Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What I'm Learning About Natural Hair

My first thoughts on going natural or returning to natural hair ( as most say) came when my daughter started to complain about her hair.  Oh, God.  Here we go.  She wanted straight, silky smooth, blowing in the wind, bouncy hair. She was 6, almost 2 years ago. She begin to compare her hair with some of her black friends who had relaxers in theirs and her white friends who had straight hair. I would reassure her that her hair was beautiful and very healthy because it was au natural. I tried to make her feel comfortable in her hair and told her we could straighten it out sometimes if she wanted. Although, I was telling my daughter this, I felt highly hypocritical. I had relaxed hair with no intentions at all on trying to do the natural thing. Ain't nobody had time for that.

Being natural is defined different ways by different people.  It's generally the process of forgoing harsh chemical relaxers to straighten our kinky/coily/curly hair.  Most forgo using any products that are not natural products and some don't even apply heat to the hair. I used to think these people must have an abundance of time and clearly don't have children. 

I've always asked myself if I could do the natural thing. Would I be able to let go of the toxic, scalp burning, strong enough to eat through your skin relaxers that made my hair soooo silky smooth? (If you have never seen Chris Rocks's movie about black hair, you should. It's hilarious.) Would I have the time and patience to put up with my hair? I sure didn't want to spend hours picking through what would probably be a thick, spongy, cotton field. And what in the world was I going to look like? Big chop? Oh, No! Most days, I just throw my hair in a ball and head out. I don't have time for all that maintenance. And why on Earth would I want to add yet another head to the morning mayhem?

Well, I have started this natural hair journey and it's bad but it's not that bad. There are days when I have absolutely no idea what to do with my hair and the 3 inch thick new growth that is sprouting like weeds.

What I'm learning while transitioning to natural hair

1.  Myth- It's easy.  Anybody can go natural
     Reality -  It's hard. There are days as I'm fighting to pull that comb through my hair and I'm like  bump this.  Anybody cannot do this.  You need PATIENCE and endurance.

2.  Myth - Going natural is cheaper.  It saves me money on relaxers.
     Reality -  It's expensive. Trying different products to figure out what works adds up.  Then,    there's  the "growing it out" phase.  People say just get your hair braided or hair sewn in.  I'm just adding up the numbers in my head.  I feel like I need an emergency fund just for my hair.

3. Myth - The Big Chop -you have to cut all the relaxed hair off and you'll be bald
    Reality - The Big Chop- Umm, no. We will be growing it out for about 2 years first. My husband has already informed me that I will not be lying next to him with hair shorter than his. LOL!

4.  Just go to the food section. Hair products are expensive. I'm realizing I cook half of my hair routine - eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar.  I can wear it on my head and eat it too.

5. Castor oil. I never would have thought I would see the day that I put a laxative on the head. Good for growth and breakage -It brings new meaning to word "poopy head."

6.  Fear is a beast. Fear of the unknown-the what, whens and how of natural hair. It's kinda scary, but it's literally all in my head.

7 months without a relaxer.
mini naturals
Tween natural - wants to look like karate kid
This took me 6 hours with short breaks.  Unless God gives me the strength, I will probably never do this again.  (I know he will, though)