Why do we African American/ Black women place so much emphasis on our hair? -more specifically the length and texture of our hair? Its no secret the images we are bombarded with teach us that long, thick, curly or straight hair is attractive. If you grew it… or in many cases purchased it, you’re deemed attractive too.
I remember seeing an IG post about Beyonce and her bobbed hair cut. The Twitter and IG feeds were savagely bashing Bey and her new hair cut… Sad. I, too, battle with this image of what beautiful is suppose to look like. I decided to go natural by accident. Yes!, by accident (smile). I moved to Tampa FL leaving behind my beauty entourage of innovative trend setters and veteran stylist whose purposes were to help grow a healthy, flourishing head of hair. Finding someone to love, nurture and style my hair wasn’t an easy task. You can say non-existing. Long story short, I was introduced to my Dominican sisters who laid my hair like no other! I no longer relaxed my hair. Fast forward… I relocated to Philly – ‘Living my life like it’s golden!” So diverse… -so full of cultural. This blended city, cherry-picking something from each segment, whimsically makes up me, Keyana 🙂 Fully accepting my kinks, knots and coils I thought my hair would flourish and grow into an awesome fro that would cause folks to walk around me to see what’s on the other side of the room. This 4abc type girl had no such luck. Suffering from dryness I contemplated relaxing again. But I just couldn’t give up my vision of having a Master Fro like many of my favorite YouTube natural hair gurus! “Maybe I should cut my hair”, I thought…
I transitioned to natural. No big chop posts for me. Cut my hair off? Child no! I wanted as much hair as I could and cutting it all off just didn’t make sense to me. But this dryness I couldn’t shake! EVO, castor oil, cowashes and protective styles… – sounds familiar doesn’t it? None of which worked for me. So I would cut – so I thought.
I made an appointment at a chain salon in the mall to get a taper cut. I’m sitting in the chair, hair blowed out and the stylist begins to cut. (Blank stare) I’m watching my hair fall to the floor. I get a knot in my stomach. I reach up and touch the back of my hair to twirl my finger around a coil and it slips out — no twirling. My heart is beating out my chest. Tears begin to fill my eyes. I look at the young lady in the mirror and I ask her to stop. Embarrassed, feeling very insecure about what I and my hair look like, I mini chop! Wow, the emotion associated to my hair! This made me think, “is there something else going on with me?”
(Yup and that’s another post 🙂 )
My hair made me cry! This forced me to deal with my dryness issue and my quest for society’s view of beautiful. One of the most important things I learned in 2013 regarding my hair is the Porosity level. Once I learned I have low porosity hair I learned how to properly moisturize my hair. This was the most amazing thing in my natural hair journey. Really learning how to care for my hair. So my EVO mix with a spritz made with aloe vera was doing nothing for my hair. I watched a YT video by AFRICANEXPORT reviewing her favorite products. One of which was a curl activator gel. I sent her a tweet asking what to use and she suggested S Curl No Drip Activator. Now my old school curl activator is a staple in my arsenal. Pairing it with the LOC method it’s giving me life!
A few things I learned that was the most valuable in my natural journey is to keep it simple, go with what works for you, read labels and, most importantly, healthy hair may not be long hair, natural or relaxed. But being healthy is a blessing and should be pursued on all levels