Ice-cold: Natural hair is too obsessed with perfect curls. It doesn’t matter whether your hair is s-shaped, coiled or both, the pattern must be clearly defined. It’s best to have a truckload of product. It can be quite a chore, even though we all love creamy crack.
What happens when you want to grow and maintain long, straight curls but your hair doesn’t naturally do this? It can be a real pain in the arse. It’s a ridiculous beauty standard that you have to live up. It’s Texas-based TikTokker Sasha known as @Lipglossssssss.
She tells us that she is tired of fighting against the natural growth of her hair. Her hair naturally shrinks because of her tight curls. This means that it appears shorter when dry. This phenomenon is more common in people with thick hair. Type 4C hair suffers even more.
She chose to accept her shrinkage and shared the experience on TikTok. This simple act of self acceptance sparked a social media trend that seeks to properly center people with kinky locks. Sasha states that she felt anxious about the constant need to stretch her hair. “As soon you wash your hair, you try to find a thousand ways to make your hair look longer.”
Sasha shares her frustrations with her hair and her feelings of vulnerability in the original video. She has since made it private. Sasha acknowledges her shattered hair, but she still styles them and moisturizes. She then lets them be. She jokes that she “can only pull white boys” in this hairstyle, referring to how texturism (preferring looser patterns as part of white supremacy), plays out in the Black community.
Although her joke caused some controversy, Sasha said that her goal was to simply show her love and not create a trend. Sasha states, “I don’t want to join a movement.” “I want to be me.” These videos highlight the importance of natural hair spaces that include all kinks. Although her original clip has been deleted, the sound is still available. It is being used by other creators in content about shrinkage.
Hakima Alem, a TikTok user from New York and natural hair blogger, shared that she felt “less alone” after watching the video. Alem blow-dryes her hair while Sasha sings in the background. At the end, she reveals her coils in a half-up, half-down style.
Alem is well aware of the bias against tighter textures. That’s why she chooses to focus her content on kinky hair. “I am also Ethiopian. She shares that she grew up believing I was somehow less Ethiopian because I didn’t have the curly hair people love in East Africans. I want other Ethiopian women see that our Afros can be beautiful too!”
Juanita, another TikTok creator, was moved by Sasha’s video. Ourtrend hears from her that she feels under pressure to maintain her naturally curly hair in a neat and tidy style. She says that she feels best when her hair is ‘done up’, aka not in its natural state. I used to wake up at dawn to braid, twist, Bantu knot and do other types of hair manipulations. Juanita’s video shows her wash day, which ends with a clean, moisturized (but not otherwise manipulated) ‘fro.
Although it wasn’t always easy, she didn’t think her curls were bad. She felt pressured to style her hair in a particular way from the outside. She says, “I knew that the condition of my hair influenced how people perceived me and treated me.” Today, she’s less inclined than ever to do that kind of work. She says, “It’s worth it to spend that energy loving and appreciating those kinks that grows out of my scalp for myself and for many other Black girls who want to feel good about their natural hair.”
“It’s amazing to see a group deconstructing today’s interpretation of ‘good hair’,” Los Angeles-based TikToker Jacinda Peren, also known as @adultsdrink, says. The video takes us through the various stages of getting glamorous. Good hair doesn’t depend on how your hair texture or curl pattern. They share that good hair is about the beauty and natural state it has.
It’s not easy to deprogramme yourself from a lifetime worth of conditioning. But, Sasha says it’s well worth the effort. Sasha isn’t trying to convince anyone that kinky locks are beautiful. She just wants to be herself. Despite all the negative things that have come her way, she enjoys seeing people use her music and hopes that viewers continue to find positive things in her videos. You will feel more free when you are being authentic and not influenced by what others think.