It's no secret that a bad hair day can change your entire mood. Makes you not want to leave the house. And if you do, it's under the guise of a hat or scarf, and dark, dark sunglasses - even at night. Some say it's just hair, and that's true to a certain extent. Your hair is part of you, an extension of your persona and it reflects so many things about you. When your hair is sitting you hold your head higher and the stride in your steps are longer and bolder. It's a way to express yourself.
Whether long, short or somewhere in the middle - natural, chemically treated, or laying in wait under a wig, weave, or braids; it's no question that hair plays a major part. I'm for whatever is most convenient and manageable as long as my hair is healthy. And that's where the conversation gets murky. There is an argument in the natural hair community that you are ruining your hair and hate yourself (being black) if you do anything to manipulate it other than rub essential oils and berries in it while letting it grow as God created you. I do NOT agree with that. I love ALL of me! Natural me, braided me, weaved me, slathered in relaxer me...ME, ME, ME! BLACK ME! What does not perpetuate an argument is that black women are going back to their natural hair texture at a rate faster than any other hair regimen. In no way is this putting the other hair care industries out of business because women will always experiment with their hair. It's an art form. You can even directly correlate a sudden hair change to a break-up. Men seem to have a certain attachment to hair, with many liking long straight hair without weave. That's definitely an area where I've compromised in relationships. I'm not attached to hair, I do whatever I feel at the time and every couple of years I do the big chop. No big deal. So being in a relationship where it mattered to him was like being held in follicle prison. I look back at pictures and recount where I was in a relationship just by my hair. Slowly but surely, I'll unconsciously gravitate towards what he didn't like. As I was changing my hair I was also shedding the relationship. After my last relationship, my hair happy place landed me commanding attention everywhere I went rocking a ombre honey blonde mohawk. Those feather like tresses stood up imitating the cockscomb of a rooster. I was free! Free to be me - ALL OF ME, spreading my wings to fly! BYE BYE HAIR!
Now many years later I am having a tough time with going through the grow back process. I'm ready for my long hair again. But for the life of me, I can't remember what I used to do during the process as to not walk around looking like a rug was laying dormant on my head. Or was I doing just that?! My current life consists of working out 3 - 5 times a week and sleeping with my head under the covers without protection of a bonnet or scarf. I pray every night that a fire doesn't break out and I end up on the news looking like a plucked, naked chicken. For that reason alone I have a hat beside my keys on the nightstand. Oh no, you will not catch my hair slipping on the evening news. I might be naked but my hair will be TV ready. Just aim at my face cameraman.
See, my hair is the length and texture of the wool on a tennis ball. So yes, I am part of the creamy crack nation. I have not and will not join the pick comb and tie-scarf adorning my puffball club. I will admit, a few years ago I was natural for all of six months. Honestly, I loved the twist and braid outs. But when the raging upper 90 degree, humidity induced summer weather in DC hit I immediately went from looking like a Youtube natural hair student to a professional troll doll. And that was enough to convert me back to the crack-in-a-box aka relaxer. I have no qualms about natural hair, I just prefer that I journey with at least 5 inches of hang time and not .1 centimeter. I can't fade the Florida Evans bush. However, I do plan to give the natural another try once my hair grows more.
During this grow back process I've donned a couple of protective styles by way of braids. The pain is what keeps me from sacrificing the time and money to endure the convenience of braids again any time soon. I've been wearing braids since the 80's and nobody ever told me about using Sea Breeze to ease the pain. When my followers shared this tip earlier this year with me I felt like I was living under a rock. All of this time I could've been walking around tingling and relieved. Now I know! While protective styles are convenient, some seem to forget that proper maintenance is required. You still have to care for your hair by using a leave in shampoo and oiling your scalp.
During the winter months especially, you must keep your hair and scalp oiled even more to prevent breakage. I'm a huge fan of Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Argon Oil. I add extra around my nape when wearing wool hats, coats, and scarves. They are stylish and warm but they also cause damage to your hair. Look for items with a soft lining to avoid direct contact of the wool on your hair. Drink plenty of water - at least 64 ounces per day and maintain a healthy diet to include leafy green vegetables and fresh fruits. Dehydration and poor nutrition can stunt your hair growth. Deep condition at least once a month to replenish the vitamins and moisture to improve elasticity.
What are some tips that you use to care for your hair?
Whatever you do, I know that it will be cute because nobody likes their hair in a daze.