Now, you probaby will never see me out and about with my afro in full effect because I just don’t care for the look on me. Going in, I never intended to rock the fro. I just wanted my hair to grow healthy without the use of the “creamy crack” as many call it. I looked at the process to be a challenge and it was and still is. It takes patience to sit down and twist your own hair for two hours uninterrupted not to mention the prep time involved such as washing and combing. The process can truly take a whole days work depending on how much hair you have and the addition of kids!
I can honestly say, I dread doing my hair. I love it when it’s done and I love it even better when someone else does it for me. My hair is coarse and thick. I often tell people I look like Ronald McDonald after my hair is washed (you will see)! I have tight curls and feel like I have about 70% shrinkage! Even with that being so, I like the versatility that comes with natural hair.
Here we go…the only picture of my afro you may ever see. My hair is more tightly curled then this when dry, but here is a look of me right after a wash:
Just to clarify, in regards to my regimen (my little sister had some concerns as I’m sure other naturalistas lol), I do tie my hair up most nights with a satin or stocking cap. I occassionaly will twist my hair up in 8-10 big braides before going to bed and co wash my hair every 2 weeks with Motions Moisturizer and Conditioner. Lastly, I use my three hair products every other night to prevent dryness. Now, I’m not sure if that’s going to make anyone feel better, but at least you have a little more accuracy on how I care for my hair. 🙂
Here’s a story for you…while at work one day I had the pleasure of assisting a Caucasian woman who knew exactly what she wanted and couldn’t be bothered with anything more. She was rude and abrupt and I couldn’t wait for her to buy her items and leave. While in the process of checking her out she said, “Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?” My initial thought was what could she possibly have to ask me after the way she been acting? With curiosity in me I said, “Sure what is it?” This is what she said no lie, “Why do black people like to wear their hair like us (straight), instead of wearing their own like yours?” She further explained that her and her two children were having a discussion about it after they saw Beyonce’s performance at the Superbowl.
I didn’t know if this woman was serious or not, but I chose to answer her question like I would if I had been ministering to a lost soul, I just let HIM use me! I told her that just like African Americans come in all different shades of colors, our hair is the same and comes in different texture too. I shared that for many of us, we grew up having relaxers in our hair because that was what our mothers did for one reason or another and it wasn’t until we got older we chose to do something different.
I explained to her that many of the African Americans she sees on TV like Beyonce, often wear wigs and other protective styles because of the line of work their in. I told her that if they had to apply color or heat on their hair for each scene in a video or a movie it would damage their hair. She then made a comment and said, “like Michelle Obama does.” I told her I wasn’t aware of our First Lady wearing any wigs and it appeared that she has always showcased her own hair. I lastly mentioned that even though she saw my hair the way it was (which was my signature look), my hair was a lot longer when I had it pressed and straighten.
After about 20 minutes of “schooling” the woman, I felt my work was done. I had tried my best to enlighten her the best way I knew how. For me, it’s not about “looking like like someone else,” its about having versatility and being chemically free…relaxer free that is. The Bible says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6. I believe we all have questions pertaining to something, we just need to take the necessary steps to ask the right questions and do the research. Happy hair day ladies and gents!