Calling all Black women! Calling all Black women! Join the Natural Black Hair Revolution now! You no longer have to hide your glory under wigs and weaves or mutilate it with creamy crack! Calling all Black women! Calling all Black women! The time to free yourself is now! Free yourself from the stigma that says our hair isn’t as manageable, versatile or beautiful as anyone else’s!
Sistas, take off those wigs and cut out that weave. Throw out the creamy crack (perm) and put down the flat iron! The science for natural African hair care is upon us and in full affect. Unlike the not too distant past, the knowledge and information concerning the maintenance, care and upkeep for natural hair is everywhere, in fact, many natural African hair care lines have gone commercial. We now have no excuse for hiding under wigs and weaves, because we don’t “know how to deal with our hair” or worse, we think “other” hair textures are more beautiful than our own.
The notion that Black hair doesn’t grow or that its unmanageable is a fallacy. Granted, there’s no faster hair care than just throwing a wig on, but where is the pride in that? Why do we want to continue to announce to the world that we don’t think we look good unless we are wearing the White woman look? If we continue to buy into what the world thinks of us then we will continue to pass on the legacy of self hatred to our future generations, its as simple as that. Granted, fake hair isn’t the only manifestation of self hatred in the Black community, but it is certainly a strong example. We’ve been protesting and marching for damn near 100 years for the world to grant us equal footing in all aspects of life, isn’t it time we attribute the same fairness to the hair that grows out of our head? Indeed, the stigma that society has placed on the Black female characteristic is deep rooted and goes back centuries, but is time for sistas to step into the 21st century and FREE OURSELVES!
Truth be told, transitioning from chemically treated hair, wigs and weaves is the BIGGEST step. If you’ve never worn your hair natural and don’t know anyone that wears their hair naturally, you may be wondering how in the world do you make the change. My advice is to first get educated. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of YouTube videos of sistas demonstrating natural African hair care. There are also many excellent websites and blogs like CurlyNikki that are the best guides you could ask for on natural care.
The second step would be to just stop creamy crackin’ (perming)! Let your new growth come in. Some sistas decide to go all in and BC (Big Chop) their permed hair right away and rock a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro). Others would prefer to have more length before they cut off their perm and continue wearing a wig or weave. I would suggest however, if you are going to wear a weave while you transition, get the old school weave where your hair is corn rowed first and then the weave is sewn in. Just make sure your beautician doesn’t pull the thread too tight and maintain a weekly deep conditioning regiment. Its also good to transition with braids. Simple box braid styles are easy to care for and help you maintain a professional look at work. Again, however, if you use synthetic hair, make sure its not braided too tight, deep condition regularly and don’t keep them in longer than one month.
Natural African hair care is actually pretty straight forward, moisturize, moisturize and moisturize. Although there are many retail products out there, we can actually care for our hair pretty well with everyday household items or things we might find in the kitchen. For instance, I use coconut and olive oil to give myself a hot oil treatment before I co-wash (wash w/ conditioner). My hair loves coconut and olive oil and reveals beautiful, soft and shiny curls from a two-strand twist out. Many natural African hair conditioning methods contain other household items such as, avocado, castor oil, Shea butter or honey. Add one leave in conditioner and you can create your own deep conditioning regiment.
One very key thing to remember as you are becoming the natural you, keep the heat to a very low minimum. Nothing breaks off our hair like heat. If you want to wear a blow out, make sure you only do it once a month and that may even be a bit much. As well, dust (trim) your hair RELIGIOUSLY every eight weeks. The key word here is dust, don’t give yourself a haircut, just trim enough off to get most of your crunchy ends.
In order for the world to respect us, we must first love and respect ourselves, as we are. Yes, YOU ARE YOUR HAIR! We are Black women. We are our color, our lips and our hips! If we weren’t we would be someone else. It is up to us to conquer that fear and stigma, no one else can do it for us. If we don’t stop wearing the stigma, then the stigma remains.
This is my first blog on natural African hair care and there’s much more to come. You don’t have to go it alone, there is so much information on the Internet, in the blogosphere and in the community, I don’t know why every sista isn’t natural. Black hair is beautiful and Black women are beautiful when we wear our hair naturally. Now go ‘head and Grow Your Natural!
by Shannon Rose