( This is my “how much conditioner did I just use?” look)
I’ve been completely natural for almost a year now, and boy, have the tables turned.
I’m pretty sure I wrote about not coming down hard on women who still perm their hair in the last year, but I’m getting up there in bottles of wine consumed on a weekly basis, so I cannot recall. Even though I stopped putting the creamy crack in my hair three years ago, I still think it’s totally acceptable to perm your hair, if that’s what you want to do. I would never knock anyone who does, and I certainly don’t think there should be a #teamnatural vs. #teamcreamycrack battle on the horizon ( although I did want to be Tisha Campbell in School Daze sooooo bad). I was a ride-or-die perm girl all my life, until my friend refused to put them in my hair anymore. She said “you got dat good hair” ( I guess mine has good manners?), and said I really didn’t need any no-lye relaxers. And because she could straighten my hair like a Dominicana, I played along. Two years later, I decided to do the “Big Chop”, blogged about it, got rid of all my permed hair, and my world has truly changed.
I didn’t think I would ever embrace my natural hair this much, but it is a bit of a crazy, love affair that I’m experiencing. I love my natural curls, but still feel compelled to straighten it once in a while. I get many compliments on my goldilocks, and often get inquiries from people asking if they can touch my hair, which is always fun. My best friend actually gets mad at me when I straighten my hair, and wants me to wear it curly all the time. I would, if there was somehow a magical bubble that surrounded me every time I slept so my locks would stay in tact. And although it takes over three hours to straighten my hair, given the T-Rex length of my arms, I still love that style as well. As a chick who could have never imagined a life without a 24-hour Aaliyah perm, I am loving my coils more and more everyday. Below are a few things that I have come to observed now that I am completely au natural:
- Going out in the rain is no longer an issue. Water is my friend, and actually assists with the dry frizzies that tend to pop up when I’m rocking my fro.
- I can literally wake up in the morning, shake out my curls and go. Mind you, this can only last a few days, as if I let it go any longer, it takes about 5 days to untangle my hair.
- I get to mess with people’s minds. I can go from curly afro, to slick straight tresses, in a matter of 24 hours. When this happens, I’ll often get asked if I cut my hair, or if I have a weave. Then I change it back, and they’re like “WTF?”
- I receive more inquiries into my ethnic background. “Where’d you get that curly hair, yo mama white?” Someone actually asked me that. I mean, I am, but that’s beside the point. Fix your grammar, please.
- I definitely get more requests to touch my hair, as I mentioned before. Attention others: Even though I now rock an insane bed of curls on a daily basis, you must still adhere to the rule of “Don’t touch a black woman’s hair”. Case in point: I had a massage the other day, and I indicated that there was no need for a scalp massage. She went into my wet locks anyway, and tore up my look so bad, I was James Brown’s mug shot reincarnated, and that was not the first time. Looking like James Brown, I mean…
- I’ve become so much more aware of other women who are rocking their natural hair texture. It’s pretty cool to see that we can not only enjoy permed hair, but also being proud to rock the natural look. Those women with the “natural” weaves confuse the hell out me, though.
- Although it does appear easier to maintain, rocking the natural look is work. Yes, I can throw some water on it some days and go, and I’ll be just fine. But I often wake up from a nap with a serious Frederick Douglas dent in my hair, and I then have to contemplate how long it will take me to turn into a Sade bun ( it can be rather frightening on occasion).