My Journey Back To Natural!

Sharing my adventures (and everything along the way) as I get reacquainted with my lovely, naturally curly/frizzy/kinky/gloriously gravity defying hair.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Updated Pics

Just thought I'd share some of my looks over the past two years:


October 2012 - Bantu Knot out

December 2012 - Braidout

November 2012 - Twisthawk
November 2013 - Flat Twists

March 2014 - Flatironed (23" waist length)


It's possible to grow long kinky/curly hair.  It just takes time and some care, especially when detangling.  I don't spend a great deal of money on my hair products, don't use a lot of heat, and I always wrap my hair with a satin scarf at night before going to sleep.  I have been contemplating adding a tiny bit of color, but am hesitant because I don't want any breakage or other damage.  Maybe I will buy a couple of clip-ins...

Until next time...
xx

Hello again!

Hey y'all!  Yes, it's been forever, but I needed a much needed break from posting about the ins and outs of my hair.  Things in the natural hair community have changed that's for sure.  Nowadays, I rarely check out any site related to hair.  If I do it's because I happened across it while looking for something else.

I recently watched a couple of videos on YouTube discussing how less attention is given to naturals with hair that is tightly coiled while those with curly hair are showered with attention on social media and catered to by product manufacturers.  After watching the initial video and a response video, I was reminded why I decided to take a break.  It's one thing for people to have opinions, but another for people to criticize others for having them and expressing their personal views.  Just because a person does not agree with you does not invalidate their point of view.   

Back in 2008 when I decided to "go natural" it was a big deal for me.  I sought encouragement and a sort of sisterhood if you will via the Internet.  Natural hair blogs/vlogs were very helpful in providing product recommendations and reviews.  Not every product I tried worked for me, but hey, that's life.  Not only were there honest product reviews, style mavens were on the rise making hair tutorials available, and scientists (JC...hey girl hey!) helped us to understand the science of "our" hair and debunk  myths and pseudoscience.

By 2012, I was noticing a shift in the natural hair paradigm.  A division in camps (curly vs. kinky) seemed to be widening.  Some sites featured women with long, curly hair while others made it clear that natural hair was indeed kinky or "nappy" and if you decided to use heat to straighten it you denied your blackness, hated yourself and was basically ashamed of your hair and who you are.  What kind of foolishness is this???!!!

When I first thought about what it means to wear my hair natural (sans relaxer to alter the curl pattern), I never would have imagined this happening.  It's truly shameful.  I've also read that some women are misrepresenting weaves/wigs as their natural hair just to promote fake hair growth vitamins and other products.  No bueno!  I don't care how who wears their hair.  If they like it, I love it.  Be comfortable, do what makes you happy.  Fry it, dye it, lay it to wherever!  But come on.....

I really feel sorry for all the "newbies" out there who are beginning their relationship with their natural hair.  The community is very different now.  Not saying that they may not be able to find helpful suggestions, but I imagine that it's getting more difficult to wade through all of the misinformation and straight up crap out there.

Let me know if you've noticed the same things going on out there.  Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things...

xx

Friday, March 09, 2012

Introspection

Reflecting on my journey, it has been quite a process.  I've learned so much about myself as well as others.  My thoughts of "it's only hair" have been expanded to include the perceptions and viewpoints of others to whom it's not just hair.  Popular and widely accepted beauty standards sometimes overshadow one's ability to embrace what is naturally and beautifully their own.


From what I have discerned, all women (people) sometimes struggle with their identities and suffer from the "grass is greener" syndrome.  People with curly hair want straight hair, short people wish to be tall and I am sure you could think of a million other things in your mind that people would like to change about themselves.


What I am taking away from this process of cutting off my hair then painstakingly growing it out naturally, is that no matter what it looks or behaves like, it's mine.  Love it or hate it, it's mine.  I have gotten reacquainted with my hair so that I am now able to diligently love and care for its needs.  There will undoubtedly be a few not so good hair days, and that's ok.


I've also come to realize that not every woman will want to endure this process.  I say endure because there were times when I thought about going back to the creamy crack (chemical relaxers ).  That was addictive behavior for me.  Every six to eight weeks the madness was repeated to the point where my hair was thinning and breaking.  Some women claim to experience no damage at all from repeated use of this stuff.  I can only speak for myself and for me it was a no brainer....kick the crack!  It's even worse when this stuff is thrust upon young girls as a way to "deal" with their seemingly unruly hair.  I am not judging women who choose to relax their hair...at all.  I am a live and let live-er.  It was no longer right for me, so I stopped....it's that simple.


As a newbie, I was soapboxing to everyone with hair about the benefits of going natural. Trying to figure out why most black women I spoke to were not quick to jump on the bandwagon was futile though.  People have their own reasons for doing or not doing anything. The longer my hair grew, though, the sparks of interest began to fly.  I received questions ranging from "Do I have a weave" (which led me to believe that many assume that if a black woman has long hair it MUST be fake), "How did I grow my hair", "What products do I use", etc.  Excitedly I would answer that I simply quit using relaxers, learned how to manage and care for my hair and use products that my hair likes.  Sadly, that's not the answer for which most of the askers were looking or just reduced my accomplishment to genetics.


There is no magic pill or potion that will grow hair.  Period!  There are plenty of women out there who have so called "good hair" but still cannot manage to grow it past their shoulders until they stop abusing it via chemicals and/or heat and take better care of it (still many would argue that chemical relaxing is not damaging...we could debate that point all day long and it would not be fruitful).  There are also many women in the blogosphere who at one point thought they could not grow their hair because it was "too nappy", "too coarse", "too whatever", but a few lifestyle changes and dedication to a new haircare regimen has yielded hair that is long, healthy and beautiful!


Bottom line, we were only born with one self, why not embrace the uniqueness of yours??