On Hair (2)...by pemora

I have received really great feedback on the first post about hair (but no comments....what's up with that?) and more submissions to share. I would love to continue posting hair stories, so please drop me a line here or on twitter if you would like to share yours.

prints c/o thepairabirds

Read the stories after the jump

Mali's hair:

when i decided to go natural, it wasn't a statement. i had permed hair, then started getting my hair braided. it grew out under my braids and after a time grew longer and longer and thicker. october 2011, i thought about getting locs and stopped braiding. seeing my hair out i thought, i wondered, could i just have it this way? i started with researching products online and blogs and youtube. and thats where it began. i didn't know what i was doing or why. my sisters were horrified - if it wasn't short and "neat" then i should go back to braids or perming.

but i liked feeling my own hair which had been alien to me for YEARS it felt like. i liked seeing what it was. i realized i spent all of my life disguising it or hiding it or covering it up. i tried so many products and techniques and hair styles. i seriously didn't know ANYTHING. i still kinda don't. i only NOW feel like have some idea of what works in terms of products and process.

my hair is a type 4c, zigzag. some parts look like spiral curls almost though - at the very back. the top front is the most stretched out and looks like a textured weave almost. the part i like the best IS at the back though, those spiral curls. my hair is long and thick, when i pull a lock, it reaches past my shoulder but it looks like a longish, blowout afro kind of most of the time. that's how much it shrinks down. i spend so much more time and money on my hair than i ever have. i read the labels of all hair products that look interesting. i find myself googling products, techniques all randomly. checking my hair in the mirror.

i used to be jealous of straight hair, white girls hair - how wash and go it is. having this hair has made me SO psyched for ethnic hair. i feel bad for people who don't have this volume and funk and style. i am always checking out other women's hair on the subway, ethnic women esp women with natural hair, wondering what their techniques are and often talking to them about it. i have a completely different relationship with my hair than i did just a few months ago all because of a fluke decision really...

Mooks' hair:

I started transitioning from the creamy crack in 2004.  Prior to that, I'd had a relaxer for at least 10 years, so I had no idea what my own hair looked like.  I started locing it on the same day that Katrina came ashore; I consider that my anniversary date because I had an appointment that day to get my hair combed out and retwisted.  I think it's a 4b/4c, thin on the crown and edges, but crinkly and strong everywhere else.

My hair regimen is still a work in progress, primarily because I have a toddler who could care less that I need more than 30 minutes at a time to deal with my hair.  I also have not had it professionally done since my 38th week of pregnancy, for similar reasons.  Now that I am back in New Orleans, I am trying to wash it once a week.  I was a Carol's Daughter devotee for years, but I find now that her products leave a lot of buildup in my hair that makes it feel hard and bothers my scalp.  In dry months, I like using the Wen Tea Tree conditioning shampoo, and during the summer, I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap, diluted with water.  It takes at least an hour to 90 minutes to retwist my locs, and now that they reach past my shoulders to the middle of my back, the weight has caused some of the locs to thin out and become frail at the root.  I'm trying to go back to using aloe vera gel to twist, and a combination of oils to moisturize - almond, coconut, grapeseed, lavender, and olive. Using tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar helps me deal with itchiness and occasional flakes.  I also sleep with a scarf on at night to protect my edges.

Mooks' daughter's hair:

As for Ms. Ro's regimen - also a work in progress.  She has very soft, tight spiral curls, which I can't wait to see grow out, but which she did not inherit from her mama.  Her dad and I refuse to use barrettes, elastics, hair grease or any of the things that I used in my hair growing up, so I've had to learn new techniques for dealing with her hair.  The process has been interesting because once I went natural, I had to rethink what products were truly appropriate for "black hair," and now that I have a daughter whose hair texture is completely different from mine, I've had to adjust my expectations again about what her hair really needs vs. what my childhood experience was.  I rinse it in the bath when necessary, since what she eats may or may not end up in her hair, but haven't yet settled on a shampoo.  Most of the baby shampoos I've tried were too drying, in my opinion, and moisturizers like Carol's Daughter Hair Milk are a little too heavy.  If I moisturize her hair while it's wet, the curl is really defined and lovely, so in the mornings I try to spritz her hair with water (which involves chasing her around more often than not), and using either coconut or almond oil as my weapons of choice. Over the weekend I bought a leave in conditioner/detangler from Nature's Baby Organics that I am impressed with so far, and Aubrey Organics makes a honeysuckle rose shampoo that I am dying to try, since I still smell the top of her head at least 5 times a day.    

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment for UrbanRhetoric. We really appreciate the feedback, questions, ideas + love. Holler