Song: Lazy Girl by Girls’ Generation / Monster by Super Junior
Drink: Tension Tamer
Disclaimer: This is a rant and thus my own unapologetic opinion. If you are offended by anything I have yet to say that is your perogative and you do not have stay for all of it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I respect yours so please respect mine. Besides, I’ve been stewing over this for almost a whole day now.
Now that is over I can get on with my rant.
I was in the beauty store the over the weekend looking for a curl defining creme because I think my texlaxed transitional twist outs could use a helping hand. The beauty store I went to is one of the rare locations where the staff cautiously approaches you to help you find what you need while others let you wonder around in confusion. I told her that I was looking for a product that would help my curls become more defined. I just happened to mention that I was attempting to go natural and I was going to try the twist out method to help blend my processed hair with my new growth.
‘Hmph. Girl that is just a fad.’ says an older lady from further down the aisle.
‘No, I don’t think so.’ I say. ‘Not for me anyway.’
‘I see more girls with afros going to the salon to relax their hair every day and they love the results. It’s a fad. Relaxed hair is so much easier and everyone knows it. You could get a weave too. They have good deals here.’
‘Well that’s their decision.’
‘Just like those vegetarians. They’ll be stopping at McDonald’s sooner rather than later.’
I’m pretty sure this lady throws out her plastic shopping bags and water bottles with her egg shells, thinks Al Gore is a hippie, and believes that enviromentalists are hyperbolists.
A fad? Really? How about a complete change in attitude towards how we percieve ourselves? How about a new generation of girls with curly hair saying enough is enough, creamy crack cannot be the only answer? How about a movement that wants to end unnecessary chemical abuse? But it’s all a fad or a way for young women to find another source of income. Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with any of that. Why shouldn’t we try to come to an ultimate understand of ourselves? Why can’t we love ourselves for who we are no matter our hair type, body type, or blood type?
Tons of women go natural for all sorts of reasons not just for those concerning self-esteem and the environment. For me, personally, I was tired of the fruitless grind. I was tired of seeing my hair literally abandoning ship at the slightest touch. I was also thoroughly bored with my straight hair hence why I fell in love with dreads and wigs. It’s kind of funny because the last time I visited Pittsburgh my best friend from college said to me:
‘You’ve been diggin’ the curly wigs lately. I like it.’
Consider that sign #1 that I should have done this awhile ago.
So let’s tackle this: Relaxed hair is easier to care for.
In terms of detangling I will say ‘Sure’. Relaxed hair can be more easily detangled because the strands have been forced to be parallel of each other throughout the chemical process as well as combing and brushing. They simply don’t interact the same way curly hair does. But in order to maintain that hair and keep it strong, shiny and healthy you have to become just as much of a product junky as a girl with natural hair. You still have to buy rollers, perm rods, and/or flexy rods if you want a curly look. You still have to buy silk scarves to protect your hair at night. You still have to create a regiment via trial and error to find one that works for you. In order to get your hair as smooth as socially acceptable, you’re also going to need a decent flat iron and maybe a curling iron to get those infamous swoops and flips.
As a side note and contrary to popular belief, you CAN have healthy processed hair. I’ve seen it. I am a first hand witness. Despite the tips she gave me, my mother has hair all the way down to her butt and she has relaxed her hair like clockwork since she was sixteen years old. Her hair is healthy and resilient enough to be dyed.
In my honest opinion, relaxed hair is even more delicate than natural hair. The bonds that make your hair curly have been broken within an inch of their lives. There is no wiggle room or else your hair will begin to shed, break, and lose its natural luster. Ask me how I know. Not to mention the stress you put your hair and scalp through before, during, and after the relaxing process. We put ourselves through all of this for what? For an ounce more of manageability? To conform to ideals that are on their way out anyway?
No, I’m not touching that one. That’s a completely different rant.
However, I will agree that natural hair is not for everyone. We are creatures of habit and for some of us, relaxing fits their lifestyle better. I get that. No one’s situation is exactly the same and I thank the Universe for that.
So whether or not you are on team natural or team relaxed – really guys? We have teams to further divide us? – love who you are and what you have, not for what you want and who you would rather be. Be mindful of those around you and what possible choices they have made in life. Just because you see someone who has relaxed hair and you have the opportunity to speak to them doesn’t mean you should preach the good truth about going back to your roots and embracing your kinks, coils, and curls. The reverse is also true. Besides, chances are, the natural haired girl you may want to approach about the miracle of chemicals has probably already read a million and one blogs – and is a follower of half of them – and watched just as many videos that have her convinced that the creamy crack you can’t go 6 weeks without is The Devil.
I know from personal experience how hard it can be to filter yourself when it comes to something that you feel strongly about whether positive or not. At the beginning of this hair adventure (3 weeks ago mind you), when I was buying products and glued to youtube hair videos, being natural was all I wanted to talk, google, and research about hence why I keep posting about it on this blog. ^.^
One thing I do know for certain is that going natural is not a fad. It’s a choice. You are the boss of your sauce…I mean hair. No one can force you to do anything you don’t want to do, especially with your hair. That’s your glory. Don’t let anyone else tarnish it.