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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My Mommy Went Natural

I’m so proud of my Mom. She shocked the heck out of me the other day. She sent me a picture of herself with mid-back length relaxed hair. She titled this picture “before”. Next she sent a picture, titled “after”. I almost fell off my chair when I saw her with cropped natural hair. The first thing I did was tell her how beautiful she looked, this is true, whether relaxed or natural, but she had this youthful glow about her in the “after” picture.

That’s all the fun and good stuff, but here comes the not so good. I think she was on an adrenaline high when she cut her hair and was feeling confident and sassy. Over the course of the following days as she saw family and friends, many of their reactions included statements like “Woman, why did you go ahead and cut all that gorgeous, silky hair off?!”, “are you having a breakdown?!”, “how are you going to comb it?”, “you know that natural hair ain’t for everybody”. Those are just a few examples, I’ll spare you the details.

Anyway, the next time I talked to her, I noticed she looked a little less perky. She kept pulling at her hair and talking about the length, that it was nappier than she recalled from when she went natural 10 years ago. That maybe she made a mistake of big chopping during the wrong season. I reminded her that I really loved her hair and told her she looked both elegant and edgy. I advised her to stop watching it grow, because she’ll be shocked months from now when looks in the mirror and realizes how much it actually has grown.This made her cheer up a lot.

We then proceeded to talk about hair regimens. My Mom is pretty old school and her regimen consisted of the good old school regimen she used on my hair growing up. She only shampoos her new hair every other day, then slaps on a little petroleum-based product, doesn’t wrap it nor sleep on a satin/silk pillow case, she actually didn’t even bother brushing or combing it. I told her that natural didn’t mean not combing your hair. Hehehe! I gave her some tips and told her to step away from the multiple shampoo sessions and petroleum-based products and to incorporate conditioner and leave-in into her routine and maybe some natural oils. And for Pete’s sake, wrap that hair! She’ll be visiting me soon and I’m excited to get my hands in her hair and use some of my products on her.

The other day, I received the following text from her: Working up a sweat at the gym, why wait for New Year’s to achieve my goals. Before, going to the gym was something she had to schedule around hair appointments. I believe natural hair is going to change her health and fitness and give my son a fit, healthy grandma– who people might mistake for his Mom!It’s funny how other people can get under our skin and how we can then internalize those things and start using negative statements to talk about ourselves or our hair. If you have a friend or family member who has gone natural, don’t forget to shower them with positivity.

Do you know someone who went natural recently?