Welcome to the Jungle
It’s the thing that is never far from a brown girl’s mind–literally…her hair. It’s been a long time since I did a post about it. Today I want to focus on understanding your hair type. No, this is not about knowing whether you’re a type 3b or 4c. This is a post about understanding YOUR hair and having realistic goals for what it can be and what it will take to get it there.
Don’t Be Delusional
I’ve been natural since 2013 and it has been a journey of discovery, not so much about myself. The discovery has been about what my hair does and does not need and about what it can and cannot do. For example, I admire twist outs on girls with kinkier, coarser hair, but mine never look quite right, so I leave that to the kinky-curly girls. Women sometimes have very unrealistic aspirations for their hair! A few times, I have had women come up to me, and say that they wanted their natural hair to “do like mine does”. They weren’t referring to the style of my hair. They were referring to the type or grade of hair that I have, but their hair type was nothing like mine.
That made me uncomfortable, because I felt them comparing our hair.
On the other hand, I once had a woman come up to me in the Goodwill, and compliment me on how healthy my hair looked. That made me smile.
What’s Your Hairstory?
We all have hairstory or history with our hair that has affected the way we feel about our hair and ultimately about ourselves. Since childhood, I’ve been labeled with having “good hair”, but it wasn’t a compliment. Girls would be like, “Yeah, she thank she all that ’cause she got good hair.” “That ain’t even her real hair. That’s weave.” “If my hair was like that, I’d go natural.” It was more like a curse until I understood that “her” insecurity and self-esteem issues had nothing to do with who I was.
I don’t believe in “good hair” associated with a certain hair type.
I believe in healthy hair–that’s good hair!
I’m a lover and admirer of all hair types and styles, but if you’re kinky, be kinky. If you’re coily, be coily. If you’re wavy…you get the picture. It makes me sad when women don’t have a good relationship with their hair. Every type of hair has its benefits and challenges. It is up to every natural girl to crack the code of her own hair. While it’s nice to be able to sit in someone’s chair and have them work their magic on your locs, you should know your hair better than your beautician.
Come Here, Let Me School You
The best way that I recommend starting a healthy relationship with your hair is to do your research. What’s the best way to do it? YouTube University! I “earned” my bachelors of natural hair there (smiling). Search for natural hair, and find a girl with the same kind of hair that you have. If her hair is healthy, watch every single video that she has uploaded on how she takes care of it. Watch the videos again and again over time, or find another natural girl vlogger and do the same. Create a natural hair playlist, or borrow mine. Get it in your spirit! After you watch enough times, you’re naturally going to want to go out, buy some products, and try to recreate what you watched.
You probably will fail. EPICALLY at first, but that’s part of the journey.
As you can see from my epic diy blowout fail from the feature image of this post, no one is immune to failure. Do you think that those vloggers’ hair looked amazing the very first time that they did it on their own? I doubt it. Doing your own hair will make you understand it, eventually master it, and hopefully love it, and everything good can come of that!
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