Sekayi Henry is being Natural in UK

My name is Sekayi Henry and I am 19 years old. I was born on the 26th of April 2001 in Kettering general hospital and I currently live in England, but my family are originally from Jamaica. 

My siblings have relatively thick and kinky hair, so for many years my mother has had to keep up with a strenuous routine to ensure that her children’s hair continued to stay healthy. But as my parents got older the consistency in hair management begun to decrease.

So, as a child at nine to thirteen years old, I had to accept that my mother would not be keeping up with the latest trends/hairstyles of the year. Nonetheless, I have been natural all my life and it has taken me almost 5 years to understand and truly appreciate my natural hair. 

There is a tendency of more ladies returning their hair to its natural state for many reasons; the endless social media platforms out there, such as Instagram that showcase the beauty and versatility of natural hair, as well as the countless videos on YouTube of people, broadcasting a plethora of ways on how to maintain and treat natural hair so that it flourishes.
Not to forget that all women have different experiences with their hair, and this can be due to the thickness or curl pattern. For example, there are different videos of people of all hair types, such as 3a (which a much looser curl pattern, and 4c which has a kinkier and tighter curl grade. These videos enable other people to tailor which videos represent their hair situation and to deal with it appropriately. Rather than copying someone else’s method of hair care that may not be compatible with their own.

In England, there are not any specific natural hair movements because people now express the love that they have for their hair in different ways. Moreover, you may see a lady post on Instagram her favorite natural hairstyle, and then she may post videos of her favorite wig hairstylist. So, in my country, people don’t have to exclude wearing wigs or straightening their hair to be natural. It’s deemed acceptable to experiment with different hairstyles and revert to having their hair in its natural state.

The best place for me to get my information on how to take care of my natural hair was YouTube. Unfortunately, in the town I was raised in, there were a lot of people expressing their disgust for extremely thick and voluminous kinky hair. Everyone either expressed hate towards their crown, referring to it as ‘picky’ and unmanageable so they relaxed or texturized it to mimic that of someone who has straighter hair. Or they idolized those who had looser, curly hair and deemed it to be ‘good hair’ in comparison to those who had kinkier tighter curls. Despite, not having anyone outside of my family to guide me into learning about my natural hair or how I could take care of it. Luckily through YouTube videos, women enjoyed showing their hair maintenance and embraced each one of their individual kinks, curls, and coils.

When I had my natural hair out in school, I was mostly stigmatized, by those who may not share the same hair as me. For example, growing up in a secondary school in England where 9 out of 10 times the people around me would be white English students. I didn’t usually feel confident enough to wear my natural hair out and flaunt it because all I ever saw represented in the media is the European/westernized standards of beauty, which generally shows bone straight Caucasian hair, so that knocked my confidence. 

I would consider myself a natural hair blogger now because I restrain from having a destructive and hurtful mindset that has been forced upon natural haired wearers and I continue to evoke love and admiration towards other people who embrace their own hair types.

The future of natural hair in my country looks promising to me because when I grew up people would be comfortable referring to their own hair and others natural hair as ‘picky or nappy’, However, as times have changed and natural hair has now been broadcasted in a positive light on social media, people around me would refrain from saying damaging and hurtful things about their natural hair and are starting to educate themselves and their children on how they can best look after so they avoid the harmful cycle of self-hate.

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