Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"So your hair just does that, NATURALLY?!"

I went natural for two reasons: poverty and Raven*. The former is one that millions of college students are familiar with, the latter was a girl from Tennessee and a dorm mate.  She had raven locks that spilled towards her waist, but it was coupled with obviously African features-- deep cocoa skin, plump lips and mysterious brown eyes. This is what piqued my interest. Black people didn’t have hair like that! Well except my cousin and there’s been speculation that she’s wearing a piece. But I digress…

For months I studied her hair, something about it keeping me from coming to my usual conclusion that it was a weave. Then one day I just couldn’t take it anymore. I practically ambushed her outside of our rooms.

“I love your hair! How do you get it to do that?”

“I don’t do anything, actually. It’s like this naturally.” She gave me the strangest look. I assume my head spun.

“So you don’t have a perm?”

I could have hair like that? For FREE??

I never relaxed again. But to my shock and horror, I didn’t have the hair I’d dreamed of. Instead of tumbling carefree towards the floor, or even reaching out for the walls, my hair raised the roof in the most unbecoming way. In my attempts to tame it, I bought all kinds of greases, pomades and gels, making it everything but free.

Perhaps if I had known just a little bit about hair types, I would’ve spared myself some heartache and college cash. (which for the record is harder to come by than regular cash) So for the sake of your esteem and pocketbook here are some things you should know.
  • There is no hair type that is better or worse than another. All have they’re advantages and disadvantages. Learn yours and love yours.
  • Different hair types respond to different products and treatments in different ways. That’s why it’s important to experiment and learn your hair.
  • Depending on your hair type some products will work better than others. But I have yet to hear of a natural who doesn’t benefit from organic coconut oil, EVOO or Shea butter. So instead of going on a natural spree, start off with one of these essentials and work your way from there.   
  • It is possible, in fact it is likely that you have more than one hair type on your head. Knowing what they are can help you to develop a unique regimen that meets your hairs specific needs.

There are several different types of hair and not one needs alteration. You are beautiful as is.

Download your free natural hair calendar here!
*Name I chose based on her hair


  1. I can't use Shea Butter on my hair. It does nothing for me. And as for hair typing, it helped some, however knowing the porosity, strand size and methods for achieving ph balance helped me more. Hair typing just helped me to understand why my kinky hair in front styled differently than the coily hair on the rest of my head.

    1. You're absolutely right! All of those things can help you achieve a fuller, bigger head of hair!

  2. Actually when I first saw a black girl with long hair, my first question was "Are you mixed?"
    She gave me the same quizzical look you probably got. she asked why and I told her it was because she had "good hair". I didn't notice what I was doing until a friend told me about natural hair. I decided no perms, no hot combs, no flat irons, no anything that was not natural and good for my hair.

    1. Good to know I'm not the only one! Isn't it funny how our eyes are opened once we start accepting ourselves? Thank God for your friend, huh?

  3. I definitely understand the college cash phenomenon. When I was a student, I was not willing to fork over too much cash either!
    I'm glad you made the realization that not all black hair is the same and there's nothing "better" about one hair type over another!

    - Crystal
    Founder, Ishimma