As females our hair can become our security blanket. No one matter tragic our life may be the one thing we always have is our hair. I know a few people who will not cut their hair past a certain length because the thought of their blanket being too short fears them. Even when our bodies get struck down by diseases there are hundreds of wigs we can choose from to allow us feel safe under our newly purchased security blanket. However, what happens when we decide it is time for us to cut past our comfort zone the very thing we have held onto to for years….our hair.
I’ve had multiple people come to me and mention how brave I am to cut my hair. I believe one has to be mentally prepared for the cut because there are mental changes that happen. For instance, I had shoulder length hair which was very versatile. When I cut my hair I would lay in bed in the mornings and think about how I had to comb down my wrap. Then it would dawn on my that I had a low cut. Another time I found a hairstyle I liked and planned to do it once I got back home. Then it dawned on my again how I had a low cut. Cutting my hair messed me up mentally for a few months.
I want to clear something up though. When I say cut I do not mean completely off like I have my hair. I simply mean cut past one’s comfort zone. So if your hair is to the middle of your back and you cut it into a bob cut-thats a new style which requires confidence to rock. I transitioned into my confidence. When I first cut my hair I would never go outside without earrings because I left I would look like a boy. However, last night I noticed how much I have grown by going out two days in a row without earrings and feeling beautiful.
I do believe if I had cut my hair before I was ready to then my confidence with my cut would have been a long journey. Not only do you have to build confidence from within but exemplify your confidence to others. I had a member of my church tell me she was upset that I cut my hair and how she did not like my cut at first. However, after a few months she fell in love with the cut on me and does not want me to grow my hair back. (She is not the first person to tell me to not grow my hair back) Her comment simply results from the confident and the security in knowing how well my new hair cut complimented me.
Overall, whenever YOU are ready to cut YOUR hair make sure you stand firm to your decision because you believe it is the best decision for you. Guess what?? If that cut does not compliment you, let your hair grow back (because it will) and cut it in a new style once its able to be cut again. No matter how your hair looks find the beauty within yourself and rock your hair to the fullest!!
~B.R.A.T. (Black, Radical and Thorough)
It is hot! How many styles can we put in our hair to stay cute, cool, and cunning to make our hair grow? There are dozens yet one thing most people forget after washing their hair between styles is to clip their ends.
Clipping one’s ends helps hair to grow strong and healthy. Similar to grass, if one does not cut it the grass will get long but it will look stringy and unhealthy. Our hair is just like that. If we do not cut our ends then our hair will look stringy and unhealthy-that is one style you do not want for the summer.
Recommendation: Get your ends clipped every 6 weeks or at least between hair styles that you keep in for months. This way your hair will grow and flow once the winter comes around.
While on this natural hair journey, I realized that I must be able to embrace my natural hair at every stage and explore different looks and hair products. I believe that the first and most important tip when dealing with natural hair is having PATIENCE!
My hair and I have been at war since I became grown enough to think I could do it myself. I realized that walking away from perms was only the first step in being natural. Being natural has seriously become a journey for me. It has been a time that I realized things about myself just because I accepted my hair for its texture and the current length that it is. You are able to love yourself more because once you accept your hair, you love your self a little more.
The first year of your natural journey should be time to learn more about yourself and how to handle your hair. You must use different products to know which one works for your hair because in doing so you will be able to create and maintain a consistent routine will help benefit healthy hair. I personally use YouTube as my number one resource when it comes to my natural hair. I view product reviews as well as different hair regimens. While looking at these videos, I realized that I must ALWAYS remember NATURAL LONG HAIR IS NOT SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS OVERNIGHT! Did you know that hair grows approximately ½ inch per month which could total up to six inches in one year?
Proper care such as protective styles such as up do’s, braids and sew in weaves, using essential oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, raw African shea butter, and my new favorite Jamaican Black Castor Oil and most importantly takes PATIENCE and consistent diligent care, retaining length should be made a little easier. So remember when trying to grow your natural hair, it is about having the patience to promote hair growth and retain length.
The warm spring weather is fast approaching and no one has time for this…
So it’s time to find ways to save our natural hair during the heat. Before I cut my hair I too struggled with how to preserve my natural hair from sweating out. One style in particular that complemented me was 2-strand twists. As you will get to know me-I am all about getting the cutest styles with the smallest amount of work. So after washing my hair I would twist it while it was still damp. If your hair begins to dry out while twisting simply spray water on it to get the moisture back in it. The beauty of 2-strand twist is the versatility of having 2 different hairstyles. You can keep the twist in for 1 week then rock the crinkle/fro look for another week.
Most African Americans have dry hair whereas; Caucasians have oily hair. This explains why they need to wash their hair multiple times throughout the week. Our hair being the blessing that it is, we do not have to wash our hair every week but we do need to keep it moisturized. For example, putting grease, oil sheen, and moisturizers in our hair on a weekly basis helps it to grow, remain healthy and shine. While you are protecting it from the sun-remember to nurture it as well.
Check me out…
For those who may not like the 2-strand twist some other styles are:
Senegalese/ Kinky Twist
Styles to avoid every day are buns. Even though buns are most convenient for natural styles it wears and tears on your hair. The pressure of the bun breaks off your hair slowly which leads to breakage. Save your bun for those days when you do not have much time to do your hair at night or in the morning.
~ B.R.A.T. (Black, Radical, and Thorough)
Next week: Highlighting III Sisters of Nature; The “Cleaner” Hair Care Products
As requested, AfroMadu has a segment specifically for natural hair. Here is the open forum to comment, discuss, and inquire about natural hair, its politics, how to manage it, and seeing people overall everyday maintenance with natural hair. Please feel free to comment and share things you would like to add to this segment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Editor!
About a year ago, I decided to cut off my hair to see how it would complement my facial features. While making my decision, I struggled with how I would take care of it. Too many times I heard conversations of women with natural hair talk about how they use shampoo, conditioner, leave –in conditioner, cream to elongate their curls, dry their hair, then finally, use moisturizer spray to hold the curls just to have a “natural” hairstyle. So I decided, that because of this trend of using numerous amounts of products that I would do the least possible treatment to my hair.
I believe the beauty in going natural is to embrace how one’s hair transforms into its most natural state without the interference of too many products. So I plan to explore all of the “Natural” hair care products/concoctions to see which ones actually compliment one’s natural state or interferes with it. I want to see if my hair can be as healthy and beautiful before I cut it. I am also interested in learning about the products and stories of others as well. Let this journey begin.
– B.R.A.T. ( Black, Radical and Thorough)