My hair story.. Mary

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My hair... where to start...

The beginning seems like the best place, i was born on a Sunday night... kicking and screaming like anyone else.. my hair was "like thick black oil", says my dear old mum. Till this day I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing... but boy oh boy i was one hell of a mop head. i was more hair than baby!

Lets fast forward to five years...

My mum did a helluva good job caring for and maintaining my hair.. Kamatanas, matutas and lines were the norm; she never used store bought chemicals on my hair. Coconut oil was my thing. I reeked of the stuff. I'm pretty sure when playing hide-and-seek, the other kids had a huge advantage as they could sniff me out a mile away; they always found me! its either that or i just plain sucked at playing hide-and-seek. But i digress! my mama took good care of my thick curly hair and it was long and healthy.. thank you mama*

Fast forward to another five yeas...

I wanted BRAIDS! and i wanted them NOW! by golly i remember screaming for 'hair piece' like my life depended on it. everyone else had em! being the last born of a bunch of girls i found it unfair that my elder sisters had braids while i was forbidden to have any on. Again, my mums principles led her to believe i was too young to have braids and that i was fine with my thick crazy hair. I won the battle and that year was the year i began my love-hate relationship with braids. I was never a perm girl, no sir, i fear chemicals (hippy parents you see) so it was never my thing.. but what was, and deeply so, my thing was BLOW DRYING!!!! dumm dumm dumm duuuum!

When I was not in braids, say for a period of one month, I was blow drying my hair like every other week (much to the deep disapproval of my mum). And I loved that good, strong blow-dry, you know, "ya wedding" blow-dry, the blow dry that involved a whole lotta smoke, oil, burning hair and hinged skin. If that was the price I had to pay for straight hair, I was totally with it..

By the time i was fifteen my hair was not the crowning glory it once was.. Like most silly teens I no longer heeded to my mothers sound advice. When i was in my micro braids i completely abandoned my hair. It was weak, and lacked any definition even when wet. The frequent blow dry sessions kept my hair thin and stunted its growth due to constant breakage. I cringe when I look back and remember how I combed my hair daily with a fine tooth comb... I slathered my mane in hair grease and used protein treatments that were doing more harm than good. My hair was a hot mess yaol..

One of my sisters, Tesha got into the natural hair train right around that time. She abandoned blow drying her hair, cut it and went completely natural. This baffled me! And like most little sisters I tried to mimic her, and failed miserably! first of all i was unwilling to lose any length, so i didn't cut it at all. I would wash my hair daily with shampoo, followed by a good towel dry and proceed to douse my hair in gel. My tips were weak and limp while my growth was coily and compressed. It looked awful. Yeah I gave up on this after a few months of switching between braiding and gel smothered hair... thankfully.

I am now in my early twenties. 2009 was the year I learned that AFRICAN hair is a beautiful thing. It was on that day that I freed myself from the chains of oppression that had once led me to believe that my God-given hair is not worthy, not beautiful and not desirable. It was on that day that I CUT my hair.

Best damned decision I've ever made.

It was a shock to the system. Short curly hair. I was scared, excited and giddy. My good buddy Nyash had the honors of cutting my hair (and for that I will be forever grateful). It has been a long road since then, re-learning my hair, appreciating its complexities and loving its texture. I am still figuring out what works for me and what doesn't. I love reading up on African hair care, empowering myself with knowledge and most importantly sharing that information..

There are good days and crazy days... all the while my hair is healthy and growing! and im looooovin' it! Thats my story.. I hope you enjoyed it. I would love to hear your stories; present, past and your future hopes.. Please feel free to share.

Much love
Faith said...

for whatever strange reason, all i thought about while reading your hair story was your DAD's hair lol. it was always very full and i daresay a bit wild (i hope that doesn't sound rude!) is he still rocking his natural 'fro?

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