Monday, November 7, 2011

There Should Be a Natural Hair-icide Hotline

Yesterday, my pastor spoke about confessing your issues/burdens to other people of faith.  Well, regardless of your religious preference, I have the need to air one persistent burden to my online congregation.

*cue church organ*
A burden that is affecting my social life.   Well...  A burden that has made me show up over an hour late for important events, such as bridal showers.  Uh-huh...  This burden has also made me miss church altogether on more than one Sunday.  **gasps**  Tell the truth and shame the devil!!!

Ladies, I am talking about the burden of natural hair maintenance. 

Don't get me wrong.  I've been natural since 2001, and I ain't going back to the creamy crack.  Neva eva?  Neva eva, foreva neva.  But...I can't lie...I'm on the verge of pulling a Solange and cutting half of it (if not more) off, or committing temporary natural hair-icide by getting a curly weave (gasp) until this particular hair storm passes ovah (i.e., grows out).  I know I can't be the only proud natural sister being pushed to the edge of hair fakery right now!

I love, love, love my hair when it is behaving.  However, after getting my hair pressed for the first time in probably four years back in February (I just had to have a new look for my birthday), my hair has been unpredictable and the source of entirely too much personal drama.

It's like my hair wants revenge after the straight-hair wackness I put it through.  I couldn't deal with the press--it made me look like one of those old ladies in church with "Indian in their family" who plaster their hair flat against their skulls with Blue Magic so you can see what "good hair" they have.  I did my best to get back to my usual texture after only four days.  Now, my hair seems to be three different textures:  1) Decent and normal in the front, able to achieve a great twist-out wave;  2) Frizzy-ended and near-hopeless on the right side; and 3) coarser in the back, with a crazy dry patch of hair in the middle that is impervious to all manner of hydration.  I totally believe that my stylist scorched this patch of my coils during the press.

Ladies, my hair had been on a healthy winning streak until the press.  After years of trial and error with too many trifling stylists, bouts with damaging color (my hair is a fragile 4a/b), major cuts, evolving to twisting and setting it myself, finally getting it to collarbone length (when stretched), and only going to the salon for quarterly trims and special occasions, it truly pains me to have come to the ridiculous, shapeless follicular gumbo that appeared on my head over the weekend.

It was workable until last month, when, in a desperate attempt to condition the dry patch, I overdid it on deep-conditioning from following advice from a popular natural hair site.  I pre-conditioned before washing, deep conditioned in the shower, used a lighter conditioner to seal with a cool rinse, and put some coconut oil on my hair before applying a gel and protective balm mix to twist.  Insane, right?  A day and a half after the twisting, I undid my hair and it was just a confused blob of waves and limp hair.  The serum that I use when I usually need to reactivate waves after a week of twist-outs didn't work, and actually made it worse.  I had a lifeless mess--on the day of a wedding I was attending, natch--and I had to get a friend to help me pin it into a halfway decent style so I didn't look like a well-dressed crackhead in everybody's Facebook photos.

Fast foward to this past Saturday (day four after a twist-out).  My hair was frizzing out, but some tall brother speeding past me in Kramerbooks told me he liked it (thanks, I guess?).  However, yesterday morning when I got up for church...I just can't adequately describle the angry, half-fro mutant style that faced me in the mirror.  I shouldn't have tried to retwist the night before with a homemade aloe/coconut oil/olive oil/conditioner/water spray (another tip from the natural hair site).  After attempting to fight the blob, I eventually gave up trying to style it and put a hair band around it, which didn't help much.  Of course this all made me late for church.  Of course I ended up literally sitting in the overflow of the overflow of the overflow, watching the pastor and company on a flat-screen TV.  Sigh.

In writing this (good therapy, btw) I've come to the conclusion that I need to try my old hair routine (regular shampoo and conditioner, blowout, shea and aloe twists) just one more time before I do anything drastic.  All of the crazy curl-promising products (people, if you are buying a special "curl towel" you have been hoodwinked and bamboozled) and natural hair routines I've been reading about online don't add up to anything if they are robbing you of your time, energy, money AND sanity.  I also heartily apologize to my follicles for my foolery, and I vow to never, ever have my hair pressed again.  If you see me with straight hair after all of this, you will know that I have gone off the deep end for real.

Oh, and just in case my hair decides to jack me up right before a major event again, I've been researching some cool turbans and headwraps on

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