August 2018 will mark my ten year anniversary of having natural hair. Yes, you read that correctly TEN YEARS and if you’ve seen some of my other posts, you might wonder why my hair isn’t much longer.
“You have black people hair”
Welcome to my natural hair journey.
When I first went natural I had no idea how to care for my hair, so I treated it as if I was still getting relaxers. I washed my hair maybe once a week and wrapped it every single night to add length. I blow dried my hair every single day for nearly three years straight because I wanted my small afro to appear longer. I never did a big chop because most of my relaxed hair just broke off.
It took years for me to realize that this is not how natural hair is supposed to be treated.
Before I get into how I learned to care for my natural hair I want to touch on how society’s view of me (based on my experiences) have changed. Since I’ve gone natural I’ve learned that most people, even hairstylists, DO NOT understand natural hair. They don’t understand that a large percentage of black people don’t have naturally straight hair and are of the opinion that wearing your hair in an afro must mean that something is wrong physically or mentally. I have been told countless times that my natural hair doesn’t look good or that I’m crazy for wearing my hair like that by people of all backgrounds.
“It looks like pubic hair”
I’ve come to realize that a lot of this dislike for natural hair comes from the fact that natural hair makes you look “too black.” Society is of the opinion that black women who have natural hair must be dangerous, radical, frightening or rebellious. On several occasions I have walked into a restaurant, business, or other establishment and have had eyes fall on me because of my natural hair.
Here’s a list of things I’ve heard or been told about black hair in general:
- It looks rough
- That’s some crazy hair
- Does she have long hair? “No, she’s black”
- Nappy ass hair
- You have black people hair
- It looks like pubic hair
- That’s an interesting hairstyle…
- I’ve never seen hair like that before
- Is that your real hair?
I should point out that a lot of these comments were from people of color, mostly black people. Sadly, this is just something that black women go through and I don’t see ending anytime soon. As long as society holds negative opinions on people of color, black hair will be looked down on as not being good enough. Nevertheless, I don’t let any of this bother me because I know my hair is beautiful.
Caring for my natural hair
When I browse social media sites I see women and men with beautiful natural hair and about two years ago I decided that I was going to start caring for my hair the way it should be. I now deep condition and wash on a regular basis. I wear my hair in protective styles, keep my hair moisturized and trim as needed.
“I know my hair is beautiful.”
- Mondays are wash days.
- I alternate between deep conditioning and protein treatments as needed.
- Daily scalp massages.
- I keep my ends moisturized with leave in products and avocado oil.
- I keep my scalp clean with onion juice (yes onion juice-post to come soon) and apple cider vinegar.
- I protective style often.
Since I’ve started caring for my hair it has grown tremendously. I’m about three inches from bra strap length when stretched (which is a huge deal for me) and can’t wait to see more growth!
Comment with your opinions, your natural, straight, curly, or wavy hair journey, or if you just need to rant or rave.
Thanks for reading!