Sunday, 14 May 2017

BLACK WOMEN'S HAIR

Let me start by reminding you that I write from personal experience so, please make sure you take that with you before you take anything else.

You're either here because you're in need of inspiration and ideas, or you just want to know what others are doing with theirs and how, or you are not a black woman but, you're curious about our hair, the various types and why we're so anti having our hair touched by random hands!!

I talked about my teen hair journey (sort of) in a previous post here but, with some encouragement from @remifications, in this entry I'll share with you the products and methods I use to look after my hair in its current form and I'll also speak on the reality of managing (my) 'black' hair. 

In my mid twenties, I decided to stop trying every recommended product and the many suggested ways to 'look after' my hair. I tested (on strands at the back of my head) a few researched products (ingredients, compatibility, benefits) and stuck with whatever had me see positive results. Since then the relationship between the fro and I is good and *that's the real 'secret' to having a nice head of hair that is of decent quality. We still have a way to go, but, as of 2015, we're on the right path and I'm seeing results (albeit super slow). I went from having a pixie cut (due to how damaged my hair was) to a mini Sideshow Bob afro!
Sideshow Charley at home
I prefer wearing braids though! Simply for the fact that they're a lot easier to look after and I can just get up and go. We each treat our braids differently (hair extensions plaited into our natural hair). For me, it works to apply a teeny bit of pure coconut oil to my roots as and when I feel my head is dry, to massage olive oil into my scalp, then have a steam (weekly) and to spray the hair every other day. I use both of the oils to treat my natural hair too. I usually keep my braids in for about 3 - 4 months and am likely to have washed it (with Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula conditioning shampoo) no more than 4 times during this period. I also allow my natural hair to breathe for up to 2 weeks (as well as moisturising my hair, I will also plait and wrap my hair when out and about) before I braid again.

NB: My natural hair is super fine (hence minimal product use and kids range) and so, to wash it daily, or weekly and to add heavy creams and the alike regularly would drown my head piece causing the hair to break (which I've had enough of over the years). For me, health is the focus not the length. 
My actual hair products
In my younger years and throughout my twenties, I realised that I was spending a lot more time and money on my hair than my non black (female) friends and all of the experimenting, treatments, magazines and hair shows attended saw me damage my (natural) hair quite badly which is why I had to cut it (not trim, CUT) really short more than once! However, that struggle was nothing in comparison to having my (black) hair be misunderstood by those outside of my race and also ill judged (back when I cared what others thought of my hair) by my fellow black women and black men! 
Pixie Charley
The desire to touch my hair, be that in its natural form, or braids, I find weird and to reach out and do so without my permission is RUDE!! Black women's hair can be very sensitive, like a person's skin can be. The wrong hand might cause increased dryness, lead to breakage, or weakness. NO JOKE!!!! Even if that were not the case, we're all well within our rights to not allow some random individual (other women, mostly) to touch our hair 'out of curiosity'. Nobody has ever seen me try to touch a woman's overly made up face just to see if my finger will sink into her cheek past the layers of slap she's wearing! Choopse!

A black woman's hair is her identity not a statement, or a flag to be flown for all other black women, nor is it to be worn, or styled the way any other individual, regardless of their race, believes it should be so as to have the black woman 'fit into' someones ideal. Once upon a time, black women were encouraged to adopt a more european look, hence the use of relaxers (chemicals used to straighten a black woman's natural hair) and now there's a not so subtle pressure for us to 'return to our roots' from all types of people, for whatever reasons...
The length I wore my braids 2014 - 2015
The choices you make about your hair, my fellow black women, is entirely yours to make and (to a degree) depends on your lifestyle because, the management of our hair, as you know, is no quick step!! It's time consuming, takes a lot of planning, prep, strict routines (to see real benefits), money and the world of patience (especially if you wear your hair in its natural form). So, while all of the related / relevant YouTube videos, Instagram pages, Facebook groups and Twitter accounts are 'showing' you 'How To Do This', when, why and telling you what the so-called results would be, know that your goal must be realistic, affordable and the success you'll see (if any) will be a reflection of your lifestyle not just (if at all) the tutorials you follow. No 2 heads of hair are the same, there is no one size fits all.
2017
2017
*I believe less is more and if you commit to a routine, that will be super effective.


What has been /is your experience with your own hair?

Thank you for reading
PREVIOUS POST: The Social Media Diet

2 comments:

  1. Very good reading and I agree no one size fits all when it comes to hair!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by to have a read and for taking the time to leave a comment, Caroline x

      Delete