How My Hair Teaches Me To Love

This summer while on vacation in Boston I had my hair professionally styled. Actually, I had it flat ironed twice (yikes).  The first time, I went to a stylist, I’d gone to as a child. He took his time, used low heat, and left me with lots of volume. . I really loved the fullness and body my hair had after he finished styling it.

I wanted to surprise my husband and let him see my hair straight. So, before returning home, I went to my sister’s stylist, who I’d been to many times in the past, when my hair was relaxed. Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t as positive as the first time. She was a little rough detangling, used high heat to blow dry and straighten my hair, took two passes each time she flat-ironed it (gasp)! I nervously squirmed around in the chair and asked her if my curls would return (my passive way of suggesting that she was using too much heat). She assured me it would as my hair is not flat ironed often and does not hold the memory of being styled straight, so thus should revert easily.

When I came home with my hair straight, I got loads of compliments. I admit it, I enjoyed the attention, as well as the ease of styling my straight hair. I started getting used to seeing myself with straight hair. So when wash day came around I started using curl formers to stretch my hair. The other day, while pulling my hair up into a bun, I noticed it felt and looked rather dry and lackluster.

I decided to stop forcing my hair to do what it doesn’t do naturally and embrace my curls again. My going natural is a continual journey and learning experience. It’s not just about hair, but also about love and acceptance. I want to accept myself, every aspect, and love the skin I am in. It’s so easy to point out what one doesn’t have or what one would like to improve upon and rarely praise the positive things we possess. This shouldn’t be confused with bragging or boasting, but truly being okay with who I am, flaws and all.

I’m back to my curls this week and I’m going to be giving my hair lots of TLC. This is not to say I’ll never flat-iron my hair again, but I don’t plan on it anytime soon. And next time I’m uncomfortable in a stylists chair, I’ll be sure to be vocal and state my apprehensions (this should apply to most matters in life).

On another note, the other day, I was at the pediatrician’s office and she commented that my son was really cool and laid-back. She had just returned from vacation and said he was such a nice baby to see upon returning from her holiday, because of his temperament. Then she went on to say that it must be due to his parents. I told her I wasn’t sure about that. She turned to me and asked, “why is it that when someone says something about a child being bratty, impatient or anything negative, the parents, usually moms, take full responsibility about what they might have done wrong? However, when it’s about something positive, rarely do we claim to take part.” You know what, she’s right? It’s so easy, for people, and I have the feeling, women especially, to internalize a lot of negative events and take the blame. Why not claim good?

So here’s my “better late than never” resolution this year is say one positive and lovely thing I like about myself each morning. And to spread the positivity, today I’ll add something positive about my readers/blog subscribers. I love how sweet and thoughtful your comments are and that thanks to you all this blog is an open and friendly platform. So stay lovely and stay you.

I know a lot of sad and negative events taking place in the world now, but I’d love to know: What are you  loving about life/yourselves these days.

 

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5 Easy Tips for Creating a Healthy Hair Regimen

1. Don’t go product-gaga

With more and more women wearing their hair in its natural state, there are a lot more products available on the market for diverse textures. I know it can be tempting not to scoop up every product we see when perusing the hair aisle or the internet. However, if you’re newly natural or just looking for an effective routine, I suggest not giving in to this urge. Buy 1 (2 at the most) product (s) to try on your hair and give your hair a few weeks to see how it responds. If we use too many products at once, it’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t work for our hair.

2. Ask a friend or seek out the internet

Not sure what products work for you? Find a friend with similar hair texture and more importantly porosity and ask for recommendations. Or ask a stranger, sometimes I see someone with great, healthy hair and wonder how they achieved it. It never hurts to simply ask. I always find starting with a compliment and then asking always helps break the ice. Alternatively, you can find tips from bloggers and vloggers. The internet is a huge resource.

3. Don’t break the bank

Try not to spend too much on products, when developing a regimen. Find some solid affordable products that work. You can always pamper yourself on special occasions (holidays, birthdays, etc.) and try out some higher end products. In addition, if you have an inexpensive product, you can always make it fancy by adding special oils or honey and giving yourself a conditioning treatment.

4. Be gentle with your hair and walk away from the comb when you’re frustrated

When I first went natural and reached an awkward stage (coughs: major mullet), my hair was sometimes more difficult to detangle. I’d get so frustrated I noticed I was a bit rougher in my movements with the comb and as a result breakage would ensue. Actually, this was even more so the case when I was transitioning from straight to curly hair. So, try not to style your hair when you’re tired or just take a break if you need.

And finally…

5. Make a schedule

Pick out the days you want to wash and condition your hair. Think about the styles you’d like to try and how long they will carry you through the week. If you’re in the TWA (teeny-weeny afro) stage or have short hair, you’ll probably wash or wet your hair more than once per week. Once I was able to pull my hair back, this changed my schedule and gave me more flexibility. However, a schedule still benefited me greatly and kept me from getting to lazy with my hair.

….This is not a step, but more words of advice. Enjoy your hair at all stages. When I cut all my hair off, I was so concerned about length. I wish I had just enjoyed that moment longer, because length will come, when it comes. I’d always wanted to do something drastic like cut my hair really short and once I cut it, I spent all my time wanting it longer. Now I enjoy the stage I’m at, because I’ve noticed, although with longer hair you can easily just bun it, you also have longer washer sessions (wonk, wonk, wonk). So do you and love what you do at each stage (same applies to life in general).

Do you have any healthy hair regimen tips for readers? If so, would love to hear them!