ARTICLES · BEAUTY, SKINCARE & HAIRCARE

Natural Hair Update part 1

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I posted a natural hair update 2 or 3 years ago so thought to let those who are interested know how I feel about my hair now that I am four and a half years post relaxer and properly well into my natural hair situation (I refuse to use the J word! the one that rhymes with gurney).

This is a two parter, the second of which will be all about the specific products and techniques I use to care for my hair.This part is more of a chit chat sharing answers to questions I get asked IRL in addition to a couple of anecdotes…because people somehow manage to make the whole thing far more serious than it needs to be (shout out to the natural hair Nazis).Some people think you’re betraying your race if you don’t have natural hair, Some people spend a lot of time nastily explaining to women that if their hair is dyed or has ever been straightened , they have no right to say their hair is natural. I’m not into all that demarcation nonsense.

Lets all take a deep breath and say it together…. IT.IS.JUST.HAIR

I don’t have natural hair for political reasons, to advance a movement or because I think that is the way every black woman should wear her hair. Pas du tout! A woman should get to do whatever the hell she wants to do. Whether she wants to have dreadlocks or bone straight blonde hair swishing against her ankles. I support doing whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin. 

Any advice for people considering going natural or who are transitioning? It’s a wonderful experience, really. You haven’t lived until you have cried actual giant-sized infant style tears over spending over 2 hours detangling your knotty hair, with no end in sight. Seriously though, Just be aware that for the majority of women (obviously texture dependent) caring for your hair will take much more time and effort than you are accustomed to. If you just want to try natural hair out because someone told you its fun and easy, that all you have to do is wake up in the morning to witness delicious curly ringlets cascade down your back well…then Santa Claus is also real.

 Your hair will look like shit sometimes – thats okay.You’ll wish you had another woman’s hair texture because yours makes you want to ask God why he punished you with such an affliction  -completely normal.You’ll probably be a product junkie at some point violently accumulating bottles and jars of cookie scented hair butters, many of which wont do what they promised..thats okay too. You will stand in front of your mirror tugging strands desperately and begging your hair to please grow- you are not alone. The success is so much sweeter when you start figuring out what styles and products work for you hair and you start to see actual progress. I encourage you to hang in there for that!

How do people react to your natural hair in your day to day life? Its a mixed bag. Thankfully I haven’t gotten the classic ‘When are you going to DO your hair?’ comment in a long time. It helped step up my ‘nasty side eye’ game, so no experience is a waste. I get complements – incredibly sweet and once in a while a mean comment, because balance :) The other day at a salon a woman asked me if I was some sort of ‘artist’ (she spat the word out with more venom than your average cobra) because she couldn’t understand why I would leave my hair natural. I think corporate environments in Nigeria are a bit more accepting of natural hair, in my experience,  than in previous years because its a lot more common. The fact is that a lot of people still struggle to associate certain natural hair textures (particularly type 4 kinky hair) with their idea of what a beautiful woman looks like. Interestingly, I find the dodgy comments are much more from women than men.

Will you ever relax your hair?

Hmm… At least once every single year, I decide that I have had enough of shrinkage, single strand knots and all the natural hair drama and will relax my hair. I tell myself that natural hair is too stressful and time consuming. Who doesn’t want to comb their hair without risking a migraine? I clearly never followed through partly because I’m not mega keen on introducing such harsh chemicals into my life again and mostly because i think natural hair is so so so beautiful. My hair is my hair exactly how it grows out of my scalp and I think that little girls should grow up learning to feel beautiful with the kinky hair they have, and knowing that its an option the same way every other hairstyle is. I might relax my hair one day or I might stay natural forever…it just depends on what works for me at any stage of my life.

How long is your hair now?

I rarely straighten my hair because lazy/can’t be bothered, but it’s a mix of mid back and bra strap length at the moment. I do feel I have hit a plateau so I’m currently switching up a few things in my regimen so it grows much longer.

Feel free to leave any questions or let me know how your own natural hair situation is going, if you’re also in the grind. If you have a different hair texture, style or inclination, you’re more than welcome. We have a just ‘do you’ policy here :)

I pride my self on my totally bomb Natural hair inspiration Pinterest board (among other depressingly trivial achievements) so do check it out HERE. Its more likely to make you want to have natural hair that being drugged and brainwashed.Naturally.

Hasta Mañana!

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