India Arie, Viola Davis, Lisa Bonet and Janelle Monae. What do these 4 celebrities have in common? They are beautiful African American women rocking natural hair styles. Kinky never sounded so right and there are so many women embracing the movement and making the switch over to the natural side. I for one, have been locked for 8 years this November and feel great about it. My parents have always been natural and while I fought it for a long time, I must admit now… they were right!
If you haven’t seen the movie, “Good Hair” a comedic American documentary produced by Chris Rock (trailer below), you might want to see if it’s on Netflix, because it’s really well done. Not only was it very funny and informative, I was glad someone touched on a topic I never truly took the time to think about.
In this movie you will learn all things about African American haircare. From what is socially and culturally acceptable, to the intense process of transforming hair from curly to straight, and all that is in between. Chris Rock thought to produce this movie after his cute 5 year old daughter Lola asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?
Good Hair? This is a problem in the African American community. We are constantly seeking “good hair”. If you have “bad hair” you hope for your children’s sake they are blessed with “good hair”. May they never have to experience a hot comb, sitting for hours in a puddle of tears screaming as their hair is being combed, picking those awful scabs on their scalp as a result of scratching too much before having a relaxer or who can forget all the hair caught in the broom, when cleaning the bathroom.
I had nice hair once (sounds like an elderly person telling a story of old tales and experiences from their past). When I was a child, it was soft, long and healthy, but then I decided I didn’t want poofy hair, I wanted it to move and lay down on my back, so I opted for a relaxer. I loved buying Just For Me and singing along with the tape, “just for me, no lye conditioner relaxer free”, haha brings me back. My baby sitter at the time was very upset with this decision and I didn’t understand it then, but now I get it. My hair was ruined after I started getting relaxers. I was always active in sports, so I had to put my hair up in a ponytail. With natural hair, I doubt this would be an issue, but by putting my hair up time and time again with relaxed hair, I noticed the hair in the middle of my head would start breaking off. It got to the point that I had to cut my hair. It was mullet-esque, short bob in the front and long flipped up curls in the back. I did it justice, but now that I look back, it wasn’t so pretty.
Think about what is in a relaxer. For one, the chemicals in a relaxer should not be inhaled. Some relaxers still carry the chemical Sodium Hydroxide, also known as lye and that can eat through vegetable and human tissue, as well as in some cases even metal. Why is that being used in a beauty product? Chemicals, let alone of that magnitude should never be used. What good is your hair if it’s all broken and in order to get it to look a certain way you have to put your health at risk?
In my opinion natural hair is the best hair. Some synonyms of the word good are, favorable, acceptable, satisfying, healthy, and fruitful. By having natural hair, you do not use chemicals, so therefore your hair is healthy and it actually grows faster. There are so many versatile styles and beauty salons are popping up everywhere that specialize in natural hair care. To embrace the natural hair movement is to be confident in curly and kinks. This is how we were destined to be. Don’t let me get on my soap box, but who wants to conform to what society wants? This is our hair, don’t be confused by the length. These are locs not of the dreadful kind, please call them accordingly. No more pink conditioning lotions for me, which contain ingredients I cannot pronounce, I am all about the Shea butter and coconut oil. The time has come ladies and gentlemen, taking back what is ours and it should start within ourselves. To the right is a little compilation of some of my natural looks throughout the years…
On the day that I wanted to look my absolute best, the Wedding Day, my stylist met the challenge and did an unbelievable job.