I used to believe that, I convinced myself that it didn’t matter how I wore my hair did not define me or anyone else. And I guess there is some degree of truth to that for most folks. Its more like, don’t judge me solely based on the texture, tone, or style of my hair. But the style of my hair does bring greater definition to how I perceive myself, a certain level of confidence and self-worth that I did not have before. If you think about it, most people have a connection to their hair or is defined by their style of hair. For instance, you probably won’t find many, if any, ministers/preachers/pastors with a hot pink Mohawk! When people get their hair styled nicely or to their liking, they walk around with a certain confidence. Your hairstyle may change depending on the time of day, event/occasion, mood, or season. Wearing my hair in locs has definitely shown me how connected I am to these follicles. There were times when I wanted to just go to the nearest beauty shop and get a bag of weave, needle, thread and hook-it up! There were other times that I cried in the mirror saying, this is me…This IS Me! It is a test of commitment, strength and courage for me. I always wondered if I could be as confident with my hair natural as I was with a full-head of weave!
When I finally set my hair free, it felt a little strange and naked at first. I loved my teeny weeny afro my twisted mohawk, corn-rows, two-strand twist and all the various styles I was able to create in my hair. I finally began to see the beauty of my hair. Learning what to do and what not to do, how to prevent damage, what products to use and what not to use…it was like retraining my whole hair perception. I would walk the street and see all the beautiful black people of color wearing their hair and some made me smile, others confused me but all gave me joy and inspiration. Then it was time for the true test….to loc or not to loc???
So I rocked some 2-strand twists for a while, just to see if this was something that I would really want to permanently have in my hair. Then I did my first set of locs…which were horrible, my hair wouldn’t loc for crap, I even tried the horrible beeswax! Then I did a second set, back-combed…they were a beauty but after a week or so they were a lot bigger than what I wanted and I just couldn’t do the whole “don’t wash ur hair” thing. Lastly, I grabbed a latch-hook and went to town. I love the fact that I don’t have to use a ton of products in my hair and I can wash/condition it pretty often. The only downfall is that some of them are skinnier than I wanted but I see them plumping up a little so we shall see……….


the Ugliness of Eczema!

(from top: April 2009 pre-treatment, July 2009-3months after treatment)
Ok, so I have ECZEMA!!! Such an interesting skin condition, I’ve tried almost everything to combat it on my face, neck and arms. Didn’t realize it could affect your scalp as well. I kept trying to figure out why my hair wasn’t growing in this one spot in the back of my head, never really thought to link it to the eczema. So one day after washing my hair, I got a mirror and thoroughly examined the back of my head and scalp in that area. What I noticed was the eczema began to spread to my scalp. Anyone with eczema knows that scratching will only make matters worse, which is exactly what I was doing back there before….scratching daily, tryin all kinds of hair products to moisturize my scalp. After my “ahhhh haaaa” moment, I did a little research on the net to see what I could use on my scalp because hydrocortisone is NOT a good idea for your hair. Then I remember my youngest child had cradle cap, the doctor said it is linked to eczema…which both of my sons unfortunately inherited. She suggested using EVO (extra virgin olive oil) because it’s all natural and very effective on healing the cradle cap. The main issue with eczema is dryness and if not treated or scratched, will eventually spread, puss up and scab leaving your skin looking like alligator scales! Ewwww weeeee. So of course, I still had my bottle of evo because I just loved what it did for my son’s hair even after the cradle cap. For the first use, I conditioned my hair with it after a stripping shampoo by Black Earth, and then rinsed the EVO. I started washing my hair more often, starting with an ACV (apple cider vinegar rinse) then shampoo then condition with EVO…did that about weekly for a month. Now, I don’t use the EVO to condition but I use a couple tablespoons of it in my water spritzer a few times a week. The pics above are now and then shots…..So if you have eczema, I suggest using Extra Virgin Olive Oil and other organic/all natural conditioners or shampoos in your hair especially when you have a flare-up which is very common for me when the seasons change drastically. Also, I wouldn’t recommend using any stripping shampoo more often than maybe once a month or only when necessary if you have eczema or any other skin condition that attributes to excessive skin dryness.


A Misguided Journey

When I first decided to wear my hair natural, I thought "I'm tired of wearing weave, let me try something new." It was strictly about my hair.....so I thought. I realized that some folks in my own family had never seen my natural hair, shoot I wasn't even sure if I truely knew what my natural hair looked like despite the fact that I had been doing my own weaves for about 10 years or so. I never really appreciated my hair, I didn't necessarily like my hair. I thought it was difficult, damaged, and most of all unacceptable for me to be seen in public in such a way. So I wore weaves...long weaves, short weaves, curly weaves, colored weaves (1B/360), synthetic weaves, full caps, pony tails... Holla at ur girl! lol It didn't really matter as long as it wasnt MY hair.
I kept seeing women with beautiful natural hair but convinced myself that I just wasn't "an all natural kinda girl". I thought they all were trying to make some robust statement or all fighting a cause because they wore their hair and not someone elses!
I was very misguided!
wonder if anyone else had the same thoughts?? Now I know that it can be just a hair change for some and for others its so much more. For me, it is more about appreciating who I am completely...from my kinky roots to my flat feet. When I look in the mirror I want to see me, not some creation that took hours of manipulation to achieve.
I still love all my weave wearin sistahs, if it makes you happy and whole, then do u! People are so much more than they what we see, natural or not! :-)