STARTING POINT My hair is currently at Bra Strap Length (BSL). Although I have good length, my hair at the ends is very fine so I need a trim to even it all out. I’m always terrified of trims because ever since I was young I always had trims turn into hair cuts. But, I am scheduled to get a trim in the next two weeks.
(Above, pictures of my natural hair straightened, Left November 2013; Right: August 2014)
During university, I wore a lot of buns in between straightened natural hair, but eventually I found some Brazilian hair extensions, fell in love with it and stopped maintaining my natural hair as much. Between weaves and u-part wigs, I would spend some QT with my hair, deep conditioning it, trying to restore moisture, but it was hardly enough time. Don’t get me wrong, my hair isn’t horribly damaged, dry or brittle, but I see now that natural hair requires some patience and attention to have it work better for myself.
My natural hair has never had any chemicals except hair dye but because of my obsession with straight hair, I have a lot of heat damage. Specifically in the front of my hair, I have a certain area that is almost permanently straight because I would leave the front of my hair out to blend over weaves & u-parts. My goal is to have the same texture overall throughout my whole hair, but it is a work in progress.
There is a mask that women are thought to have to wear. For black women, it can be a more complex mask. Our culture has created a very limited view of what beauty is and can be. I think right now television is one of the places where women are pushing up against that and saying “You know what? I don’t need to play this game anymore in order to be considered beautiful.” – Tracee Ellis Ross
For the last few years up until December, I used to wear a lot of Brazilian weaves & u-part wigs. Recently, I’ve decided to give my hair a rest from those and reflect more natural styling, such as braids, twists, twist/braid-outs, wash & gos or buns. One day, I really took a look in the mirror and realized it wasn’t necessary for me to wear straight weave all the time. Lol, my thoughts went something like this:
I don’t have straight hair growing from my roots. My hair texture is naturally “kinky curly”. . Why am I constantly hiding my texture?
It took a lot of self evaluation on my ideals surrounding beauty to realize that I was conditioned in thinking of a narrow depiction of beauty. In my thoughts, it was almost as if straight flowing long straight hair was the only way to look beautiful. When others would see my natural hair texture and compliment it, and ask why do you weave weaves? I kept using an excuse that my own hair is too hard to manage. Which is true, but what I truly needed to do was to open my eyes and see the beauty of my hair texture.
So lately, I’ve been taking the time to learn more about my hair and understand what works best for my hair texture. I want to start wearing it out curly in the warmer months, so I’ve been studying what products work best for my hair and which ones to avoid.
I’ve also been trying different protective styles such as braids and twists. I love braids and twists because they are very easy to style. The only downfalls I found with is that they can get messy pretty quickly and they are super heavy. I work out quite a lot and it added an extra few pounds on top of my head that I’d have to wrap and wrap and wrap them until I could finally pin it up to get to my workout.
I’m happy I’m able to explore and try new things with my hair, and appreciate the versatility of my hair. I’ve learned that I don’t always have to wear my hair straight and to love the kink in my hair.