated not relaxing to being natural. There are many chemicals in hair color too. I consider myself natural though. Done incorrectly, hair coloring may alter the curl pattern and texture of the hair strands. My hair wasn’t altered except the color. So guys, I consider myself natural still.
To those that follow me closely and as close to the point that you live your hair-life according to mine, please stop. All i am here to do is inspire and inform. In no way am i a hypocrite for coloring my hair. Do you not wear makeup and paint your nails? I am a young-ish woman who is constantly finding herself. I choose to document my journeys and hope to inspire, inform and/or entertain. I’m sorry you feel the way you do about my decision to color or put heat on my hair or anything else you deem irresponsible. I am not sorry for doing it.
Let’s not be slaves to our hair. Your hair does not define you. Neither does mine. I guess from now on I should add a disclaimer on all my documentation be it videography or written that I am not a professional and repeat at your own risk huh?
With that being said, I guess I’d be wrong to not respond to her; so here goes:
Hair is just that, hair. I am sorry to see you go, and I am sorry we are parting on negative terms and hope to see you back sooner than later. Please be advised that I am humbled by the fact that you used my tips for guidance however I also encourage you to take charge of your own hair and not rely solely on the word of a blogger. Continue to research and gather info that will benefit your hair and lead you to your hair goals. I respect you for saying how you feel in a respectful manner. Your message did open my eyes a bot more and make me think of different aspects of being a natural haired girl in ways I had not before. For that, thank you.