I've decided to start this blog to share natural hair stories and to encourage women of color with curly, kinky or coily hair, to wear it in its natural state.
I'll start with my story.
I remember being a little girl and feeling jealousy over the other little (Black) girls in my classes at school that had those long thick twists and braids. I never really felt envy over the Asian or White girls with long hair, because I knew that that's what the norm was for them. However I noticed that with Black girls, its seemed to be a hit or miss thing with the long hair.
My own hair wasn't that great, due to having severe dandruff that required treatments prescribed by a dermatologist, and not to mention a mom who didn't know how to care for natural hair, except to just put mhy hair in cornrows. So between sessions of getting my scalp scritched and removing large dandruff flakes, a medium tooth comb being raked and torn through my hair, to finally having pretty cornrows (with occasional beads), my hair didn't see too much on length retention.
This excersize went on for several years, until I was about 9 years old, when I had the brilliant idea to get a gheri curl. Yes, that's right ladies, I had a gheri curl. Boy did I ever have a time coacing and convincing my mother to let me get one. Finally she relented, and so she made an appointment and we went to the beauty salon. The process took forever, and to be honest I remember both my mother and I hating all the oil and curl juice that had to be used. However, there was one good thing that happened with that curl. To this day, me and my mother have no idea why, but after getting that curl, my severe dandruff ceased to exist. There was an episode a few days after getting my curl that all these sizable dandruff flakes started showing, and my mom removed them, but after that. No more severe dandruff. I get mild cases from time to time, but nothing like when I was a little girl.
So after a few weeks, we started letting my gheri curl grow out. Well after the gheri curl episode, I switched between press and curls and conrows, without much length retention. So I was about ten of eleven when I started getting relaxers. I thought I had no length retention before, but this was a whole new ball game. Not only did I not retain length, but my regularly broke off in certain areas, even to the new growth in one specific spot. This went on for about four years, until I turned fifteen.
A certain trip to Disney World was coming up and me and my mom were at a loss at to what to do with my hair, since I was going with friends. Well, the answer came in one of my teen magazine subscriptions. The defunked magazine "Sassy" held the answer to my prayers. Braids. Sassy had featured and expose on Black young women and braids. I was fascinated and I knew that I could do this while away in Florida. I showed my mom and we quickly set about finding a braider.
This was the time when braiders were making a killing at charging anywhere from $300 to $600 dollars a pop in a shop. Then there are the braiders that braid from their homes and charge not quite so much. The first woman to braid my hair, was a small, petite loud woman, that missed her calling as a comedian. I went that first time and was hooked. I experienced length rentention for the first time in my life. My hair had reached shoulder length, so you know what happened after two years in braids? I got another relaxer. Again, my hair experienced breakage, so I went back to braids again, and never got another relaxer. I was in braids about ninety percent of the time over the next eighteen years. I went to about 6 braiders by the time I was twenty-four years old. By twenty-five, I found a braider that was almost perfect. So over the next ten years, I went to her.
Throughout all this time, I've wanted to go completely natural, but I had problems finding information on just how to care for my natural hair. There were a few sites, but very few pictures and even with that bit of information, there were women that weren't willing to be forth coming with their techniques and tips, so much so, that there were women that would get a bit fiesty and downright beligerant if asked about what they did to their hair. I guess it went back to the whole competition between women thing, so I stayed in braids.
About 4 or 5 years ago, I started noticing more information being available and new black-owned hair care products that actually work. So finally after eighteen years, I came out of my braids, and started experimented with different hairstyles, studying up on youtube, researching recipes for homemade shampoo and condidtioners and checking out what hair care companies cater to women of colors choosing to where their hair natural.
So since really interecting with my natural hair is still rather new, I'm now getting to know what my hair does and doesn't like. Enter the product junkie phase... although I am not completely there, because I haven't gone crazy with shopping for products just yet. However I have a a list of small companies that I want to try and I will write reviews about their products as I try them
I also hope to share traveling experiences, anicdotes, recipes, and product reviews.