Today’s topic was supposed to be, “what’s in your bag.” But really, there is so much shit in my bag, that that post would be long and oh so boring. So instead, we’re going to talk about something else.
My hair in particular.
You see, I am going natural.
In black woman speak, that means that I am no longer putting chemicals in my hair, and letting it grow in its natural state.
Not as easy as it sounds. The last time I went “natural”, I cut off all of my hair and started from scratch. Except I didn’t mean to do it. I had gone to the hairdresser just to get a cut. My hair was breaking off, and I just wanted the hairdresser to make it even and to cut it into a cute processed hair style. He took one look at my hair and said:
“It’s got to go.”
So all of my hair was cut off within an inch of it’s processed life.
And I HATED it. I was/am vain. I had had short cute styles before, but always with a relaxer(ie straight hair). I had not seen my hair in it’s natural state since I was 9 years old.
See, hardly anyone I knew was going natural with short boy hair cuts 7 years ago. It wasn’t the “in” thing to do. I was alone, in Las Vegas, which is not exactly the promised land for black hair.
With short natural hair.
I was devastated, and had no idea what to do with my hair. And neither did anyone else.
But then, something happened to me. I became liberated. I learned how to deal with my hair, it started to grow, and I started to love my hair in all of it’s kinky, curly, nappy glory. Over the next year and a half, my hair grew to epic proportions. It was so healthy, so full, so long. I kept it braided up most of the time. Very convenient.
But then, I succumed to the creamy crack(relaxer) again and the cycle of broken/damaged hair started again.
Ironically, I was so paranoid when I was pregnant about any and everything, that I started to go natural again. But this time, I used braids, wigs, and weaves. But I gave in to peer pressure and the creamy crack once more after Pookah was born.
But who has time to spend 6 to 8 hours every other Saturday at the salon when you have a newborn/8 month old? Who has the money to spend $80-$90 a pop to maintain a hairstyle every two weeks when you need to buy pampers?
And so my hair has started taking center stage again. It is amazing how much our hair is tied to our self esteem. How much MY hair is tied to MY self-esteem. I feel good when my hair looks good. I feel good when my hair makes me look cute.
Yes, I am still vain.
And right now, my hair makes me feel like crap! It is an unruly half relaxed, half natural mess. I have two textures of hair in my head, and it makes taking care of it, washing it, and styling it difficult. I’ve been trying to hold out because it’s long, it’s thick, it’s somewhat healthy.
But I’m tired. It takes me a looooooong time to get my hair together to go anywhere. It is officially a hot mess. I’ve been trying new products, new techniques, everything I can think of. But you know, going natural these days turns out to be just as expensive as maintaining the creamy crack.
So I’ve decided that I have two three options:
- Braid my hair. It will at least look decent for about 2 months. But what do I do after that? Braiding can also be a very expensive habit.
- Cut it all off again, and start from scratch. This is what is commonly known as , The Big Chop. It’s a popular option now. There are websites dedicated to this and natual hair. My, how times have changed.
- Lock My hair. Yes, I am talking about dreadlocks. The ultimate commitment.
Remember I’m vain now. So the last two options would take some willpower on my part. I like the option of just cutting it off because it will just grow back eventually. In the meantime I could be very versatile. But it takes money to be versatile in this new natural world, and to look cute.
And remember now, I’m vain, so I want to look cute :).
I also like the idea of locs because, I’ve spent most of my years with my hair in braids anyway. And it just appeals to me. Has for a long time. The idea of letting my hair just……grow, is amazingly seductive.
But it’s so permanent. Now, I’m not talking about those big clumpy Rastafarian like dreads( remember my vanity here)!
I’m talking about the cute well maintained ones like these on Lauryn Hill:
So, before I do anything, I have a consultation on Friday afternoon. He’s going to tell me what he thinks. He’s going to give me advice. This guy is all around. He can Big Chop, or he can lock my hair. Hell, he can even add dreadlock extensions…(if I had $750, but that sort of defeats the purpose doesn’t it???)