“Gone Natural”?

Lisa Brown-Hall photo by :Luxe Glam Collective

Lisa Brown-Hall
photo by :Luxe Glam Collective

First of all, I have not  “gone natural”  I simply took my weave out one day and discovered that  trimming my ends regularly between weaves and wearing my hair braided under my Spanish wavy tresses, my hair was more “natural” then relaxed.  I make this important distinction right off the bat because my hair is not some political statement.  I have no desire to begin to wear fragrances that mimic the scent of incense nor am I trading in my stilettos for Birkenstocks; I simply decided that after years of wearing a weave the hair that God blessed me with is sufficient enough.   Please understand that my incense/Birkenstock comment is not a judgment of those who favor either- however, there is a pervasive impression that natural hair is not glamorous, sexy or desirable.  The natural hair debate is a sensitive and often divisive one that can become incredibly heated- just like the dreaded team light skin or dark skin debate- who started THAT nonsense?  Natural versus relaxed hair as a conversation starter has likely broken up family gatherings.

You have to have thick skin to be natural, especially if you live outside of major metropolitan areas where the relationship with the creamy crack or the press and comb go together like peanut butter and jelly. I had a conversation with a friend who holds the opinion that in order to be natural you have to dress a certain way and thought a bohemian wardrobe would become de rigueur.  My question is why has our hair (as in black women) always been such a political debate?  The bigger question is why is this debate such a divisive issue between black women especially?   If we continue to subscribe to the theory that natural= bad what does that say about our natural complexions which many people pay top dollar to achieve?  I do not anticipate that this debate will ever end anytime soon.  As for me and my house hair is just an accessory- I am just as likely to rock my glorious ‘fro as the aforementioned Spanish wavy.  After all it’s just hair.  I had another friend inquire about how I handle having a husband and natural hair- I was completely dumbfounded by this question because my husband has locs and is probably more pro- natural then most.   If the debate among black women is heated, black men can be downright cruel when a woman is natural- I recognize that I am fortunate in this regard because my husband loves my ‘fro.

My natural hair is not an “alternative” and I have not gone anywhere- I simply returned to my kinky, coiled roots and I love it.

 

#FrotallyFlawless Event Recap

india dropping knowledge

from l-r @imccleod, @felicitystarr, @keetaray @iheartnaturals

 

products convo

@Felicitystarr

@Felicitystarr

 

Trina- I woke up like this

Trina- I woke up like this

On a  warm Saturday a few naturalistas and those they love got together for food, fun, product swaps and an amazing panel discussion moderated by Trina Megginson and featuring hair guru’s India McCleod, @KeetaRay and @Felicitystarr. The panelists all dished on properly caring for your natural tresses, debunking myths of natural hair and offering up great perspective on life in general. The panel felt like a conversation in your best friends living room, curled up on the sofa and simply swapping advice.
Some of my favorite highlights came from my salon owner India McCleod who was very instrumental in helping me with my personal transition to natural hair. Her advice was simple- wear a scarf to bed. I know this is not always a popular option for those of us with a boo, but just get your groove on first and then tie that hair up! McCleods reasoning is that a scarf can help not only protect your hair it can prevent you from losing moisture in your cotton pillow cases.
Some of the other really sound advice included:
1. Stop stressing over length and shrinkage- why are naturalistas so hung up on length checks anyway? You have made the decision to *go* natural- just focus on overall health and taking care of your hair – after all, healthy hair IS good hair
2. Understand how any underlying health issues may play a role in your hair health- if you are caught up on length, it’s important to understand that your hair may not be where you want it to be because of something else that’s going on in your body. Diet, WATER and exercise does the body AND the hair right
3. Get routine trims- India who was the only stylist on the panel suggested trims every 8-12 weeks. Though many naturalistas do not like to straighten their hair, her recommendation was that the best trim comes from straightened hair
4. Learn what works for your hair- If you’re natural you have likely experienced someone who is either transitioning or newly natural running up to you in order to ask what do you use in your hair? This question is always funny to me because product choice for natural hair is NOT one-size fits all. Listen to advice, watch the YouTube videos but ultimately the right product mix is going to come from trial and error; once you find something that works for you stick to it! There is nothing more disappointing than spending time (and money) trying something new only to achieve less than desirable results.

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