My hair has way too much attitude for her own good. Let’s call my fro Freddy. Freddy and I have been going steady for about 3 years. When I first met Freddy, I was still involved with my ex but that relationship just wasn’t working anymore. I felt I was getting burned too often and over time it became clear that we couldn’t weather the cold winters so slowly I stated cutting my ex out of my life.
Freddy and I have been through a lot since then. I’ve learned what makes Freddy happy and in return she’s helped me see myself in a completely different light. The longer we’ve been together though, the more Freddy and I don’t seem to see eye to eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces but lately I think she’s taking my love for granted.
I’ll take some responsibility for this; I got a little lazy with our relationship. I started moisturizing less and using heat more. Things got so bad that I couldn’t even remember the last time I deep conditioned. That’s when Freddy started to pull away. I noticed my first heat damaged piece and only then did I step back and look at how much I was hurting her. I didn’t just want to apologize because I knew she would respond just like one of my best friends, “What are you sorry for?” while maintaining her salty attitude. I decided to change completely and start paying more attention. I started with a good trim, stopped leaving her out as much and started conditioning more. I thought things were getting better until she started acting up.
Now I’ve been a lot busier with work so I need Freddy to stay put till the weekends when I can give her my full attention but three days into the week she’s already begging for a wash. Now I know this is all a clever ruse to get me to condition her again because she’s gone much longer than a few days without any problems but now she’ll go dry and matted on the ends if I don’t answer her call for moisture.
I have tried new conditioners and even locking her in with her favourite shea butter mix but she insists on misbehaving unless I’m giving her undivided attention at least twice a week. Things really came to a head two washes ago when I hadn’t detangled properly after our last wash day and she wasn’t having any of my nonsense this time around. My arms hurt, the bathroom steamed up and I practically had to beg her to release the knots. Grudgingly letting one knot out after the other, it was like she was daring me to repeat the same thing. I promised her (and myself) that she deserved better than that and I thought we had both agreed to collaborate more.
Three days later we were back to an itchy scalp and that’s when I decided I had had enough. I told her it was time for some braids and even though she may not understand right now, I think we both need the break. Surprisingly she didn’t put up much of a fight going in and I had even started to question whether I had reacted too harshly but by the end of my first full week with these braids she’s already wiling out and trying to get itchy. I miss her but its probably best that we give each other some space for a couple weeks just to gain a little perspective.
Even with her attitude though she still makes me happy. Something about her keeps things interesting and speaking to other naturals I think they’ll agree, when you look at your thriving fro, it makes (some of) the stress worth it :p
Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating! :). I have loved Christmas for as long as I can remember; the food, family and presents. So although I can not give a tangible present to everyone reading this I figured now would be a good time to share a few more things I have learned about my hair.
In February, it would be four years since I last relaxed my hair. A while ago I shared some things I had learned since being natural and now that I am almost four years in, here’s my updated list.
Long hair=More time
As my hair has grown, the “hair goals” comments have increased. I’m not going to front and act like I don’t like those comments but sister, it is not easy to have a “hair goals fro”. Detangling takes longer because all of your shed hair just clings to other strands. Drying takes longer because well there’s more hair to dry. As a result of these two things, overall styling takes longer so you cannot afford to be re-doing your hair every other day. As such, I have found a few key styles that I rotate and anything I do to my hair starts from there.
What is the actual length of my hair anyway???
This question is deeply rooted in the magic of shrinkage. I did a very basic length check on snapchat just to get a sense of where I’m at. [I tried uploading said video but it didn’t work :(. I will do another length check at some other point if it’s requested.] The thing about this is that when my hair is wet it is more elastic so it stretches longer than the length in the video [My hair in the video is just about bra strap length]. So if you’re looking for a little encouragement on your journey just check the length of your hair while it’s still wet :P.
What worked in the past may not work anymore
I don’t know if this is just me but I may have a conditioner that works wonders on my hair and then after 6 uses I no longer feel the silky softness I once did. I don’t know if that is just me getting used to the effect of the conditioner or if my hair truly gains immunity after a couple washes but I definitely feel the need to switch things up fairly regularly. I however have not allowed this to turn me into a product junkie. I just flip flop between my regular conditioner and my deep conditioner.
Naps or nah?
As my hair started getting longer I started to feel that my roots were a little dense and incredibly difficult to comb through. At first I thought this was new growth cause you know how when your hair is relaxed it gets harder to comb your roots as it grows out. But something about this theory just didn’t make sense to me. Remember those shed hairs I mentioned? Yea those little bad boys think they can just chill wherever they like and make your hair harder to manage. I realized this when I took the time to properly detangle only to be sliding out shed hairs that had been making my life difficult for goodness knows how long.
I never thought it would come to this friends, but I almost exclusively finger detangle my hair now! With shorter hair, combs work and you can be gentle and keep the breakage to a minimum. However, when combing my hair brought on flashbacks to my childhood I knew it was time to stop. I remember cringing every time my mum said it was time to do my hair–I know most black girls can relate to this–you’re sitting there begging for mercy while your mother keeps trying to convince you that it doesn’t hurt -_-.
Despite the struggles, I still love my kinky-frizzy-sometimes curly-has a mind of its own-sassy-fro. ❤
2 and a half years natural and all I can say is…natural hair is not easy! Forget what you heard.
I think when people big chop and they are dealing with about an inch of kink they assume that natural hair is easier to manage but alas that is but a phase in the never ending hair journey and it gets more difficult as time goes on. Now this is not to discourage anybody who is thinking of going natural because as annoying as my hair is sometimes I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve had way more fun with my curls than I ever did with straight hair. Anyhow, in the course of my natural journey, I have had many mishaps that are fairly amusing to look back on. Today, I shall tell the tale of my very first flexi rod set 🙂
I would start by saying I never big-chopped so at some point in my super long transition, I had to get creative with blending my two textures. Bantu knot outs had always worked for me but I was craving a change. Of course as most naturals would do, I skipped off to youtube for guidance and after many videos I was certain that flexi rods were the bees-knees!
I painstakingly prepped my hair the night before, spritzing with water, coating with shea butter and rolling like my youtubers were doing. Two hours and incredibly sore arms later I found my way to bed. Now all this suffering might have been better if I at least had a good night’s sleep. Alas, what they forgot to mention in all the videos I had watched was that those flexi-rods will stick painfully into my scalp and they would make me toss and turn all night. I just remember lying in bed trying to convince myself that beauty is pain and it would all be worthwhile when I have lush, bouncy curls in the morning.
I got out of bed (Can’t say I woke up because I never really slept) and took my precious time getting ready because I wanted to give my hair as much time a possible to set. Finally the moment of truth came. As I unrolled my first rod, it took everything in me not to cry. The one thing I have learned to fear the most about styling my natural hair happened…it did not dry. I stared at that section as it was slowly shrinking, willing it to magically transform into what I had seen on youtube. I slowly unraveled the rest of my hair and sat miserably staring at my reflection and trying to convince myself that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Some pieces had dried more than others so my hair was unevenly stretched not to mention the odd straight pieces that just didn’t know what to do with themselves. In hindsight, I should just have pulled it into a bun and wrapped it but I was still clinging to what could have been.
I stuck a flower in it and carried my hot mess out, albeit a little self-conscious. I managed to convince myself that it wasn’t so bad and a few of my friends (bless them) boosted my confidence with very careful compliments…”I love how you put the flower in, it really brings out your features”. Alas my delusion could only last so long, I was forced to come to terms with my hot mess when one of my friends thought it fitting to ask why I hadn’t done anything to my hair that day. I stared at him not really knowing what to say. If only he knew just how much I had actually done.
Moral of the story? I don’t know, It was just a really bad hair day :p