I don’t know what it is about Friday, but I always get the strong urge to write something. Actually I know what it is about Friday… it’s the 4 days that come before it! It’s been a dramatic week for me y’all but that is a story for another day.
So anyway sometime during the week the film “Good Hair” by Chris Rock was screened and I didn’t really concentrate but I did watch some of it. The part that interested me most was the Relaxers discussion, what they are made off and the effect they have on your scalp – burns and permanent hair loss- and some of the possible long term effects on your health. I have been relaxer free for 2 full years now and so I wasn’t too concerned by what I heard. I did however start thinking about all my family and friends and worst still the children, I have seen 2 year old’s in the salon getting relaxes on their little baby heads!
From as far back as I can remember, natural black hair was just not an acceptable style to rock. Who remembers the stretching comb? Many a weekend was spent sitting dead still whilst my sister raked my hair with the red hot stretching comb whilst the aroma of burning hair filled the room and the sizzle of the petroleum jelly filled my ears! Then when I got older I was allowed to get a perm, oh how I loved my greasy curly hair, I would even pull down a strand in the front so I could look like Michael Jackson. Later in high school we discovered the straight perm, finally, we had arrived. But no sooner had we “arrived” when the new kid on the block stepped up to claim its spot in the hair care industry. The Relaxer. I remember my first Relax, I was 18 years old and I got my hair cut and relaxed and tonged, I was fly enough to star in one of those SWV music videos I tell you! For years I followed the routine of bi-weekly shampoo and set and 6 weekly relax to keep my hair tight and I never once thought there could be anything wrong with my hair care regime.
In many circles in Africa a girl stepping into a place rocking natural hair is looked at as if she had walked into the place with a bundle of wood on her head and dragging a goat behind her! Natural hair is seen as rural, unsophisticated or you are just too broke to get your hair done.
But is that true? Is that why so many African American celebrities have suddenly shorn their locks and started wearing their natural hair, or could they be on to something here?
Fast forward to today, where I am better educated on hair issues and no longer relax my hair. (my transition to natural hair is described in a previous blog) There is a major revolution mainly in the USA encouraging women to wear their hair in its natural form, in this instance the definition of natural hair would be the texture of the hair is not chemically altered (I don’t even know why most women still relax their hair anyway, they haven’t stepped outside without a weave or a wig since Toni Braxton stopped wearing that short cropped hairstyle!). So now I want to bring that revolution here, to my African sisters.
As part of my revolution I am going to bring you articles with the following information
- The benefits of wearing your hair natural
- how to transition from relaxed to natural hair
- Tips on how to care for your natural hair
- Great products for your natural hair
- Lots and lots of style inspiration for your hair
- Interviews with some of you –Relaxed, transitioning, and Naturalistas
- And maybe even some giveaways!!
Lets love the hair we were born in.