(First of all, let me say that when I am talking about those who wear "natural" hair, I am speaking about black women. Not that it is only black women who have, in general, hair texture that is curly, kinky, thick or coarse. I am just speaking to what I know for myself.)
I am in a love/hate relationship with my hair. Hate is the current feeling at the moment. Okay - maybe not hate, but a strong irritation. And I'm not always the innocent party in this arrangement. Sometimes I'm abusive, then I make it up by being gentle and buying great products. Then I get lazy and start taking things for granted... It's a vicious cycle. But I am ready to admit my faults and accept help. I wish there was a Hair Help Anonymous for curly girls. I'd be all up in the front row of those meets:
"My name is Free and I abuse my hair."
If I treated my hair the way I treated my skin, I'd probably have a healthy and happy Afro by now. As it is, I have this TWA that dries up like a tumbleweed two seconds after I leave water. It wasn't until I started checking in with Curly Nikki on a regular basis that I figured out my problem(s).
Number One - I had never bothered to identify my hair type. This helped explain a lot. Now, I at least know that my hair is in the category of "low porosity" (versus "normal" and "high"). This helps me in choosing products that are better for my hair. You won't believe the mountain of products I have that are completely wrong for my hair type. ~sigh~
Number Two - Though I know some things now about my hair, I'm still a slow learner compared to folks who know the letter and number designation of their hair. I know that my hair is nappy. Why the heck do I need to have a designation for that? The silliness. (I thought that was just for store-bought tresses! Live and learn.)
Number Three - Hair (especially when you are trying to "go natural") is like the best friend you pissed off a week ago: it's still there for you, but you have to treat it special for a while before things are good again. The relationship needs some real growth.
So, now that I have some clues about my hair type, I've been learning how to treat it better. I'm learning all about the Cherry Lola treatment, steaming (without spending a fortune), and which products work better for high, normal and low porosity hair. (True story: Talk about dry hair... in testing for my porosity type, I put a strand of my hair in a cup of water. It floated for two hours! It probably would still be floating, but I tossed it.)
I will tell you right now that if you are doing the "natural" look, you need to check out the these sites. Be sure to let me know your suggestions for other sources of info.
- Some natural hair sites
- Treating hair based on individual types
- Products for natural hair
- "Cleaner" products from 3 Sisters of Nature
- Black-owned natural hair businesses
- Ever Curl by L'Oreal
- Drugstore brands under $10 (thanks to Afrobella!)
- Carol's Daughter
- Tresemme & Pantene have lines
- Aussie Moist is featured on a lot of natural hair sites
- Vidal Sassoon worked well as a moisturizing shampoo & conditioner for me
If anyone gets hold of more info, please share it with me. I'm off to steam my hair with a wet towel, plastic bag and a borrowed dryer.