Since the Madam CJ Walker’s straightening tools were invented, working out has conflicted with hair styling and maintenance, for many in the black community. People would straighten their kinks and curls, but any slight moisture on the scalp would cause their precious straight hair to revert back. The time and pain experienced during this process, meant that reverting back so quickly was not an option. Parents would warn their little girls to look after their hair, to preserve the style for as long as possible. Even playing outside and running around could pose a threat to the hair. In an 1982 article by Ebony Magazine, reader Pam Proctor recounts the many missed opportunities to swim or participate in sports because her hair would ‘go back’. Then came the years of relaxers, which, are still going on til this day. Some subscribed to this notion of ‘sweating out the perm’. This may be why stereotypes have formed about black women in particular, not participating in swimming. Not wanting to get their hair or weave wet, has typically been a reason given for avoiding it. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but many of these stereotypes started because of hair.
It has been reported that Halle Berry has taken Gabriel Aubrey to court, claiming that he has straightened their daughter’s naturally curly hair. Halle is reported to be furious that Gabriel has straightened their six-year-old daughter’s hair and has appeared to have lightened it with highlights. She is convinced it’s because he does not want their daughter to appear African-American. Court papers also reveal allegations that Aubry made racial slurs towards Halle in the past.
I remember when the choice of hair weaves for black women were limited. At the local beauty supply, you would find the obvious synthetic hair, and brands labelled ‘human hair’. But such hair was actually made from synthetic fibers, designed to mimic human hair. Whether this was clever marketing or blatant false advertising, such companies managed to get away with this. Today, with the wealth of hair extensions now available, the choice has definitely improved. Unfortunately, the deceptive marketing still exists.
Wash day can be just that, a whole day. However, we shouldn’t have to draw a line through the day just to wash our hair. I am now able to wash my hair and go out to dinner within the hour. Washing your hair should not have to result in a night in front of the TV, waiting for our hair to dry in twists. Some of us avoid swimming because of the time spent washing and detangling our hair afterwards. Here are some styles that are appropriate to do after washing. They allow you to wash, style and go. Plus, they have the added bonus of stretching the hair, making it easy to re-style the next day.
I sometimes cringe when I remember my mindset during my ‘creamy crack’ days. Due to a lack of knowledge, many mistakes were made. This confined me to hair that never seemed to grow past a certain point or risked severe damage. Here are 8 common mistakes made with relaxed hair that you may have been guilty of practicing. Flat ironing relaxed hair Using heat on relaxed hair is discouraged by hair care experts, as relaxed hair has already been stripped of its elasticity. Therefore it is weaker than hair in its natural state. The use of heat is likely to weaken the hair further and cause breakage. Any use of heat should be minimal. Using heat to combat new growth is futile. as any slight moisture on the scalp will simply cause the hair at the roots to revert. This may lead to an excessive use of heat, which causes dry and damaged hair. Instead, embrace styles that allow the new growth to blend, such as twist outs or braid outs. Relaxing every six to eight weeks I use to relax my hair every six weeks with super strength relaxer. Hair care experts suggest relaxing your hair every 10 to 12 weeks or even less frequently. The more your hair is exposed to the harsh chemicals of relaxers, the more prone it is to over processing and weakening over time. Check out vloggers Ebony and Erica of TwoLaLa. They relax their hair as infrequently as once a year! Now I don’t think I could have gotten away with that, […]
I finally achieved a wash and go style that I was happy with. My natural curl pattern was defined and held up pretty well. Contrary to what I use to believe, 4b hair does have a curl pattern. However, if you have fine strands and hair that loses moisture relatively quickly, your strands are unlikely to clump together in uniformity, like other hair types. So a little help is needed with a product that has a strong hold. Of course, by now we should know that no product is going to give your hair curls that do not already exist. So my expectations have never been unrealistic. The first time I attempted a wash and go, I literally washed my hair, applied some gel and went out to dinner. My hair shrunk horrendously, which led to terrible knots the following day. I’ve tried conditioner only wash and go’s, where my hair turned into a glorious afro. I’ve also used the ever popular Eco styler gel. I’ve had the same tub of gel for three years! Here’s what I learned through my trial and error, which led to a successful attempt recently.
Since moving to Australia I have had to say goodbye to Shea Moisture products and access to all the products showcased by of my favorite vloggers and bloggers. Even in the UK there is much more access to American based products online, through sites such as beautybyzara.com. So far in Australia, although there have been attempts to provide this, it has not been successful. Most of the products are available on ebay.com.au, but the shipping costs get you every time. Beware of sellers that offer ‘free shipping’. They usually double the price of the item before they offer it. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t products available to women with naturally curly or kinky hair, here in Oz. If you find products with all natural ingredients, it is likely to be suitable for your hair type. It may not be marketed towards our specific demographic, but that doesn’t mean it will not work well with your hair. I have always been a ‘just juices and berries’ kind of girl. As long as I can order shea butter online, have access to natural oils and can make my own flaxseed (Linseed) gel for styling, I’m pretty much sorted. I also use the Terressential Mud wash for washing my hair, which I purchased in the US. I stocked up on some products last time I visited the States and I plan on doing the same when I go to the UK. Prices here in Australia are distressing to say the least, so it makes sense to stock up whenever […]
Many of us have bad memories of our hair being combed as a child. Due to a lack of knowledge and patience, we endured the pain of having a comb forced through our tightly coiled, kinky or curly hair. For some of us, our natural hair was nothing but a source of pain and annoyance. Meanwhile our straight-haired friends could run a fine tooth comb or brush through their hair with ease. Not to mention being bombarded with images of silky, flowing hair via the media. We must change our mindset about our natural hair, it is a negative mindset that has developed for generations. There is nothing wrong with Afro textured hair. The ability to run a comb through it, from root to tip, is not a measurement of beauty and quality. Neither is it inferior to straight silky hair. It simply differs from straight hair and requires a different technique for care and maintenance. Part one covered moisturizing your child’s hair and the type of products to use, check it out. Here are six more strategies for managing your child’s hair. Hopefully, we can pass on good hair care practice to the next generation. Comb with care The quality of combs and brushes should be of the highest quality before using them for our small children. Large, wide tooth, seamless combs should be used as opposed to cheaply made plastic combs. The combs with longer teeth cause less damaged when detangling kinky or curly hair. Use soft bristle brushes only, for gently smoothing the hairline. Using brushes […]