Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Hump Day!

Today is a rant day. Feel free to rant about whatever you want.

My rant for today? My hair.

Now before you all go in on me, trust me when I tell you that I know my hair and scalp are healthier now that I've decided to go natural. I know this.

I've been wanting to try to going natural for a long time, but I was hesitant for all the very reasons I'm about to rant about now.

I understand that anything worth doing will be challenging. I get that. But please allow me this indulgence. Just for today...then I'll be done.

I'm not loving my hair today. I didn't particularly care for it yesterday either...or the day before.

Why?

It's just not doing anything I want it to do. It doesn't curl up, it's frizzy and I don't find it to be cute at all.

I've been trying different products, none of which work. They make my hair look dull, and I have random strands that fly in different directions, while others coil up tight. I have 2 different hair textures on my head, so either the front looks great one day, or the back does....but they never look great at the same time.

Actually...that's not true. My hair looks nice when it's about a quarter to half an inch long. But now that it's growing, that inch and and half length seems to make a HUGE difference in how my hair behaves.

So it seems the solution would be to keep it short. But I don't want to keep it short. I know it's going to take a couple of years for it to get to a length where I can rock a great twist out, so I figured I'd better get started now. All of this means I'm about to enter into the dreaded "in between stage" - a stage I hated when my hair was relaxed as well. Not looking forward to it.

Then there's the gym. I've been going hard for a few weeks now, and while you'd think natural hair would be easier to manage as it pertains to working out, I feel like it's worse. I sweat my hair out, and my hair being wet isn't the issue. It's the sweat mixing with the 3 different hair products I have in my hair (that don't work) running down my face, making me feel greasy and breaking my skin out. I wash my face a lot more now because I constantly feel oily, which is making my skin dry out - or break out more.

Then, when I sweat out the product, my hair turns into a massive frizz ball. So I have a wet afro that looks crazy. All the product is on my hands (from putting them behind my head to do ab work) and none on my head. We won't even talk about the oil running down the back of my neck.

Then there's all the products I need to try just to make my fro look half way decent before I leave the house. I'm tired of running my ass back and forth to Target and beauty supply stores buying - and then RETURNING - products trying to find the perfect one for my ever changing mane. And NONE of these products are cheap. I've tried inexpensive products, expensive ones, homemade ones, pure olive oil from my kitchen...EVERYTHING. Nothing is working. All from having over an inch of hair on my head.

So I try to wear makeup and cute earrings to distract people from the fact that I look like I have a Scotchbrite Scrubber on my dome. People are sweet - they say things like, "Oh, now that you have short hair, I can see your facial features more." Or...my favorite..."At least you have a cute shaped head."

That's all code for, "Giirrrl, good thing you cute, cuz your hair is a hot ass mess!"

I know what it is.

I can see why sistas want to rock relaxed hair. When my hair was relaxed, it did what I wanted it to do - and it was the same texture all over. Granted, I've never been one of those women who sit in the salon all day every weekend. I didn't bump and curl it everyday. Being able to slick it back into a ponytail was enough for me. Now I actually have to "DO" something with my hair daily...and it takes longer than brushing it back and securing it with an elastic.

Again, I know my hair is healthier now...but damn if this isn't a process.

I'm simply hoping that I can deal with it until it grows. It's hard. No matter how many compliments I get, "I" am the one who has to look at it, live with it, and ultimately like it. Today...I don't like it. At all.

And that's okay...and don't worry - I'm not running back to the creamy crack any time soon. I just wanted to rant and get this off my chest. My sister told me she misses when I had hair. I do too. My mom said I looked "too natural." I know what that means....but whatever. It's a process...it's a challenge. One I'm willing to keep trying...for now.

Maybe I'll braid it up once it grows another inch if I don't find the right concoction to curl it up and make it shiny. Maybe I'll just invest in some cute hats - who knows. All I know is, as of today, natural hair is not fun to me. Not even a little bit.

Well...that's it for today. I'm about to go to the gym, so I have extra towels to catch all the gook that's about to pour from my scalp. My healthy scalp. What joy.

But like going to the gym and eating healthy, anything worth doing is worth working (and suffering) for until it becomes second nature. I guess I'd rather be healthy inside and out with a fuzzy head then overweight and unhealthy with straight hair.

Okay, rant over. Your turn.

Go!

-b

19 comments:

Batman said...

First Bitches!!!

A-buzzz said...

I hope Batman jumps off a bridge without his cape. LMFAO

SarKism said...

good luck Brooke....I cant get down with that team but good for you :)....

Stef said...

You're good Brooke, cuz I can't do it. I have a funny shaped head, and I don't do well with naps. It takes too much work. And I see how much those products cost - good grief! You'd think it'd be cheaper! Personally I think they're taking advantage of this "movement" and robbing sistas blind!

KAREN FELDER said...

lol:-) Brooke, this is funny.. I alsop have natural hair. a GREAT product is ECO -STYLER gel--it's NOt a crazy expensive product, u can get it anywhere for abt $4.00( It's clear in a green jar). (also, I use KnotToday leave in conditioner, by Kinky-curly--a lil more expensive, but my hair lis longer & NEEDS a leave in conditioner) --you might just go with a shampoo--wash n go. Before I got Eco-Styler, I had some similar issues. For gym/working out, Try a sweatband..FORREAL!.Old school like Kariem Abdul-Jabar, or Dr. J.&To still be cute,just wear post/ball earrings:-)...OR just a scarf, which will keep product out of your face/sweat, etc. Hope this helps & good luck on your natural hair journey, I agree with the other poster, thier are TOO MAny "products" for "natural" hair.

ArrElle said...

Hello Brooke:

I've been natural 1 yr and 10 months and yes it can be challenge going to the gym, trying to find that "right" product for your hair type and trynna to look cute all rolled up into one along with having two types of hair texture, chile I feel ya pain! Trust me I'm there with you however don't give up!!! Oh yeah the EcoStyle gel is da truff!! LOL

Candice said...

All I can say is...HANG IN THERE...I know that sounds like some bull...but it took me years to find the right product (I did the big chop over 10 years ago - WAY before it was popular) and outside of that whole workout thing - I've tried all kinds of leave-ins, conditioners, ms. jessies, carol's daughter, suave, curl activators...3 different textures in my hair...I know this isn't helpful, but you can do it!

Aisha G of HartlynKids said...

A perm has not touched my scalp in 12 years and in that 12 years I can't tell you how many times I hated my hair lol. But then there were times that I absolutely adore it too. You will go through this a lot and have to keep playing around with different products and solutions esp during the summer. Oh and I agree with Karen - eco styler gel is making me LOOOOVE my hair these days. It's doing THE MOST.

Brooke said...

I have Eco Styler gel and it does nothing for me! I ran into a woman a couple of weeks ago at Target who told me to try it, so I told my boo to pick it up for me - and bam...nothing. It does NOTHING.

Maybe my hair needs to be longer? I don't get it.

Serena W. said...

Hello there!!!! I'm going to rant but have to address the natural hair thang first!

Brooke I had all the products in the world that WORKED for my hair when I lived in Dallas, TX!

So what happened? I moved back east and because the climate is different the same products that worked for me in Dallas, TX don't work for my hair over here :(

I've been back for almost 3 years and finally finding some products that work. I went to a natural hair show and got a ton of samples! Out of all the samples I tried out some and found a leave in conditioner, a moisturizer and other things by a sista named Taliah Waajid http://www.naturalhair.org/

Long story short...its a journey, it truly is. Do you have a natural stylist? There's a great hair salon in Brooklyn where I got the big chop done and they are fabulous. They are Tendrils http://www.tendrilshairspa.com/ Maybe you can check them out and that would help. The in between phase does suck but hang in there!

Now to rant...

What's up with people? I have a friend that spazzed out on me for no reason. She sent me an invite I guess twice to a party and I declined. When I got it again I declined hoping she got it this time because maybe the first attempt didn't go through. She took it as me dissing her twice! WTH! I wasn't mean and told her that but she still slightly went off on me. Sigh...

I don't get people nor do I want too.

A couple of other things have gone down this week but I'm done with them. But that one was recent. I just gotta keep it moving!

As far as my hair (again), yeah it's having a moment. I have so many styles in my head but no time or patience. So I will go to a hair dresser this summer and treat myself :)

I need to try this eco whatever y'all are talking about! Sounds great!

I might chime in again with more rants. lol.

The Cable Guy said...

Brooke, you're beautiful regardless. I know you have to like it, so hopefully you will soon.

Brooke said...

@Serena,

No, I don't have a natural stylist - and I've heard of Tendrils, but then let's talk about that....

These natural hair salons cost more than the Dominican spots I've gone to!

I looked up a hair cut at Miss Jessie's new salon. They boasted cheap prices for Manhattan so thought I'd take a look-see. $50 for a hair cut. I didn't pay that much for one when my hair was relaxed. I'm sure Tendrils isn't that much cheaper.

I'd pay $60 for a touch-up, a conditioner, a trim and a style when my hair was relaxed - now $50 barely gets me a hair cut! This natural thing isn't easy at all! Not even on my pockets!

Brooke said...

oh, and thanks Cable Guy - hopefully it'll grow on me soon.

Courtney said...

Brooke - glad to see you're back! I missed you!

Now, as for hair - this is a subject that Black women have been dealing with forever, and it'll never change. I like that you're willing to try something new, while not crucifying those that don't rock on the same "team" like Sarkism said.

I know women who have been sporting perms since they could walk, but now that natural hair seems to be "in", they criticize women with relaxers when they are less than a year nappy themselves. I'm glad that you aren't one of those "righteous" sistas who seem to be more "down" now that they're natural.

You'll appreciate it as it grows - or not - but ultimately what you do with it is YOUR decision and yours alone.

Serena W. said...

It's not going to be easy. You can't cut natural hair how you cut straight permed hair :(

My friend had gone on YouTube and they have a bunch of styling tips on there (I'm a visual learner). And that has helped. I'm going to try and carve some time out and try some styles while Jordan is sleeping lol.

$50-$60 for just a cut or does this include the hair wash and conditioning?

As for a cut, natural hair doesn't need to be trimmed/cut as much as if you had a perm either. I only trim my hair twice a year and that's because I have some soft spot in there. Some only trim/cut once a year.

I know it's harder when it's in between but once you get it to a length you like and take care of it you won't need a regular cut.

My inspiration is my Mom (RIP Ma). Her hair was natural from the time she was 19 until she passed away at 60 (turning 61)! WOW! She said it wasn't easy and they didn't have as many choices back then but once she got in the groove it worked.

Nothing you want to do is easy (echoing the blog). If it was too easy I'd have to question it ;)

Jaz said...

Is it just me, or does natural hair seem to be just a "fad"? I know you can argue it's healthier, but I don't think the majority of women I know who are natural are doing it for that reason.

Tanisha Malcom said...

As someone who wore the "Cree Summer" look in high school back in the 90's when natural wasn't cool, I have played for both teams.

Whether you relax your hair or don't, it's about finding the right products that work for your hair texture.

One thing you don't want to do with any hair is weigh it down with a ton of products.

With natural hair, the best moisturizer is water. The idea is to lock in this moisture with 100% oil. When I was natural, I found that Coconut oil and Jojoba oil worked best for my hair. This can be easliy purchased at Health Nuts, Whole Foods, etc.

Additionally, when you are natural, you must purchase shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate free. Just because a shampoo suds up, doesn't mean your hair is necessarily clean or that it is healthy for your hair. A lot of ingredients in Shampoo and conditioners are very drying.

Lastly, the majority thinks if you cut your hair off or wear it natural it is so much easier. BULLSHIT!!! The products alone and maintenace for a short do or a short natural do are not cheap. If anything, going to natural salons for maintenance and finding the correct combo to maintain my natural costed me way more than any touch up.

To the person that mentioned how recent transitioners become natural snobs, I find that a lot in my travels. When I went back to a short choppy relaxed pixie after going natural again for a while, I was ridiculed and frowned upon by some naturalistas!!! Of course, I told them to kick rocks, because regardless of how you wear your hair, that does not dignify who you are or how connected you are to your roots (no pun intended)!

Bottom line, however you wear your hair, take care of it. There is nothing worse than seeing some dry, unhealthy relaxed, natural, hair weave, braids, you name it, that ish is uncalled for, period!!!

Brooke said...

Amen Tanisha!

I've been HOUNDED for years by friends, and strangers, to wear a natural. I never felt I had anything to prove to anyone. The only reason I started seriously considering it was because a bad relaxer took my hair out a few years ago and I thought it had to have damaged my scalp. Since then, my scalp has been tender, so thought I'd give it a break.

My friends have helped with the transition, so that's great. But I'd be lying if I said I never wished I had my relaxed hair back from time to time - especially with summer approaching. I'm not a hair person, so spending this much time on my hair has been getting on my nerves :)

And Tanisha, yes, water has been my new best friend as far as moisturizing, but leaving the house with damp hair makes me feel weird too. Since it's been getting hotter outside, it's fine - but in the winter? Not cool...especially since I catch chills easily, which then trigger migraines...and oy! It's too much!

Anonymous said...

check it out, this just might be what you need for your work outs! http://saveyourdo.com/faqs/

Frances

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