my black woman’s hair: not blowout, growout!
I’m making decisions and checking them twice. Maybe even more than twice. Heck, I’m checking them multiple times a day. One of those decisions is: don’t relax, blow-dry, or otherwise artificially permanently manipulate my hair.
The goal is to let it grow, just taking the bare minimum care of it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of my teeny-tiny afro (twa) of 3 months ago, when I did the big chop. Suffice it to say that it’s twice as long now, and growing in as thick as a thicket, the way it did when I was a little girl.
I’m not the girliest of girls, to be honest. I find all the time spent on hair and nails, and eyelash curlers and waxing and whatnot boring as hell. And expensive, yo! But, when I go out, I want to look like the mental image I have of myself. The twain haven’t met for a very long time. Now my self-image and reality are at least in the same room!
30 years ago I felt I had to do the creative minor executive suit thing, and I had weaves galore (because I could do it myself, and because my own hair was such a mess). Rocked long braids for a while. Together with the every-week dragon nails. And make-up (although no need for foundation, thank bast!). Expensive, time-consuming and annoying, although the results were pretty.
Then I tried to do the ‘make natural creamy wonders at home’ thing, with hair stuff and skin stuff and…yikes! I don’t like cooking to put food ‘in’ my body, I’ll be darned if I’m gonna stand around mixing things to put ‘on’ it!
Suffice it to say, that impulse didn’t last long. But, I was sick of my split ends, dryness, and all around hair unattractiveness.. I needed to find the hair care equivalent of firm tofu and sesame with a batch of roast vegetables: fast, easy, and good.
So I cut the relaxed part of my hair, down to the new growth. I guess it was about an inch of hair, maybe 1.5 inches…
Of course, I got lots of ‘you cut your hair’ comments. I’d smile, grit my teeth, and say: ‘Why yes, yes I did!’. Not sure why it’s so irritating when people notice. Anyway, I knew I would have this reaction, so was prepared to ignore my temper and put a smile on my face. For folks who have no idea how black women’s hair works, best to say, yeah, this is my real hair, the other wasn’t. That usually stops ’em cold, as they try to work out what that might mean, and I move on to the next topic. Or the next room.
So now, my hair is like the above and seems to be thriving. I wet it just about every day. I use conditioner as a shampoo, except that once a week I shampoo with shampoo. I put the stuff below in it, which helps bring out the curl, and keeps it reasonably hydrated:
Knot Today Leave in Conditioner/Detangler and Curling Custard
They’re pretty good. I also use this on my scalp: https://www.carolsdaughter.com/hair/mimosa-hair-honey
Mimosa Hair Honey
So far, so good! I’ll check back again in 3 months and see how it’s going.
*caveat: I am finding that I do need to give a light cool blowdry to my hair when I need to run out and it’s just too wet to head out the door. but this isn’t to straighten it, it’s to leave the curls intact and get a bit dryer, fast.