Tag Archives: Wigs

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:

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Come through, hat! 😉

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.

Lessons Learned

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Lessons learned

I’m  coming upon my third year of being natural, and boy have I learned some things! The number one thing I’ve learned is that being a lazy natural is not the business. You will cause yourself a lot of unwanted damage to your hair and grief to yourself. Let me help you not make the same mistakes that I made with some suggestions:

  1. Do not ignore your ends! Get regular trims or give yourself regular trims. I cannot stress this enough. This was the biggest mistake I’ve made since being natural. DO NOT ignore your ends. Just last night I cut A LOT of damage off of my hair, and I’ve been doing so every so often to try to get rid of the damaged ends – and there’s a lot. I have no one to blame but myself because I did not take heed to a lot of the advice given by other natural’s and professionals.
  2. You must come up with a regular hair care routine and STICK WITH IT. If you wash your hair once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month, stick to your plan and do not be lazy about it. Moisturize, deep condition, give yourself regular scalp massages. I saw much better results when I started to stick to a regular hair care routine.
  3. Do not be afraid of trying different protective styles. Braids are not the only protective style out there. Try wigs, crochet wigs, sew ins, etc. There is nothing wrong with braids, but if they are done too tightly then you’re defeating the purpose.

This past year I experienced scalp irritation (unexplained pain and a bald spot, and breakage in one concentrated area) which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It made me more aware of how I was treating my hair and scalp, and I was actually being too rough on it and scratching too much. I began to use a dandruff shampoo to help with my dandruff and itchy scalp issue, and I’ve now included pumpkin seed oil into my hair care regimen.

I’ve bought myself a pair of professional scissors to cut my hair, and I’ve been doing my own trimming. I’ve been gently flat ironing my hair just enough for me to see what my ends looked like, and then I cut. Eventually I will find my way to a professional, but in the mean time I like taking responsibility for my hair whether if it grows or breaks off. I know that may sound crazy, but that’s how I feel. I know my hair is super uneven, and I’m ok with that. I don’t care about uneven hair right now. I care about HEALTH. If there’s one thing about hair, it will always grow back (unless you have a condition like alopecia or some other condition that causes permanent hair loss).

I’ll be honest, I’ve had my freak out moments, moments of self doubt wondering “Should I just cut it all off again and start over?” Matter of fact I thought about cutting off all of my hair and starting all over just last night! I shared that with my husband and he said “You’re overreacting.” He was right. Sort of. 😉 Even though I’m three years in, I have to keep reminding myself that this is a journey. It has it’s highs and lows,  but you have to keep going. You have to make the best of whatever situation you’re in. It’s funny to read my earlier blogs from when I first went natural to where I am right now. I was very naïve about some things, but experience is definitely a teacher! Lesson learned.

 

My Fro is BACK! And a Moment for the Soapbox……

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Afro Unleashed

First and foremost the braids are gone and my afro is BACK! It feels good to feel MY HAIR again. I have missed my afro these past three months, and my has it grown! It only took two hours to take down my Senegalese twists, and the rest of the time was spent detangling, washing, conditioning, and oiling and plaiting up my hair. The above picture is how it looks today. There’s some serious shrinkage happening in that picture too, but that’s the life of a naturalista! My plan is to get braids again at some point, but I’m not sure when. We’ll see.

SOAP BOX MOMENT……soap box

There have been some interesting topics posted on some of my favorite natural hair blogs on Facebook. One of the topics was about the Natural Hair Nazis who believe that wearing weaves, wigs, or braids (where synthetic or human hair is braided into your hair), is NOT being natural. First off, I want to know who these people are that wrote the Natural Hair Rule Book For Black Women and where I can purchase said book. The last time I checked, NO ONE has any say so on what another woman does with her hair BUT that woman! These natural hair “purists” kill me trying to dictate and determine what makes you natural or not natural with their very judgmental “rules” and ideas.

It’s not easy for everyone to be natural. Let’s just get that out there. Some of us naturalista’s have to put a lot of time and effort into our hair because of the grade of  the type of hair, the climate we live in, and whatever time we have to devote to the care of our hair with our busy lives. I don’t think I’ve met a nautralista yet who can just get up and go with little to no fuss with their natural hair, but that’s not to say that their not out there. When you factor in hair type, climate, and your own personal daily schedule, sometimes it’s simply easier to throw a wig on, or have a quick weave or a sew in weave. Sometimes it’s easier to have braids put in for a few months at a time. These are also called Protective Styles. They protect our hair from constant manipulation, the elements outside (harsh winter cold, hot summers), among other things. So using these alternatives are not bad nor are they breaking any ridiculous unwritten rules.

Bottom line, none of us have the right to judge another person on how they decide to wear their natural hair or what they put in it. Just because I’m natural doesn’t mean I look down on those who still get relaxers. Just because I’m natural doesn’t mean I get to sit on my high horse and dictate what being natural should mean for ALL women. I’ve stated so many times throughout my blog that we all have our own reasons, stories, and journeys that led us to becoming natural. Regardless of our reasons, I will continue to be supportive of all naturalistas and an advocate for natural hair. Embracing your natural beauty and natural hair is a beautiful, liberating thing. 🙂