India.Arie told me “I am not my hair.”


Liana Wallace, Staff Writer

India told me “I am not my hair.” Her anthem plays with every pull and snap of a brush that ever dared to venture through one of my curls.

“Good hair means curls and waves(no)/Bad hair means you look like a slave(no)/At the turn of the century/It’s time for us to redefine who we be.”

India Arie’s groundbreaking hit came out when I was five years old, rocking six braids oiled and parted with a memory of tears that were guaranteed from sitting still so long while Mamma pulled and snapped at my unruly hair. Soon after I would develop an obsession with straightening my hair until my once beautiful long tendrils hit the floor, never to be recovered.

Then came experimentation: morrocan oil, coconut oil, castor oil leave-ins, expensive co-washes, twist outs, braids, edge-control, satin pillow cases, google searching protective winter hairstyles, years and years of dedication, and … no growth.

We all got our curly hair confessions. With the winter season, curly hair reacts in entirely different ways which is why now is the time to share our tips and black girl magic tricks on what truly works for our hair.

“You can shave it off like a South African beauty/Or get in on lock like Bob Marley/You can rock it straight like Oprah Winfrey/ If it’s not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath, and say/ Hey/ I am not my hair/ I am not my skin/ I am the soul that lives within.”

Below you will find queens inspired by the words of India Aire who rock their hair in all types of fashions. Check out their stories.