Four years ago…in October to be exact, I started to chop off my transitioning hair one week at a time. I had no idea that by the end of the month, I would eventually Big Chop and say good-bye to the relaxed ends that I held on to for so long. In retrospect, Big Chopping my hair was one of the best decisions that I’ve made during my natural hair journey. It gave me the insight to start to love myself for who I was under the damaged and broken hair and not depend on a crutch such as hair as my only method of feeling feminine and beautiful. A lot of people say that their Teeny Afro days are devastating and for me it was different. I felt enlightened, beautiful and daring. To say the least, I’ll do it again soon.
The whole purpose for this blog, for our communication…for the birth of FleurdeCurl was big chopping. The most significant thing that I can remember was that I completed my big chop on my birthday–October 31st. Those two instances merged together birthed a new me and I am proud to say, no matter how I wear my hair in the future, my big chop enlightenment helped me to understand that my hair does not make me butterfly but at the end of the day, my spirit does.
Now it’s time to announce the Anniversary Giveaway winner: LaTonya JaQuetta! Thank you so much. LaTonya won the LRC mini kit and the Urbanista Noir crochet earrings. Her name was randomly picked both times for each drawing. I appreciate you so much for following FleurdeCurl and I will make sure that I email you regarding your shipping information by the end of the day.
If you guys have any BC stories that you want to share on fleurdecurl, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to showcase them here!
So why do people believe that I am the ultimate Nazi for Natural Hair? I mean, I keep this blog to document my Natural Hair journey and to turn negative conceptions of natural hair to the side. I never thought that keeping this blog for so long would turn me into a Non-conforming natural Hair Nazi, which I am certainly am not…but I’ve been treated that way recently and decided to sit with you and talk about it for a bit. The whole purpose for me taking time to document my journey was because at the time, there were opportunities for outlets such as the blog to be created to give readers a diverse method for research for their new and existing journeys. I never return to one source for research and I thought that my methods (whether failed or not) would be able to help other Naturals as well. I also had it in my head that I would document how beautiful natural hair was. When I first started on my journey, I had a lot of people telling me that their natural hair was not beautiful and because I had ‘good’ hair, I was able to complete the journey of going natural. I decide that even if you are not comfortable with your hair in its natural state, you should still love what naturally grows out of your head and not consider your hair which is a part of yourself as ugly.
Eventually, I started this crusade to show black women that despite what people say, under all of the makeup, weave and falseness, our natural beauty is just that—beautiful. My crusade was to show black women that despite our shade of brown, despite the texture of our hair and despite the shapes of our bodies, we are all beautifully made and we should conduct ourselves as such. I had no idea that this would turn into people saying that I am a purist and that I want people do what I say. Just because I believe in something doesn’t mean what I believe in is right. All I ever wanted was for us to practice sisterhood and collectively believe we are all beautiful despite what we do to alter our beauty. I’ve noticed during this journey, that women will use what I am doing as a way to further separate themselves. They will say, ‘well, I guess you are not my friend anymore because I relax my hair’ or ‘Kimba, I know you will hate me because I did this to my hair.’
I am writing this today to lovingly tell these people who I do not care about what you do to your hair. I want you to know what you do to yourself should be something that you do to satisfy yourself and you shouldn’t look to any one for affirmation. I will neither love you more nor hate you because of the decisions that you make. I’ve highlighted my natural tresses more than one time. A lot of Nazist Naturals shunned me for my decision, but at the end of the day, I was happy about the decision I made because it was something that I wanted to do; and deep down inside, I knew that with the highlights or not, I felt beautiful. I encourage you all to do the same. Whatever decision you make in your life, make sure it’s something that you want to do; and make sure that the decision is made to complement the beauty that you feel for yourself and not something you do to mentally make yourself feel beautiful.
In parting, I just wanted to say that I love you all, despite how you sport your look. Girl, be confident, be unique…be you…and I will be me…and as long as we do not pass unwarranted judgement toward each other, we will be moving more toward the key to sisterly love and mutual respect.
I usually do not make any petition requests through the blog or try to stay transparent about my feelings regarding certain things. This I cannot do. I personally have been harassed by the police simply because of the color of my skin. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a threat to anyone and that in itself works enough inside of myself to help the cause to bring justice to the legacy of Michael Brown. What happened to Michael is happening to everywhere and in the words of Dr. King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Let’s begin by helping to bring justice to one American Community to start transformation of American Communities everywhere. Visit Move On.org to sign the petition to ensure that a non biased a Special Prosecutor investigates the murder of Michael Brown.
Use your voice.
Make justice transparent.
Help to turn America into the country we always try to make ourselves to be but has never been.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Dr. King
I never would have guessed that a guy would ask me advice about natural hair. But he did and he did bluntly…so bluntly, I decided to take him seriously and actually consider providing him with advice from my experience with being three and a half years natural. “She is too lazy to style her hair.” He exclaimed to me. At that point I knew what I was going up against because I am lazy with my hair as well. “It’s dry and her fro has no shape. No Shape at all. I’m about to shoot a perm bullet at her hair.” Now that was extreme. At that point he started threatening ME with the perm bullet and from that moment on, I knew that he was determined about fixing his wife’s hair.
During my interaction with my guy friend and another friend of ours, we concluded that we would find a protective style for his wife to wear until she gets accustomed to taking care of her hair and achieving some length. I know this is a way to cut corners until her actual hair is out again, but it is a start and it is a start that compelled me to write this today.
As newly natural women, a lot of us do not know how to take care of our hair in its natural state. Sometimes, when we were relaxed, we did not do a thing to our hair and expect it to be the same once we big chop and embrace our natural hair. Some people say that having natural hair is too much work and they believe that it’s easier to relax their hair, stating that they spend less time over all with relaxed hair instead of natural hair.
I have to disagree and state that I spend less time working with my natural hair than I did when my hair was relaxed. But, I am what you would call the lazy natural… Let me explain why I say this: I (on average) less than 10 minutes a day on my hair. Some days I spend less than 5 minutes a day on my hair. My hair is considerably healthy and I have been able to retain a significant amount of length during my three and a half-year natural hair journey. When I spend time actually styling my hair, my hair is always desirable (well to me at least) and I only frequent a salon when I feel like it or when I need professional services done such as the highlights that I have right now.
I told my friend that I was a lazy natural and that his wife only needs a few minutes a day to make sure that her hair is healthier. With a little more thickness and a lot more moisture, her hair will turn into the fro that he described that he wanted…full and striking. I told him that during my journey and my years of interactions with other naturals who have decided to big chop and sport the TWA, I was able to note a few things:
Think of your hair as a plant.
Your hair needs nourishment daily to thrive and grow. Water it, make sure that the water is sealed into the soil and give the plant time to rest so it can grow while you are maintaining it.
In natural hair terms, I suggest that you wash and condition your hair at least once a week and purchase a spray bottle for water or leave in conditioner. Spray your hair every evening before bed. After spraying, use an oil (such as olive or castor oil) to seal moisture in your hair. Take a little bit of cream based product such as Cantu Shea butter and apply afterward. Walk around…get the baby ready for bed. Read a little social media… and right before lying down, apply your satin bonnet. Make sure that your hair is getting moisture and retaining moisture. Just doing that alone only took maybe 5 minutes of you evening and you are nurturing your hair to get to a better state.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Even though you have a TWA, make lengths to experiment with that short style. If you are embarking on a ‘long hair don’t care’ journey alongside your natural hair journey, then the short stage is the easiest and less laboring part of your journey. Enjoy having short hair. Take an evening and depending on the length of your hair, seal in some moisture and make you some two strand twists. Go to a barber and taper your sides. Experiment with headwraps, hats, and hair accessories. Do something to accentuate your short hair while taking care of it at the same time. When I was in my TWA days, I would two strand twist my hair and because they were so short, I would take small bobby pins and pin them to my scalp. They looked amazing and people had no idea about what I did to create that style. Also, twist styles would last a week for me. So think about it: take 20 minutes on a Sunday evening to twist your hair down, tie it up for bed every night and you can wear that style for at least a week before having to do anything to your hair again.
Protective styling is not evil!!!
I’ve read tons of blogs and watched tons of YouTube Vlogs stating that you do not have to protective style to grow out your natural hair. All I can comment to that is, protective styling works for me…and works quite well. Despite the battle between to protective style or not to protective style, I can say that protective styling is the best remedy for the lazy natural. If you choose a protective style, deep condition and moisturize before applying and make sure it’s a style you like. Depending on the style, sometimes you can get a month or two in that look before having to take it out. That means that you do not have to do much to your natural hair while wearing the protective style and your hair is in rest mode and will retain a lot more length than if you were rustling it up every day. Of course, you still have to moisturize during your time in a protective style, (see the first point made about moisture) but that does not take much time at all and you can bask in being a lazy natuarlista while having a fly look at the same time.
Take some time to take focus off of your hair:
Put on a funky fresh outfit. Wear some interesting earrings. Experiment in some cool makeup application. Take focus off of your hair while you are in the TWA stage or in the awkward stage of your hair journey. If you are on the ‘short hair don’t care’ journey, this is a way to feminize your look a little bit, add a little sexiness to your short cut and prove to the world that short hair is very becoming on a sista and we can run with the best of them. When my hair was short, I watched YouTube and learned how to effectively apply my makeup. I started wearing larger earrings that distracted from my hair. I basically trained myself for the person that I am today. It’s funny, but I always liked these things. I never thought that I would actually achieve them by having short hair as an excuse to get to that achievement.
Be confident in your decision.
I know that initially, someone’s husband addressed this matter to me and I feel I know why. I think that we get so wrapped up in life, we forget about how we attracted the person who we are with in the first place. Even if you are a lazy natural, take some time to look at yourself and be happy with what you see. When you are confident in yourself, no matter how you look, there is something about you that is attractive and how you look on the outside does not dictate the attractiveness that you are exuding to everyone else. Confidence helps us to transition from total laziness, into nurturing and caring for our hair to get the look that we desire. Take a little time to love yourself, know that you are beautiful and your confidence will take you a long way during any journey that you may have in life—natural or not.
Last but not least, don’t listen to the hype.
You made the decision to be natural for a reason. Blackonyx77 stated it best when she said, “you made the decision to embrace your natural beauty for the first time”. A lot of people do not believe in this and say you can do the same with any way that we decide to wear our hair. I think it’s different and it is contained in the core and perplexity of the whole natural hair movement in general. Black women have to deal with a lot of standards of beauty that were not created by us but are demanded of us in our European based society. The moment that we strip ourselves of the straight hair and return to our kinky state, we start to realize that our definition of beauty comes from who we are and only we should be the people who define how we desire to look. I am not throwing any shade on our relaxed sistas, because one in the same, we all have the same issues. If it’s not hair, it’s deepness of our complexion or our body types. We are made different because we are different. It’s time for us to start to define our own image of beauty and our kinky hair should be included in this definition that we are creating of black beauty. Natural Hair is a definition that we have continually added to our dictionary since the Black Power movement and hopefully it will stay planted into that dictionary in generations to come.
Some will argue that, relaxed hair is a whole lot easier to maintain than natural hair. I disagree again. When my hair was relaxed, I had to wash it, condition it, go to a salon and touch it up, go to a salon and get treatments to the chemical that was in my hair. I had to wrap it at night, curl it, and use a flat-iron to straighten my new growth. I put more time in my hair when I was relaxed than I do now. Today, I wash and condition my hair once a week, seal moisture in my hair every day and if my hair is in a protective style, I do nothing toward styling until it’s time to style my hair again. I go to the salon every now and then to cut my ends and to update my highlights. I keep it simple and keep moving. I do not allow hype or what others say dictate what I should do to my hair.
And in saying that, I can conclude with this: I am providing advice, but any decision that you make is up to you. Take time to make valid decisions depending on your life style, engage your partner in your decision and once you make that decision, put at least 5 minutes a day into your routine. This alone, will condition you to make more strides in the future to produce the hair that you both desire and maybe encourage others to do the same as well.
Of course an issue that was close to this one occurred on the Steve Harvey show and one of my favorite bloggers Nikki Walton provided her professional advice from the viewpoint of being a natural and the viewpoint of being a psychotherapist as well.
Thanks to an awesome Barber friend of mine, I was able to be a part of the 14th annual Chew’s Multicultural Hair Affair Expo at the Lake Charles Civic Center this weekend. I heard a lot about this event and was excited to be able to share with a lot of awesome black hair care professionals in the area. I also ran into OSSAT Naturals and picked up two items for my transitioners or anyone who wants to try their products.
If you want to learn more about the vision and work of Russell Chew or; the Chew’s Annual Multicultural Hair Affair Expo, “one of the largest and most prestigious hair and beauty shows in the south”; you can visit the website here.
What we captured at the show…
If you are the first subscriber to comment to this post, I will contact you and send you two full-sized OSSAT Naturals Transition Solutions products. OSSAT Naturals were in the house for the Chew’s Multicultural Hair Affair and after speaking with them, I couldn’t wait to share the product with you! Included in this giveaway are the Deeper Moisture Mask 8 Oz. and the Triple Moisture Lotion 12 Oz. To learn more about OSSAT, click here.