Early last year, I decided to stop straightening my hair with ye ol’ fashioned hot comb and just maintain my hair in its natural state. Initially, I didn’t know what I was doing until I discovered the electronic world of natural hair! For days on end, I’d pour over blogs and YouTube videos dedicated to natural hair. A lot of things I tried and a lot of things didn’t work. But a year and a few months later, I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t.
Now, I’ve been natural all my life but learning how to manage your hair in its natural state is truly a learning process involving lots of experimentation. When I first started out, my straightened hair hit my shoulders with my curly ‘fro coming down to the bottom of my ears. Now, a little over a year later, my straightened hair is at my bra strap line and my curly ‘fro rests on my shoulders.
As of late, I’ve been wondering why my hair never grew like this under the careful and costly bi-monthly tutelage of the hairdressers in my life. I had an old school hairdresser who’d use that nasty Dax wax when she finished fryin’ my head and I had another one who whipped my strands straight via the famed Dominican Blowout before it earned its moniker. Yet, my hair never thrived in their hands. Why?
I recall after moving back to my hometown after being gone for more than 10 years, I fumbled through the Yellow Pages in search of someone, anyone who could straighten my hair, but when I asked them what products and techniques they used, I promptly hung up the phone and moved on to the next one in the listing. I was elated, however, to finally find one natural hair stylist and eagerly booked what I thought was the first of many appointments to come. Sadly, that didn’t work out. When she wanted to detangle my dry hair sans product after placing my undetangled head under a hooded hair dryer, I vowed never to return (sadly she does a beautiful angle balance cut).
Now that I’m on my own, I have no regrets. The health of my hair is in my hands. Yes I might spend numerous hours on my hair when it’s time to wash it, yes there’s the infrequent frantic search for an organic ingredient I forgot to replenish, yes I get bored wearing it in a protective style most months out of the year, but it’s all worth it. My nose no longer burns when it’s assaulted by the salon’s perm chemicals and burning hair, I don’t fret to find something to cover my hair when it rains, and I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to wear it everyday. Taking my hair into my own hands has given me a sense of freedom I will never give up.