As inspired by Miti Pius, Wakanda Hair do you have
I thought I would also jump on that thread.
My natural hair journey started in my A’level where I was in a school that did allow not just any hair but natural hair, this went as far as if you had to retouch your hair, you needed to have a solid reason why, a permission slip to wear it retouched and how treating your hair was essential (someone said that they retouched/treated their hair to save it from breaking, the irony lol but we did not know better.
Whereas my school was advocating for natural hair one of my first friends at school told me she had left another school simply because they were forcing her to retouch her hair hence after her fist term pleaded her way back into the system. I asked her why she had an issue with retouching and she stated all she knew was natural hair end of story.
One of the hardest experiences as a high school student with natural hair was fellow girls failing to tell you what products they used and would either remove the labels from the hair tins, sprays or simply hide yes hide. I didn’t know that I had to moisturize my hair while at school; the whole hair thing was plain new to me so hair products were not on my list. You would ask someone what products they use and they would simply say, nothing, I don’t know, my mum bought it so I have no idea. (ahhh, I know right??) There was once this girl that had fabulous hair, bumped into her a while ago and her hair was just flourishing. When anyone complimented her hair or asked her what she used her would give you milk and say ‘‘take that, that’s how my hair grows.” I get that diet plays a big role but sis, we wanted the products too.. okay. Anyway I finally realized half the kids’ hair smelt something Indian and voila code cracked Amla. That and many more products started filling my school List and now shopping list.
I was in no rush to retouch my hair, plus I had heard stories of scalps being burnt in the process and my mother has always insisted on me wearing my natural hair too. Fast forward, campus, the first time I took out my hair someone stated that natural hair is for high school kids and I needed to grow up hence retouching would be a better option ( PS I had, still do, a habit of letting my hair out for some weeks after every protective hairstyle). Girls would go to the saloon and on Monday come back with straighter and longer hair and people would sing praise but I wasn’t really shaken you know, “ Hold the vision trust the process…”
My usual stylist had been busy the one weekend I was home hence I switched saloons, one time, just one time and this gentleman that worked on me did something to my hair “ natural treatment” as he assumed that my hair was semi natural, semi treated hence just like that my kinky coils were waved goodbye. When I found out that t no amount of water was to bring back my kinky coils, my heart broke but I decided to embrace the new retouched hair journey. I finally got approval from my mates about growing up and finally having straighter hair.
All I can say is that when something is not for you, your body will let you know just Listen. I once landed on a story of a girl that was having hair loss because she was in an abusive relationship and as soon as she left her hair started flourishing like it used too. For me it was every time I left the saloon after the manipulating my poor scalp more than it could handle the chemicals, driers etc. I would feel dizzy, nauseated, due to lack of a better word dry yes dry. Like I would gallop water like no man’s business for days. The day I said enough I was from the salon and my head was exploding, tears started running from my eyes, I was nauseated, I went to see a doctor and they told me that I was dehydrated.
I talked to my stylist as all I knew about going back to natural hair was the big chop, but we opted for transitioning. I started doing my research on both transitioning and natural hair, wide topic my friends.
I concluded that hair is not just hair so it is not swallow when you see a group of girls/boys talking about hair, I literally spent an hour yesterday with my girl(Hey Majo) talking about hair, products and edges(those stubborn things). I recently did a successful wash and go ( this is where you wash your hair, and condition it, no heat at all even when drying involved and move on with the day)and my chats have been about hairrrrr mostly. I Now days I am more worried about my hair being healthy than its length.I see people stealing glances every time my hair is out, still trying to understand if it is the piggy tails I rock or the hair. My heart was leaping with joy when i saw a guy stock up on his CANTU collection at the supermarket, his hair was beautiful.
For some of us Natural hair is not just hair or something to brag about, Natural hair saved me from possible Alopecia in the long run and more medical conditions. Natural hair is a lifestyle. Whereas I respect everyone’s decision to wear their hair the way they deem it fit, I get confused when natural hair gets recognition and some people come in with even retouched hair is good too. Like guys….
Wakanda Africa do I envision where girls actually learn that we are different and still support and respect the idea. I with natural hair and you with retouched hair is a choice but we can all respect each other’s choice and possibly learn from each other. Natural hair products are considered less harmful and can be used too by those with retouched hair. Plus I would also learn styling tips from my retouched hair sisters.
Girls can share, let it be hair ideas hair products, let’s just share. I know we all react differently to hair products but tell us and let decide what works and what doesn’t. I for one cannot use products mixed with coconut oil I get flakes, but can use coconut oil as a single product.