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How Living Abroad Pushed me to Become Natural Again by Alex, a hairasidentity.com contributor

As a southern belle growing up in the deep-south in the 80s, relaxing my hair was the cultural norm. Like most little girls in Memphis, I had my first relaxer at age five. My dear sweet mom did not know how to braid or twist my hair so wearing a relaxer was the only option for me. Plus, I have really thick, “kinky hair” and there was no way my mom was going to struggle to press my hair. I clearly remember the skin burns and burnt scalps I got from the hot comb straightening out my “kitchen”.

Going to beauty salon was the solution to my mom’s problems and quickly became our mother-daughter ritual until high school. We enjoyed flipping through the Dudley hair magazines to see the latest trends before our next six weeks touch up. However, the day I left for boarding school in a remote, predominately white town in New Hampshire, my hair took a turn for the worse. Now, I had to survive on my own and learn how to relax and care for my hair. Yikes! My classmates and I played kitchen beautician and did each other’s hair. I am sure we did some hair damage along the way.

My hair journey got better during my college years in New Orleans where I started to experiment with natural hair and did my first big chop. I had just returned from my internship in Connecticut and decided to cut off my hair after being inspired by another intern. One day, I was at home in the bathroom slowly cutting out my braids and was anxious to reunite with the natural hair that I had abandoned since childhood. I was bold and ready to free myself from the bondage of the relaxer.

Being natural was a time of rediscovery and self love. I enjoyed rushing to the mirror to measure my hair monthly. Twists outs, braids, and Bantu knots were my go to hairstyles and I had even tried locking my hair for a brief period. However, my personal natural hair movement came to an immediate halt when I got married and started working for corporate America. I quickly felt pressured to conform to the relaxed hair regime.

However, life took another turn and in 2010 I returned to my natural self. As my husband and I prepared to travel to Honduras with two kids in tow, the first thing that I stressed about was how I was going to do my relaxed hair in Latin America. When you have relaxed hair, finding the right salon is imperative, especially in cities with small black populations. I searched throughout Tegucigalpa where we lived, and finally I found “ a black hair salon”, which was a blessing and a curse. Located deep in the “barrio”/hood of Honduras with lots of reggeton and salsa music, “Maria’s Sala de Belleza” as I shall say, was a black girl’s heaven. It was the one safe place where a black woman could easily get a Dominican blow out without the mean stairs or was refused service for having “cabello malo”, which means bad hair in English as is a racist term. “Maria”, my new found black hair stylist, over- relaxed my hair and did not rinse out all of my Mizani relaxer that I had bought from the United States.

Maria’s lack of running water and poor relaxing skills led to my hair eventually falling out. My hair was weak and my scalp was always burning after a retouch. I should have run for the door as soon as I saw the bucket of water that was used to rinse my hair. I knew better, but was blinded by the fact that “Maria” was a black hair stylist. Wearing braids was the only way to go until my natural hair grew out.

Since then, I have worn my hair natural and will never go back to a relaxer. In developing countries, the salon industry is so unregulated that you do not know who you can trust with chemicals. My frustrations with hair and finding good products on the local market in Honduras led me to form my cosmetic distribution company, Marina Bella Imports. I currently represent four major U.S. brands in the United States, Honduras, and Rwanda: Luster Products, Cortex Professional, and GK Hair, and my own exclusive line of Passion Remy Indian Human Hair. I did not want future women of color to visit salons with bad products and hair stylists. Now that I work in the hair industry, I have learned how to better care for my hair and teach other hair stylist in developing countries how to properly use chemicals.

As for as hair maintenance, I keep it very simple. I wash my hair once a week with GK Hair Professional, Color Protection Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. I also deep condition my hair with Shea Moisture products. I apply moisturizing lotion and Olive oil daily. I love to twist or roller set my hair too.

I am very pleased with my hair growth. My hair is thick and is pass my shoulders when it is pressed out. I can do various hairstyles and updos. My bangs stretch to the bottom of my nose. Now I am wearing hair color by GK Hair Professional, and thus my hair is still healthy and strong.

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Sundial Brands (SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage) partners with Bain Capital

A little under a week ago, September 2nd to be exact, Sundial Brands announced a partnership with Bain Capital.  Sundial owns such popular natural hair brands as SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage.

sheaproducts

Here, Sundial describes its partnership with Bain Capital:

“Today, Sundial Brands, announced an historic and exciting partnership with Bain Capital to bring the firm on as a minority, non-control investor in our company. As we approach our 25th year in business, this begins another transformative chapter in our story – a story that our community of employees, consumers, retail partners and many more are writing along with us. So, we wanted all of you to hear straight from us why we made the decision. Quite simply, we want to be better so that we can serve our communities better. Period. But we thought you might want a few more details as well, so here are some of the key reasons why this is such an incredible opportunity for us – and you!”

The website goes on to provide 10 reasons SundialBrands chose a new partner.  Feedback on social media seems largely positive.  For some, the partnership with Bain will allow SunDial to reach more consumers, broaden the brand’s reach, and, hopefully, generate additional revenue.  However, some bristle because Bain Capital was founded by Mitt Romney.  In essence, some may perceive Bain Capital as a Republican haven and think that the firm cannot properly handle a natural hair brand.  Articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe provide additional context on the partnership and Bain Capital.

What are your thoughts?  Is it it a good move for Sundial Brands to partner with Bain Capital?  Why or why not?

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I Lack Hair Confidence by Meredith

I went to the hairdresser two days ago and decided to get highlights in my hair. This was a big step for me as I have always been afraid of change, especially when it comes to my hair. I can still remember when I was a child, every Sunday my mom would wash our hair and blow-dry it. Then she would take my sister and me into the kitchen where she would have a chair sitting next to the stove. She had her little “station” set up on the stove and the countertop. Sulfur 8 hair grease; the hot comb on the stovetop; a plastic comb and a towel; I hated Sundays. My mom would make my sister and I take turns. I usually went first, as my hair wasn’t as “bad” as my sisters. She would put the hot comb on the stovetop, take the Sulfur 8 and rub it around the edges of our hair, and then take that hot comb off the stove and press our edges. This was done between relaxer treatments to make it last longer. I can still feel the heat that the comb gave off, the sound of the sizzle at it came into contact with the grease. My sister’s edges and hair overall was worse than mine, so her session usually took longer. My mom said it was all necessary to get our hair to grow. My mom took great pride in making sure her girls had “good hair”.

Then one summer when my sister and I were off visiting our father in Bermuda (my parent’s split when I was very young and every summer my sister and I went to visit him for 2 months), the unthinkable happened. My mother would always tell us not to let our stepmother cut our hair while we were down there visiting. My stepmother is white, and according to mom, she knew nothing about black hair. It was the summer before my 6th grade year, and one day after coming home from swimming, my stepmother chimes, “we need to get you girls’ hair cut”. I boldly exclaimed, “My mom said for us not to get our hair cut”, to which my stepmother replied, “Well, your mother isn’t here”. The war was on. A couple days later my stepmother was taking us to the salon to make an appointment for both my sister and I to get our hair cut. The appointment was made, but neither my sister nor I could have been prepared for what was in store for us. I remember on the day of the appointment I spent the ride in the car combing my hair out in an effort to make it be seen that my hair didn’t need anything done to it. My plan didn’t work.

Bangs Phase
At the salon, my stepmother spent time looking through magazines to pick out styles for both myself and my sister. The styles that she picked out were for old people, not girls heading into the 6ht and 7th grade (my sister is a year older than me). The style she picked out for me was…an afro. Cut it all off and make is a short fro. No other way to say it. I remember sitting in the chair as this man cut off all of my hair. I was hysterical. I cried as he cut it. I cried sitting under the dryer. I cried as he styled it, I cried and cried and cried for days. I was so upset that even as we went to a barbeque at my aunt’s house days later, I locked myself in my cousin’s bedroom and hid because I felt so ugly. A couple of weeks later when we finally returned back to my mom in NY and she caught the first glimpse of my sister and myself with our “new do’s” you could see the look of furor on her face. All I could say was, “She made us get our hair cut”. To which my mother replied, “That is the last time you will go to Bermuda”.

I remember my mom getting on the phone and giving my stepmother a verbal ass-chewing about our hair and her “role” in our lives. Nonetheless the damage was done. My sister and I were to start school in a week with afros. My 6th grade year was horrible. I was ridiculed by my classmates. They used to sing “afros in the house” whenever they saw me. I was teased, they drew pictures of me and my hairdo, and they even threw rocks at me while I was walking home from school. By the end of the school year, my hair grew out enough so that my afro became a short bob. But this incident really defined how I viewed my hair and how I feel like my hair defined me.

After that year, I became very protective of my hair. I went through a period where I refused to get my hair cut. I needed my hair to be long enough to be able to pull back into a pony tail. Even getting my hair trimmed was a process for me. I would watch the hairdresser like a hawk to make sure he or she wasn’t taking too much off. To this day, I still have that problem. If I go to the hairdresser, I will only ask for a trim. I refuse to get layers because heaven forbid the layers are too short for a ponytail. I won’t do bangs for the same reason, plus I never know what to do with them during that awkward growing-out period. I have found that I lack “hair confidence”. It may sound crazy, but it’s true. I don’t feel confident in myself without having longer hair. I don’t feel like I can be sexy to a man, or be able to impress an employer with short hair. My hair defines my confidence and my life.

I am turning 35 years old in less than two weeks and I am afraid of my hair. My highlights came out great and I am surprised at myself for being bold enough to put my faith in my hairdresser to make that change, but I still couldn’t bring myself to get more than a trim. My hair is still long enough to pull back into a ponytail. It’s still one length, with no layers. To me, that incident of having the afro back in the 6th grade made me feel that short hair is ugly. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many women who can rock a short do, and I applaud them and are envious of them as for me it makes me think that they have a confidence that I will never know. But for me, I could never do it and still feel pretty or confident, because of my prior experience. I don’t know if I will ever get over that experience or know that “hair confidence”. I think I will always need to have my shoulder length or longer hair.

New hairdo 2014

  • Laquita

    Thanks for being brave to share your experience. No doubt, other women went through a similar experience.

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The Disunited Nations (a.k.a My Hair)… by Petra E. Lewis

Kevin Ryan Headshot - Color

No one will mistake me for anything other than Black—my skin is a swirl of dark caramel and milk chocolate. My hair? That’s another story. One wonders, like the manna the Israelites picked up from the ground: What is it?

My ancestry is complicated, a thing of borne witness, handed down stories, and myth. The result: A head of hair that is beautiful, maddening, and complex—frequently all three at once. The vast majority of my ancestry is diasporally African (a mixture of Islanders from the Caribbean). My father’s mother, who we all called Mama (accentuating each of the “a”s in our pronunciation), died before my siblings were born. However, I saw her many times as a kid when I visited Trinidad.

Mama was a mixed woman, with curly, mid-shoulder-length hair—which meant it was far longer stretched out. Mama’s mother had emigrated from St. Vincent to Trinidad, and my father said that the father of Mama’s mother was one of two Scottish brothers, the Frasers (far more to that story, but that’s all I’ll say for now). Mama’s surname was French—Serrette—and her father was said to be the owner of a plantation, more than likely a cocoa plantation.  And it appears that, like Mama’s mother, her father was also mixed, from a family of very light-skinned creoles. Hence the handed down stories and myth I spoke about: What is true, and what is not—and where is Henry Louis Gates, Jr. when you need him?

On my mother’s side, her grandfather, Appa, was said to be a dougla—the name we give in Trinidad to people who are a mixture of Black and East Indian. My mom and all her siblings said Appa, a tall, curly-haired dandy, was the spitting image of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.  I took a genealogy test once that said that I have Asian in my background. However, it’s entirely possible that Appa phenotypically looked like a dougla, but was mixed with something else.

When it comes to describing my hair, I have taken to giving my ancestors their own signifiers: three avatars who I call Sanjay, Kunta, and Chip. There are days when it’s all love between those three: Sitting together on the verandah, laughing, playing dominoes, and lazily sipping on chai. Then there are days when my head becomes the site of a global war, as Sanjay, Kunta, and Chip claw and skirmish for territory, jockeying to become the victor who plants his flag in my scalp.

Even on my best hair days, the mixture of textures throughout my head marks each avatar’s dominance—or submission. The curls at the very front of my hair are my favorite section. I guess you can refer to them as: We are the World, where Sanjay, Kunta, and Chip seem to get along best. That part of my hair can sometimes be the most fragile, but the ringlets are perfect, long lasting, and very low maintenance.  Sanjay and Kunta coexist beautifully in a wide section right near each of my ears: thick, springy, perfect ringlets, with a smaller curl pattern that are prone to breakage when not handled properly.  The sides of my hair, towards the middle, is a love fest: Kunta and Chip as BFFs—more so on the right of my hair than the left; on the left, there are times when one of them seems to have taken offense at something, and thrown a tantrum.

Then you get to the end of the sides of my hair, rounding the corners to the back, where Sanjay and Kunta seemingly begin to raise their voices: the beginning of a brawl. The hair in that section doesn’t ringlet as much as it is a strange, thick bushy texture more akin to waves—and very prone to dryness.  The back topmost part of my hair—I guess you can call that the “crown”—is the section I call: Sanjay and Kunta are fighting.  Yes, Sanjay and Kunta are fighting. Full stop—as this posture of strife is a permanent state of affairs.  It’s also a weird, thick wavy something—and I’m pretty sure Chip sat that one out.

For a large swathe of the very back of my head, the trio seems to have called a truce—back to drinking chai, dominoes, and back slapping. The lower rung of my hair hangs in a veil of beautiful baby curls: Kunta and Sanjay finally BFFs. But just below that, wait for it… the section I call WW WTF!!! (Or World War What the Freak, as we’d like to keep this family friendly).

As most Black women know, the kitchen area of our hair is the one that most denotes us as African women.  Sometimes it curls and clumps into little balls; sometimes it’s kinky and springy—yet smooth, lying relatively flat; and sometimes it’s straight.

Depending on a number of factors (a topic for another post) that section of my hair can be either of the three—or a combination. My theory on WW WTF: I think Chip tried to jump into the mix, but Sanjay pummeled him—then (eyes narrowed, breathing heavily), Sanjay turned to square off once and for all with Kunta.  But Kunta wasn’t having it….  And so they fight, on, and on, and on…. Stretched, that section of my hair reaches shoulder length. Unstretched, extreme shrinkage keeps it clinging to the base of my neck, appearing as though it is less than an inch. It’s grown so long in the last year, it only recently occurred to me that what I really need to do is stretch it out and pin it up.

This post is the beginning of many on my head of hair: a beautiful, maddening, and complex thing, a gift from the mysterious, mixed-up, variety pack I call my ancestors. There are days when Sanjay, Kunta, and Chip are polite to a fault (“No, no, you go first kind sir. I insist.” “No, no, I’ll have none of it—I insist, dear old chap: you….”). Those days are glorious: My hair is everything I want it to be, I am brimming with confidence, and all is right in the world. Then there are days when an ugly, bitter war has broken out, flags are planted, and WW WTF is in particularly rare and embarrassing form, and I feel the very confidence drain from my body, as I try to get the rogue, mutinous sections of my hair to yield—knowing full well they’ll ignore me and any pressing business or social engagements that I may have…

Oh, yes, I can tell you stories…. I know you have some, too. What have your own experiences been with your hair in its various states (be it natural or chemically treated)? I would love to hear about your individual journeys. I know you each have so much to say.

Till next time: Love, Peace, and Hair Grease, my friends y amigas….

 


Petra E. Lewis is a writer, author, entrepreneur, Tastemaker, and Synergist who lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The first novel in her trilogy, The Sons and Daughters of Ham, Book I: A Requiem debuts February 2014, www.hamnovels.com .

  • Sandi Webster

    Petra, I so understand the hair thing and sympathize. I, too, come from an “unidentifiable” Jamaican ancestral tree that plays out in my hair. I was constantly frustrated with my “thicker than most” hair until I cut it off in sixth grade (whupping followed!) – I’ve not had long hair since. My grandmother would take all day to “chiney bump” my hair and then I would wake up the next day with wet hair after sleeping on a wet pillow. Right after that, I started to use a pressing comb to straighten my hair – all in the hopes of gaining consistency and decrease maintenance. It gave me a lot of flexibility between my natural states until one bout at the beach when I was 28 made me convert to a perm. A perm is my ancestral hair equalizer the same way my short haircut is time equalizer, meaning it makes everything look and feel the same and I can be out of my house in 15 minutes because I simply need a brush. Not to mention, I think I look simply fab this way.

  • Petra Lewis

    Hi Sandi: Thanks for this. And, yes–you do look fabulous! Didn’t realize that you had had it for this long (no pun intended : ). Can’t imagine you in anything but short hair!

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MTV Does Hair

As we’ve discussed over the several months on this blog, hair matters. It affects how we feel, the image that we portray, how others receive us. It appears that we’re not the only ones who accept that hair is important. MTV is casting for an episode called “I hate my hair” on it’s show “True Life”. TRUE LIFE: I HATE MY HAIR Is your hair your obsession? Do you spend hours of your day and week to style and manage your hair? Are you digging yourself into a financial hole just to deal with your hair? Do you have unwanted hair, or not the “right” hair? Are you undergoing a procedure to alter your hair or do you go to great lengths to manage it?


As we’ve discussed over the several months on this blog, hair matters. It affects how we feel, the image that we portray, how others receive us. It appears that we’re not the only ones who accept that hair is important.

MTV is casting for an episode called “I hate my hair” on it’s show “True Life”. Here’s the casting call :

TRUE LIFE: I HATE MY HAIR
Is your hair your obsession? Do you spend hours of your day and week to style and manage your hair? Are you digging yourself into a financial hole just to deal with your hair? Do you have unwanted hair, or not the “right” hair? Are you someone with a hormone imbalance that leads to hair loss, or facial hair growth?

How does your hair affect your social life? Does your hair make you feel unattractive and affect how you interact with members of the opposite sex? Do your friends and family think you are out of control with your hair obsession? Are you undergoing a procedure to alter your hair or do you go to great lengths to manage it?

If you appear to be between the ages of 15 -28 and have hair that’s making you unhappy, email us at casting@lintonmedia.com and tell us about your story. Please include your name, location, phone number and recent photos of yourself.

I can happily say that I don’t hate my hair…I am learning to love it in all of it’s shapes (wow, still working on loving that just woke up, mashed in shape, whew!).

So, while this casting call’s not for me, I wanted to share it because: 1) some one may be interested in the casting call; 2) it strikes me as interesting that MTV is interested in this topic. A few days ago, MTV even did a casting call for women going natural (see this article on The Root). I couldn’t find the actual MTV casting for the natural hair show so I didn’t blog about it but I thought that you all might like to hear about it. What do you think? How would you like the hair stories to be portrayed? Any True Life fans out there? What do you think?

IMAGE: http://bit.ly/NmsgTC

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Natural Hair Health & Beauty Showcase


Altamese Osborne (Houston Press blog) wrote an article on the recent Natural Hair Health & Beauty Showcase. The showcase was sponsored by Miss Jessie’s.

I particularly love the fact that the article couches “natural hair” as not just about Black women but about women of all backgrounds embracing their God-given hair. Read the article and information about the showcase.
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Best way to refresh natural hair?

I am happy that despite an intense workout, my twist outs are still in fabulous shape. Once I’d showered, I unwrapped my hair (I use a satin head wrap / scarf when I sleep and when I shower) and applied coconut oil. I gently rubbed my hair in a circular motion thinking that any stray hairs would be swirled up into my coils. I was happy with the final look.

As I mentioned the other morning, I am now on a hunt for tips on how to refresh my hairstyles…especially twist outs (I simply love this style and I bet I’ll be wearing it a lot). On one hand, I have heard that whenever you refresh your hair, water should be involved. On the other hand, I’m hesitant to wet my hair in any way shape or fashion when I’m trying to preserve a hairstyle. What do you all do?

  • J-Squared

    Tina… again, I ABSOLUTELY love your hair. In regards to refreshing hairstyles, do you sleep with a bonnet? I notice that when I moisturize at night (a little MJ butter creme or jojoba/coconut oil) and place a satin cap on it, my hair stays pretty much the same. It will just need to be fluffed. As far as adding water to my hair, I would say that's a no-no, only because my hair is frizzy and any water added after styling activates frizz. Are you a frizzer? I've noticed that for non-frizzers, adding water mixed with a styling product works for people as a refresher.

  • topie

    Thanks J-Squared! I just saw the other part of J-Squared the other night! Great to catch up! We had a ball at dinner! Hope to see you soon too!I do sleep with a fabulous satin tie bonnet (I received a gift from Doris New York when I interviewed Marlene Duperley…have you ever used their products?) and I tend to put coconut oil on my hair in the morning (I apply in a circular motion and try to get my coils to POP!). You are right, the bonnet helps my hair retain moisture and, typically, I only need to fluff my hair in the morning.I am so glad you confirmed my fear of spritzing my hair with water. I am definitely a frizzer so I should have known better! But, I am also willing to try new things; I'll just have to wait until it's closer to wash day. :) Thanks again for your comments and compliments! :)

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Workout hair tips

I am having a superficial hair dilemma this morning. Why superficial? Well, I just had my hair professionally twisted last week and it came out great (thanks Niecy). This morning I have an intense boot camp class. Don’t get me wrong, I AM GOING to my class but I hate the way my hair gets puffy at the roots. Aargh. Hey! I will choose health over style AND DAY!

However, I am now on a hunt to find out how folks preserve/ protect natural hair styles (especially twist outs and other loose styles). Please share your workout tips. I will be sure to post a comprehensive list. Thanks!

  • J-Squared

    I'm bad… lol! I use a cotton one that I bought at Target.

  • topie

    Haha, whatever works!

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New York Times article on TSA Natural Hair Patdowns


Image found at: http://www.rlc.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/tsa-logo.gif

I don’t know how you feel about airport security. I for one want to feel safe in the airport and have confidence that the plane, crew and passengers all pass the muster. Recently, however, I’ve been concerned that a lack of education may be causing natural hair wearers to receive disproportionate attention from Transportation Security Administrator (TSA) screeners. An article published yesterday on NYTimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/business/natural-hair-pat-downs-warrant-a-rethinking.html) explores this issue. The article does a nice job of addressing the notion that Black, women, natural hair wearers may experience “cultural pushback” even from other Black women. I’d add that the cultural pushback may even originate from the self. After all we are all affected by the cultural norms of the societies in which we live (you may disagree with the norms, rebel against them, decry them but you are still affected by them in some way, shape or fashion). I know I’ve had my share of personal moments when I looked at my kitchens (interesting blog about it: http://blackerberry.wordpress.com/2008/09/13/hair-changes-from-birth-the-kitchen-the-pick-pressing-hair/) and frowned, upset that I either had to “do something” to the hair on the nape of my neck or cover it up. Yes, cultural pushback is a real issue and I’m delighted that Mr. Sharkey raised this point.

I also appreciate the fact that Mr. Sharkey noted that White women with similarly voluminous hair do not seem to experience pat downs to the same degree as Black women natural hair wearers. Of course, Mr. Sharkey did not conduct an empirical study, however the anecdotal evidence suggests that there may indeed be differences in how the two groups of women are treated by TSA screeners. Wouldn’t it be great if the TSA investigated this? I guess folks would say that the TSA is too busy protecting us to protect our rights.

I also have a few issues with the article. It opens by saying that the protagonist, Ms.Nance, “has a thing about her hair” and quotes her as saying that she doesn’t use chemicals or straighteners and instead wears her natural texture. Why does this equate to having a thing about her hair? She is wearing her hair as it grows out of her head!!! Also, Mr. Sharkey refers to natural hair wearers as being defensive when they become irritated by requests to touch their hair. Now you KNOW how that can go over (insert). Hey, maybe I’m just another defensive natural hair wearer. But, I think if I asked to touch Mr. Sharkey’s underarm, mouth or some other personal area he might understand that it is human to negatively respond to violations of personal space. This is not something specific to natural hair wearers. It would have been great if Mr. Sharkey had drawn this parallel.

All in all, I would submit to a TSA screener patting down my hair but I would be asking questions the whole time. I know, some of you might think that I should keep my mouth shut. Hey, I can’t do that, this is me pushing back on culture.

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Natural Hair Rules: To Follow or Not to Follow



Image found at:
http://www.kisforkinky.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/natural-hair-nevers1.jpg



Reflections on WhoisSugar’s “How to Do You with Natural Hair”


I needed a good laugh today, so I went back to a YouTube channel that always brings me a deep chuckle (you know the kind that you feel in your belly?)! Whoissugar is HILARIOUS to me. In her videos she is able to balance humor with great information. Here is a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGy-umrnG9o) she did earlier this year on “how to do you with natural hair”. Her main message is that there appear to be a million and one natural hair rules and, perhaps, they infringe on our ability to fully express ourselves. Here are a few of her comments:
1. If you want to flat iron your hair every day for the rest of your natural hair life, do it
2. If you want to use a fine-tooth comb to comb your hair with and start at the root do you
3. If you refuse to use a Denman brush on your hair to detangle it, do you
4. If you want to have weave on top of your natural hair, that’s alright
5. If you want to put vagina cream and horse products and silicones and baby urine or whatever in your hair to make it grow faster or whatever, do you
6. If you sleep on cotton sheet, with a cotton pillowcase and a cotton scarf, wrapped with a cotton bonnet with cotton ponytail holder in your head, if that’s what you want to do you, do you


I like the video because it sheds light on how natural hair itself can become bondage if we’re not careful. Not the natural hair itself but the rules that we or others may impose on us natural hair wearers. For me, natural hair is about FREEDOM. DO YOU!


What natural hair rules have you heard of? Do you or don’t you abide by them? Why?



  • Shakena.Renee

    ha! that is funny! i can agree about the comb though…my hair is curly and using a small tooth comb literally makes me cry! i use the wide lol #5 is HILARIOUS because i have a friend that just went natural and OH MY GOODNESS she is trying all of these CRAZY "natural" substances on her hair and my response is always "do you." i personally condish everyday with garnier fructis…wash like every 4-5 days bc my hair is soft and collects dirt/dust sooo fast, and comb it out with the condish in it before rinsing. i flat iron during the winter bc i'm still scared of the myth that wet hair in the winter=a cold lol but hey…to each's own!

  • topie

    Hi Shakena Renee! Isn't WhoisSugar hilarious?! Oh my goodness, she makes me laugh every single time. Sorry for the delay in emailing you back, just had a fabulous party for my daughter's bday. Lots of planning but even more fun! Be well and thanks for reading and commenting on the blog! :)

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