Well I’ve been trolling around and compiling information about taking care of your so-called unprocessed chemical free hair long enough to notice a couple of things. I’m not sure how to put it into words that make sense, but that’s never stopped me before, lol Before I begin, this entire post is not directed at anyone, any group, and is not ALL folks/cultures etc. Just wanted to emote about part of the journey.
I have Jewish Great Grandparents and I have Ethopian Great Great Grandparents and yea there’s some Indian in there somewhere, lol So I’ve got quite an eclectic mix when it comes to what my hair might look like. Folks used to aks me all the time exaclty why did I need a relaxer when I blow dryer was all it took to straighten my hair. Well because WATER and HUMIDITY was (and is – well the humidity part) my nemsis!! Living in the south my hair was constantly a big ball of confusion. It wasn’t kinky, it wasn’t hard to come and it wasn’t tightly coiled or heavy. It kinda looked that way, but in actuality my hair is very soft and pourous so when water and humidy enter the picture my hair sucks it all up so much it has to RETREAT to digest it all, lol lol
As I’ve become older the texture has become even finer, even krinkler (sometimes) and water can be it’s friend BUT humidity and I will never get along!! That’s why I said my protective styles come in the Summer not the winter.
Lately I’ve been having an issue with it being so dry and wintery that my hair won’t curl. yes you heard right. I need product to help it curl because other wise if I run my hands through my head a couple of times it will straighten out. Especially in the frontal part of my head. I currently have no less than 3 different textures going on.
Here’s what I’ve noticed – it ‘seems’ as if there is a dismissal of the black woman in the natural hair community who doesn’t have ‘traditional’ tightly coiled hair once she goes ‘natural’. It seems that part of the joy of being natural is the struggle to ‘control it’ and if you don’t have to struggle as hard – there isn’t a lot of conversation about you. There is this valley of missing hair types it is either Born of Mother Africa Thick and Curly OR the hair like my daughters big loopy curls that supposedly fit the lighter skinned woman. Those women tend to be talked about more and get their advice from whiter websites and products. My daughter has tried to go to the traditional natural pages, etc. and feels left out. She (nor I) can use all the heavy oils, grease etc. on our hair on a regular basis. Olive Oil once a week. Oh My! My hair would revolt and leave if it could cause it would be soo gummy, lol
For Instance I recently read a sister’s method for keeping her TWA poppin:
Vo5 clarifying conditioner
Aussie Moist Conditioner
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Deep Conditioner
Giovanni Deep Moisture Conditioner
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner
Aloe Vera Juice
Grape Seed Oil
She uses ALL OF THIS AT THE SAME TIME!! That’s not MY hair, but it seems as if THIS level of maintenance is the one folks flock to and admire the most. Pam you just took out your relaxer, you didn’t need it anyway STOP PLAYING!
I’ve been on some sites and talked about my hair and been completely ignored. In the real world I’m dismissed when folks see my hair and yes it has been called ‘Good Hair’. What makes that so crazy is that I’ve always considered my thicker coiled sisters as having the ‘good hair’ it took to a relaxer like a pro (i.e. Glady and CeCe Winans or Laura Winslow) it was so shiny and THICK and natural it stands on it;s own and you can twist it and it doesn’t look all wishy washy and limp. Yet folks think I should be happy to have this hair (I am it’s what God gave me) and that my journey should be easy.
I weave with tightly coiled, kinky hair because I NEED the volume, height and weight. I need very light airy products for my hair but I do need product that doesn’t have such of the heavy heavy oils in them. I’m still laughing about my mishap with a product when my husband point out ‘Pam it said right on the box thick and curly – that’s not you’. Everytime someone puts their hands in my head, they say to me, oh it’s not like I thought,lol lol My hair is an illusionist for real, lol lol
I’m not trying to imply that there is something ‘different’ about me as to separate me from my sisters, but there is something different about all of us and I”m not different. It seems that within every spectrum of our lives here on this planet post slavery (whether your ancestors were in it or influences by it) there are small subtle ways that we unconsciously discriminate against each other. Whether it be the Natural Hair Website that will post something, then they all talk in their own language excluding us American Sisters, or the hand wave if someone shows their hair and it looks like Mariah Carey (when she was curly) and not Terry McMillian.
I certainly know part of the problem is that you really can’t judge what someone’s hair FEELS like on the internet – so there is this assumption that all these pictures we look at the sisters have this thick I can’t get a comb through it kinda hair when as we know, especially here in the States we all have something in us that actually makes that really hard to achieve.
I think my daughter has it better than me on this topic because she can follow a time honored tradition of how to take care of Leona Lewi’s type hair, but what if she wanted to use products that don’t use alcohol or go a real ‘natural’ route – she has a hard time.
To me Natural can mean way more than just not having a relaxer. I don’t even consider myself ‘natural’ because I added color and it’s not Henna. I have a problem using that word period cause to me the only true naturals are babies – if you’ve ever put anything in your head your hair is forever, even if you shave bald – changed chemically. It’s kinda like that whole cause I haven’t had sex in awhile I’m re-virginized..ok.
I hope somewhere in this swamp, I’ve expressed some feelings other may have or hipped you to the plight of the ‘in-between’ woman. We are all on this journey together!!!