Thursday, September 29, 2011

Salon vs. Bald? Hair or No Hair? Relaxed or Natural?

Someone asked me to blog on this topic. I wasn't quite sure, but just so happens that earlier that day I was speaking to a friend about hair and later that same night I saw something on TV about hair being part of your first impression. Here goes nothing........

So, it takes guts along with a nicely shaped head to pull off a super short, Amber Rose, type cut. I have nothing against that, to each is own. The question that follows a cut like that is, Why?! I understand that for some it functions better in their day to day life, but is it low maintenance? How often do you have to cut it? And lets talk "black hair" or "ethnic hair" if you will. If you have the ethnic coarse hair then how often do you have to relax it if you want to keep it nice and slicked down with this super short cut?

I was in the bathroom at a club a few weeks ago and while washing my hands I heard a woman discussing how she relaxed her super short, slicked down hair, once a week! And it was dyed a golden color. That's insane! During the same convo a lady had dreads and she says that she loves her locks, but they must be maintained, must be small, and must be kept about chin length for her, but that she's really in to hair and appreciates all types of hair. At this moment I'm done washing my hands, the convo was pretty quick, and before I could turn around the ladies began discussing my hair, whether it was all mine, and that I must not be "all the way black". LMAO my eyes got huge and everyone was waiting for me to answer. Before I could speak, in comes my distraction, for the moment, a woman that tells them how rude they were. She says they should have said how nice my hair is and should have asked where I get it done. Then maybe I would have revealed whether it was real or not. After the brief scold, everyone turned back to me for the answer. At this point I'm looking like a deer in headlights because all I wanted to do was wash my hands! I then started to laugh and explain that....... when I go out I add a few clip ins to my hair that I make myself. I also explained that I no longer get relaxers and have had to train my hair. Then came an onslaught of questions that thankfully a drunken bride, still in her wedding dress, was this her reception?, bursts in the bathroom declaring that she was just wed. Well good for her and out I went! The funny part was that the night before, at a different club, a woman started playing in my hair as we were waiting in line for the bathroom! I turned around in shock and she apologized saying that my hair was so pretty she couldn't resist and that, "It feels so real! Is it all real?". I just began to laugh and observed that this lady also had a super low cut that was blonde and slicked down.

Needless to say I've had quite a few hair questions, even one morning as I drove through McDonald's drive thru. And let's not forget the lady in walmart 2 days ago that thought that touching my hair without an invitation was okay. Goodness!

The truth about my personal hair. So I am mixed, Puerto Rican (mom) and Black (dad). My mom has the same texture hair as I do and my dad has soft wavy hair. As a kid I had soft wavy/curly hair for quite some time. At about the age of 4 I began getting relaxers to better maintain my wild thick hair. In my teens I began to experiment with dye and learned a hard lesson. You can't bleach and relax your hair!! It falls out!! Thankfully I have a ton of hair and was able to hide the damage. In about the 10th grade my hair was fried! It went from past the shoulders to my chin and no bangs due to all the damage from relaxers, dye, and abuse with the flat irons and blow dryer. I didn't dye my hair again for years and even then I still had problems.

About 3 years ago I was having lots of breakage, hair was falling out, the texture was uneven, the length was uneven, I mean it was to the point that I would wake up and some small section of hair would have broken off and only be about 3 inches long! I was devastated and at that point said, NO MORE RELAXERS! And then the thought, well what am I gonna do with all this hair then? I went to see my wonderful stylist and hair savior, Kyong! She did a consult, made a plan and the next week I was in to get a treatment called the Grund. Look it up if you would like to know more about it. It conditions, strengthens and is not a harsh chemical treatment on your hair and can be safely done even after a dye job or relaxer. Right after the Grund was done I could safely run my fingers through my hair without any loss of hair or breakage. I was excited! It wasn't cheap, took 4hrs, but was well worth it.

It was a while before I had to see Kyong again for a treatment aside from regular trims. Last summer around June I went back to her for another hair treatment. This time I had the original formula Brazilian done. It took much less time than the grund because it is about 1 step less, but the downfall was that I couldn't wash my hair for like 5 days or so. This stopped my work out and horseback riding activities. But when I got to hot and humid Miami it did alright with the humidity. And for a while after you have to use very specific shampoos in your hair in order not to strip it out right away. At the moment my hair continues to grow strong, I straighten it about once a week and the rest of the time it's wash and wear due to my work out and farm work. I sweat too much to keep straight hair.

My mom cut it all off!! My mom used to have beautiful hair, much longer than mine. I called her one day and she said that she cut it all off!! My mom had pulled a Britney Spears!!! I could not believe my ears!!! My mom's philosophy is that, "It's just hair". Are you crazy?! She said she was tired of having to deal with it and she was over it so she whacked it off! She has no plans on growing her hair back and is quite content with how it is. More power to her, but it's not a move I would pull.

Hair and self confidence- First Impression- I was watching the news where they ran a story about how a bad hair day for women is linked to how they feel and present themselves the rest of that day. The hair is very directly tied to our emotions and outward projection to others. It's amazing how this works. I will be honest, although my hair is a nice length I do not like doing photo shoots without extensions in. I don't feel as sexy without them. When I go out to a club or a nice event, in go the clips. I just feel that it gives me an extra umph! Not that I couldn't go with my real hair and make it look just as nice.
Is it a silly thing that your hair maybe not speaks for you, but has such a huge influence on how you present yourself to someone? That something as simple as hair could ruin your whole day? Writing this is leaving me with more questions than answers.

To sum this all up, I don't really care one way or the other what you do, just make whatever choice you've made work! Wear it proudly. I've had to work horrible haircuts before. I'm sure we all have. But ladies, if you want to go back to being natural, do you really have to shave it all off to accomplish it? What makes you want to go back natural? For me it was just damaging my hair to get the chemical laden relaxers. My personal preference is long beautiful hair. And I truly envy those that are able to cut it all off and still look gorgeous!

I would love to hear what you ladies have done with your hair and why. How do you maintain it? Ladies are you interested in getting your hair back to a healthy state and want some tips? Hit me up! Men, what do you prefer on your woman?


Loe said...

Wow! I am bewildered at your experience in the bathroom but not all that surprised. Long history with blacks and hair. But I've actually been natural for close to 10yrs. And my hair has only been healthy for about 2 of those yrs. By the time I found a stylist that was getting my hair healthy I moved to KS. There are NO black hairdressers that are well informed on natural hair. I used to wear my hair in twists but not anymore since no one can maintain them correctly. My hair type is 4B meaning I have really tight curls. Needless to say my hair broke off after being here. Thanks to youtube and my former stylist I am training my curls. I wash my hair every other week. I keep my hair in a safe style when I'm not wearing it curly which is every other week. I use honey, tea tree, sage, baking soda, coconut oil, rosemary, almond oil, olive oil and shea butter along w/2 different leave-in conditioners and fructis curl sculpting. I know it sounds like a lot but its really not. And I don't use them everyday which prevents too much oil buildup. My hair is thriving and my hair is not breaking off besides natural dead hair which is very little. I also heard a coffee rinse is good for the hair too but I haven't tried that. Not that daring. I will admit that I have been wanting to go back to a perm just b/c it seems more manageable at this point. Funny, b/c that's the reason I went natural. UHM! go figure!

Alonna James said...

Wow Loe, 10yrs? I'm not sure how I'll feel about all this hair natural in another 7 years considering that it's growing out of control. The mix of stuff you use, do you mix that all in a bowl and pour it on?? Help me out here. lol After looking at a few sites it seems like my curly hair is between a 3c and 4a, My hair is not uniform all over, so I have mixed textures. Hair!

Loe said...

Man I did a whole bunch of typing and then couldn't remember my email password. Tried to catch you on skype, but now I have my password. Ok so, I definitely get what you mean by mix textured hair. My sister's is like that. It's way more fine than mines and then it's got this curly straight thing going. Is your hair think? b/c I don't think I'd be able to go 10 yrs if my hair was thick. But then again Kesha Knight Pulliam has thick hair and she's all natural (so she says). As far as the ingredients I put it all in Isoplus Tea Tree & Aloe Hair Treatment (nothing but grease). But for my mom I'm going to put it all in a spray bottle for her so her hair doesn't get weighed down b/c she wears a lot of hats and wigs (lol). And I'm putting the honey in w/the Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioner and applying that 2 her hair after washing. And I won't b using the Fructis b/c she doesn't have curly hair.