My hair has been natural for a better part of two decades. When I chose to stop relaxing or perming my hair, “natural” wasn’t a mainstream word. More specifically, I didn’t know what natural was or how it applied to me. All I knew is that I didn’t know how to do my hair.
At the time, black women with beautiful hair fell into three categories: the silky smooth long tresses, the shorter kinkier afro or braids. None of these worked for me.
Relaxers, like perms, thinned my hair, strands covering my brushes or clogging my drains. A press-and-curl was not realistic because I was very active. I would sweat out the effort by the next day.
My hair is fairly thin, so my locks were too loose to give a proper afro. Instead, my hair would wave at the roots to a big puff ball at the end.
Braids were the best choice, yet the process was long and painful. Normally, you’d pay to get your head braided, while you sat uncomfortably for up to 15 hours to complete the mock silky tresses of the white woman. Even after this uncomfortable process, the worst part was taking them out. The promises of help disintegrated the second you mentioned that you wanted them gone. The 15 hours to do was nothing compared to the 20+ hours to remove.
After trying them all, I found that braids were the best bet. But I didn’t have the time to waste putting them in or taking them out. I opted for nothing. My messy ponytail wasn’t a fashion statement, it was just a public showcase of my laziness when it came to my looks.
Then I was introduced to the beloved weave. From the richest of the rich in Hollywood to the poorest of the poor in the ghettos had weaves. Yet this was another very expensive option on a budget that couldn’t support anything excess.
Over the years, the term “natural” became more prevalent. Yet, most examples still were not styles that worked well with my hair or what I wanted my look to be (whatever that actually was). There were dreads, twists, and even the uncombed look.
Recently, however, the term natural was associated with hair that looked:
Now, these are hairstyles that would work for me. But the laziness over the last couple of decades had sunk in. I had gotten completely used to not spending any time on my hair, but now I knew I would have to do something.
So, I searched for the perfect conditioner. Well, the perfect conditioner that was cheap. I couldn’t possibly spend a lot of money on my hair.
I found one and started creating styles like this:
Products have flooded the market for the “natural” or “curly” -haired woman. Initially, I chalked it up to marketing ploys, until I started asking around and a few products came up over and over. So, I purchased a couple. They worked and they worked well.
Although, it’s not as easy to get up and go like I used to with my classic, no frill ponytail, it was a quick wash and go or I could twist it up in about 10 minutes the night before.
I still have a long way in making sure that my hair is healthy, I’m well on my way to having great looking hair (hopefully).
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post with the sentence ”Once I knew the truth, I couldn’t talk myself out of…” Your hosts are Kristi from FindingNinee.com) and this week’s sentence thinker-upper, Leah from Little Miss Wordy