Category Archives: Twist Out

The Erasure of Kinky Hair

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Purple and black fro

The erasure of kinky hair is a real issue, and I’ve been speaking on it since I started this blog and big chopped over four years ago. One glaring and utterly disturbing thing I noticed after becoming natural was black natural haired women’s obsession with having curly hair and all the bloggers, vloggers, and hair products that promote this trend. I didn’t understand it then, and I don’t understand it now. For many African American women, being natural isn’t pretty unless your hair is curly. I’m talking about those who aren’t happy with a simple twist out or braid out; they want that curly hair on a constant basis from using one or a bunch of products that will magically make their hair curl. What they fail to realize is that for many, despite the products they use, their hair still may not curl up the way they want it to – especially if they have kinky hair. I’ve even heard women say that they stopped being natural because their hair wouldn’t curl like the other naturally curly women (mixed race women or the bloggers who have 3b – 4a type hair).  I’ve also heard women say that they refuse to go natural because they know  their hair won’t curl up. All of these sentiments sadden me.

I always thought that the natural hair movement was about encouraging black women to embrace their hair as it grows out of their scalp and to learn to nourish it, take care of it and most importantly, love it. At least that’s what it means to me. But the constant barrage of images of women with curly hair due to their mixed heritage or whose hair type is simply naturally curlier than those with kinky hair, has many black women seeking something that may never happen for them unless they become product junkies and buy a bunch of products. This, in turn, does not allow them to love and appreciate their hair for what it does naturally on it’s own and accept their hair for what it cannot do. In turn, they give up on their natural hair journey because of disappointment and unrealistic expectations.

I have nothing against curly girls. I love and appreciate them. But we cannot ignore the fact that there is still a lack of representation for those who have kinky hair. I place the bulk of the blame on the companies who market false hopes and misguided ideas of beauty to women with kinky hair that they too can have instant curly hair by using a cream, gel or shampoo. Curly hair is not what makes natural hair beautiful. Being natural and no longer poisoning your hair, scalp, and essentially your body with chemical relaxers is what is beautiful.  Caring for your hair with all natural oils and products is what is beautiful.

Making the decision to rock your natural hair is not something you should take lightly. It’s an emotional journey, it’s time consuming, and it’s full of highs and lows. Sticking to that decision when experiencing the frustrating lows is even harder. But one of the worst things you can do is to go into your natural hair journey with unrealistic expectations. If you’re a kinky haired girl, learn to love your kinks and coils and don’t be ashamed to rock them. It is completely okay if your hair doesn’t curl up magically after putting a curling pudding on it. Don’t allow our kinky hair to be erased because society and hair care lines are catering to and promoting curly hair every time you go to the store, or look at a magazine or watch a TV commercial. Kinky hair is beautiful. Kinky hair needs representation. We are not the step child of the natural hair community. We will not be erased.

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Protective Styling – It’s Not That Hard!

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So why have I been making it so hard? Or am I just lazy/content with what I’ve been doing thus far? I think it’s the latter. Lately, I’ve been seriously thinking about other ways to protective style that will not hurt my pocket book so much. (I just showed my age saying pocket book LOL!)  I LOVE going to the shop and getting my hair braided, however that’s not always financially feasible. Braids are a wonderful investment that you can get two – three months out of, especially when you find a great hair braider. Crochet braids only last for a few weeks (depending on style and type of hair you use) and then you have to take them down.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten myself into the bad habit of twisting or plaiting my hair and then taking it down the next day to wear a curly fro, then retwisting or plaiting to do it all over again night after night. Well, I’m noticing split ends and extra shedding. Not good. The shedding and split ends aren’t just because of over manipulation. It’s also because I haven’t been tucking my hair away this winter. The cold, harsh winter air has my hair dry and brittle. To be more loving and gentler to my hair, I’ve set a new goal for myself, inspired by fellow Naturalista’s on Facebook. My goal is to leave my hair in a protective style for a week and to keep doing it every week until it becomes a habit. I think this is a great goal for people like myself who desperately need to leave their hair alone.

Yesterday, I had an epiphany. Not only am I going to invest in more colorful scarves so I can wrap my hair in different styles, I’m going to also invest in a WIG! And not just any ole’ wig, I want a good wig that looks like my natural hair. I’ll admit that I’ve been resistant towards wigs for quite some time. I’ve never worn one in my entire life except for a talent show. I’ve always felt that I wouldn’t look right in them. But I’ve now had a change of heart and I’m ready to rock a wig! Maybe it’s because I’m in my 40’s and I no longer care about what other people think. Regardless of the reason, I’m here for them. I’m here for wigs! yaaasssss

Until I get my wig and more colorful scarves, here’s what I’m rocking today to keep my plaits in my hair:

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses, hat and closeup

Come through, hat! 😉

My Natural Hair in Pictures

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Hey there!

I try to capture my hair in all stages to document growth or if a twist out turned out nice. I chose some photos from my phone just to share. I’m lacking in the hair styling department. As you can see, my go-to is a headband. Lately, I’ve been just letting my afro be free and do what it do. A few weeks back I did a light blow out. It didn’t take long for my 4c hair to draw back up, LOL!

I’ve also been rocking headwraps, but I need some color in my life desperately! I’m working on getting some color and patterns in my life with my headwraps. 😉  I also tried my hand at flat twisting my hair. It wasn’t great, but it served its purpose for that day. My goal is to experiment more with styles for my hair. I’ll keep you posted!

sonyas-natural-hair

 

Vegetable Glycerin and Aloe Vera Juice

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very-good

Recently I’ve adopted a new way (new for me anyway) to moisturize me and my daughter’s hair using vegetable glycerin and aloe vera juice. (see my previous post for recipe https://2dimplzs.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/moisturizing-my-dry-4c-hair/) First off, it totally works! I have never felt my hair this soft and stay so moisturized before in my life! Our hair was more manageable and easier to comb or finger comb through.

But…no matter if we plaited or twisted our hair and styled it the next day for a bomb twist out, puff, or afro it would shrink down quickly! You’d think we lived in the hot and humid south instead of the dry northwest! My daughters did not like this, they love being able to rock their huge afros or huge puffs. I had to agree with them, it was definitely a downside to having and keeping moisturized hair.

I think this is a case of taking the good with the bad. Having moisturized hair is very important. It cuts down on breakage, it promotes growth, and it makes our 4c hair much more manageable. What more can you ask for? What I will change is how often I spritz our hair with the vegetable glycerin and aloe vera juice. A little goes a long way. Finally, I feel like I’m finding my way through this natural hair journey!

Xoxo

Embrace Your Natural Tresses

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Natural hair art

 

When I started this blog, I posted about how important it is to embrace your natural hair in order to love it and feel comfortable with it. I know that doesn’t come easy for everyone, which is why it’s important that you’re absolutely sure that this is the journey you want to embark on. It’s easy to say you’re all in and then feel overwhelmed once the process really starts to happen. Trust me, I’ve been there. When I big chopped I LOVED having the super short hair and being able to wash and go and not having to fuss with my hair much, if at all. Then it started to grow. Slowly. It seemed like it took forever for it to grow to the point where I could do twist outs and I became frustrated, but I stuck with it. I loved my fro, and I loved my natural hair.

I’m saying all of this because I had a doctors appointment recently where the nurse who was taking care of me complimented me on my hair and asked me what I do to maintain it. She then related that she had been natural for a year but keeps her hair covered up with wigs. She knows that’s not good either, and I told her “Yes, you need to let your hair breathe.” She wanted to know what products to use and how to style her hair. I began to tell her what I use which is natural, organic oils and butters. I told her to rock a twist out and she said “But what if I want to go out and I want to straighten my hair? Other naturals tell me to stay away from heat though.” I said “Yes, it’s best to try to keep the heat out of your hair, but there are those who flat iron their hair or straighten it with a straightening comb. That’s totally up to you if you want to do that, but know that heat can be damaging.” Then she kept saying that she thinks natural hair looks good on other people but not herself.

That’s when I told her that she has to give her natural hair a chance because she’ll never embrace it and learn to love it if she’s always covering it up with a wig. I encouraged her to rock her fro and rock it with some big hoop earrings. Again she stated she was scared that it wouldn’t look right on her. <PAUSE> How on earth does ones natural hair not look right? This is what relaxers and straightening combs have done to us. We don’t even know that our natural tresses are beautiful because we’ve been brainwashed to believe that only straight hair is beautiful! If I had more time to talk to her, I would have asked her WHY she went natural to begin with. Did she do it because she thinks it’s “in” right now? Did she do it because she knows it’s what is healthier for her? Either way she’s struggling with accepting her natural hair and that made me feel…sad.

If I had the time to speak with her a little longer I would have encouraged her to do her research. Go to YouTube and look for how-to videos of how to care for, maintain, and style her hair type and length. I also would have encouraged her to research and educate herself on the different natural and organic oils and butters that are excellent for our hair and scalp. Education is key to loving your natural hair. I can’t stress that enough. I did a ton of research before I went natural, after I went natural, and I continue to do research now that I’m three years natural. Never stop educating yourself about your hair, but before you take the plunge into the natural world, educate yourself as much as possible. Find out your hair type. Some people hate hair typing, but for me it helped knowing my hair type(s) because I quickly realized that I have different grades of hair in my head. It will also determine what products and oils you can or cannot use in your hair.

Finally, once you’ve educated yourself, it’ll help you to embrace and appreciate your natural hair for what it can and cannot do. Not all hair is meant to curl up and be bouncy when you walk. Not all hair is going to hang freely. Just because a product says it’ll make your hair curl doesn’t mean it’s true for your hair. Take the time to get to know your hair. Once you do that, you will learn to love, embrace, and appreciate your natural tresses.

Comedy Relief: Adventures in Flat Twist Outs

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Good Fellas Laughing

We’ve all done it: Tried something that we knew wouldn’t quite work the way we wanted it to, especially if trying it for the first time. I took my kinky twist braids down yesterday with the help of my two girls. After washing and deep conditioning, I blew my hair out just a little with the blow dryer to do a twist out. I wanted my hair stretched out a bit more, hence blowing it out just a tad. At the last minute I decided to do flat twists on my dry hair. I got on YouTube to look at tutorials on how to do flat twist outs on dry hair since I have thick 4c hair. Just about every tutorial I looked at required the use of hair gel. I HATE using gel in my hair, and I stay away from using it as much as possible. Needless to say, I tried it.

After putting JBCO (Jamaican Black Castor Oil) on my scalp, and my homemade mango butter mixture on my hair, I commenced with the flat twisting of my hair. Now mind you, I’m no expert on flat twists. I’m still learning and trying to get the technique down. I rolled up the ends with rollers to have extra curl definition.

This morning when I took my hair down, of course it did not lay the way I wanted it to. Again, I’m no expert at flat twists so I’m sure my technique and braid pattern had a lot to do with that. My hair was basically a curly mess. The one thing that bothered me the most was that my hair was also very, very HARD. But, like a true Naturalista, I went to my plan B hairstyle: I finger fluffed my hair as best I could (considering I had used gel in it) and grabbed a head band. Head bands have saved the day many times for me, y’all!

Don’t ask me why I broke the cardinal natural hair rule of never trying a new hairstyle without first testing it out – especially when you have to go to work the next day! It was on a whim, and I felt adventurous. I’m laughing at my mistake now because I knew better, and I did it anyway. Because of my hard headed “adventurous” ways, I’ll be washing my hair again tonight to get rid of the gel that has my hair feeling hard and crunchy. Yay me. <—- (sarcasm) This morning as I was taking my hair down from the flat twists, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself because deep down I knew it was going to be a hot mess. Oh well, lesson learned…even if it was a funny one!

Twist out