Sunday, February 15, 2009

HairStory - Days of My Napps

As many of you Natural girls know the road to NappiHappiness ain't easy. If you were like me, you've had relaxers in your hair for many years and dont even know what the natural pattern is. After my big chop I was pleasantly surprised to find a head full of small coils. While growing my hair out i mostly wore it in an afro. I am fortunate to be able to work from home so only my family and friends saw my hair as it transitioned from relaxed to natural. Their reaction has been pretty positive. i have been at this for almost 3 years, and have used various products. Finding products developed for natural hair hasn't been easy. I'll be honest and tell you that in the beginning, i never really thought that much about it. My hair routine had gotten so much easier, what else did i need to worry about? I started off with washing my hair once a week, but wetting it everyday to achieve the ringlets that I wanted. The wash included shampooing & Conditioning with Garnier Fructis. I used the conditioner as my comb thru. I would completely resaturate my towel dried hair with Infusium Leave In Conditioner for dry/damaged hair. I would then apply a palm full of Pink Lotion Hair Moisturizer, a follow with a quarter size dollop of Loreal Melting Gel. This was a MESSY process. It left my hair really curly in some parts and poofy in others. Once my hair dried it remained sticky to the touch. Think Coming to America when SOUL-Glo's parents were sittin on the couch. Yep, I think I had a Jheri Curl, Even tho I was using everything made for dry hair, my hair was not being moisturized and it was left dry and damaged. I was also experiencing a lot of shedding. TRIAL/ERROR (I told you it wasn't easy!) Eventually, my routine transitioned to washing once a week using Garnier Fructis Shampoo for Curly Hair. I changed my comb thru deep conditioner to Motions CPR (Critical, Protection, Repair) mixed in with Garnier Fructis Conditioner for Curly Hair. While my hair is still very damp I sprayed with Infusium Frizzologie Leave In Conditioner and followed with a palm full of Motions Conditioning Cream. This process seemed to do a good job of keeping my hair moisturized. It was a little oily to the touch, but not too bad. The shrinkage that i experienced with this routine was insane. By now my hair is shoulder length when straightened with a blow dryer(I would blow it out straight periodically to cut my ends evenly), however, it would shrink to a short afro during the drying process. Once completely dry, I could then pick and pull it out to a reasonably curly afro. I found that as hours of the day went on tho that my afro would get poofy, frizzy and unruly. I didnt mind this so much, but it was unpredictable. On a humid day, I would get a huge out of control mane and on dry days I would get the curls that I wanted but this never lasted into the next day. I was continuously having to rewet and reapply all of the products and would get different results after every application. If I am just chillin in my hood or with my fam/friends this is not a problem but a learning experience, HOWEVER! Not good on special occasions because i could never know what my hair would do. Various headbands & scarves became my perfect standbys in case of Hairtastrophies. (HairStory within a HairStory - Had a business meetin in FL. Got my hair into a nice perfect afro. It was dry and cutely cropped. Fell asleep on the plane and woke to find the back of my hair completely flattened, stiff and unmoisturized. The front was doing its own thing. I had no products, no supplies, not even a comb. I remedied this by wetting the back of hair in the bathroom and applying some hand lotion from my purse. I picked at it and blended it and got it all to at least look uniformily wet (but not dripping) and just prayed that I could get in and out of that meeting and back on the plane home before my hair dried again! OOPS was still in early learning stages!! LOL) My hair is like a Soap Opera - Days of My Napps, All My Napps, One Nap to Live, its a different HairStory everyday!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Natural Hair Journey

If you haven't recognized by my profile pic already, I am one of them "Natural" Sistahs. The word "Natural" refers to my hair and the fact that I do not perm it or alter my nappy hair texture by straightening it. I have been natural since 2006. My natural hair journey has been in the making for many years I believe. Taking the step to actually make it happen came in waves (no pun intended)before i decided that I was going to do it. Here is my road to change:

#1. I moved to Atlanta in 2000 and was happy to see MANY sistahs with various natural styles that I adored but was never bold enough to try.

#2. With the hot summers here in the south I was constantly pulling my former permed shoulder length hair up into a pony tail.

#3. I asked my beautician to chop it all off into a short bobbish style that was inspired by Missy Elliots hair in her Lose Control video.

#4. keepin it real, in 2006 my hubby got laid off and i couldnt afford them 100 bucks a pop/3 hour beauty shop visits anymore, so I cut the perm out (the big chop)and my natural hair journey began.

Getting to know my hair in it's natural state was like getting reacquainted with an old friend. I haven't looked back since. Am I trying to make a statement? Maybe...wearing my hair this way is like screaming to the world, "I'm me! I'm Free! Get Used to It!!!" That's what it is for me anyway. LOL. I am not even going to go into the whole black self hatred thing or how we as a people have brought some of mental remnants of slavery into the millenium with us. Not gonna talk about the 1- drop rule and the systematic denigration of our people...Oh, and I am not going to talk about so called "good hair" and how your hair is considered to be "good" if its a certain texture and "bad" if its a kinkier texture. Nope. Not going there. This is all about me, and loving myself... just as I am. Natural is more than just nice. I get way more compliments on my hair when we go out and My hubby LOVES my hair natural and he constantly tells me so. When we go out, I am frequently stopped and complimented/asked about my hair. He enjoys that. He also likes the way it smells, when I was permed up it smelled different I guess. The versatility of my natural hair also enhances our relationship too, I think. When we go on vacation I don't have to hide or cover my hair, cause it may be humid or raining. When its time to jump in the pool..I jump. without worrying about whats going to happen to it or spending hours to get it back "right". When we shower together I dont have to put that ugly cap on, cause I am not scared to get my hair wet anymore. It's very liberating in all aspects!