Hair Blog: Struggle Knot
You hear more often than not that going natural and maintaining natural hair is a struggle. It takes so much work to do it and the hair care products are so expensive. The truth of the matter is that if you really pay attention to how much money you spend on getting your hair relaxed, for bundles, for paying someone to install your sew-in, so on and so on is there much of a difference?
I like to be able to just get up and go in the morning. I don’t have time to get up and try to untangle a rat’s nest of hair.
*Instant Side Eye*
With relaxed hair or sew-ins do you just go to bed and sleep on it without tying it up or wrapping it? If your answer is yes then I’m sure that you have a lot of maintenance to do with it the next morning. You’re going to put on a silk wrap on your fro just like you would with that sew-in.
Detangling…yes, it does suck but it sucked when I had curly sew-ins. It sucked having to wrap my relaxed hair every night so it would stay on point throughout the week. It sucked to fear the rain because I’d just gotten my hair relaxed and it never looks the same after it is kissed by a little H2O.
The truth of the matter is that it’s a struggle somewhere on both sides of it. Just don’t make it the reason why you choose not to do one or the other. Natural hair isn’t for everybody — yet a very outspoken man who I grew up with said it best – how is the hair that grows naturally from your head not for you?
It’s a societal thing as well as a personal one. Women identify themselves as who they are based on their hair. You can down someone on what they choose to wear and they can shrug it off and make some updates. If you clown someone on their hair though? Let me get some tissue, please, because BABY, I CANNOT with you!
How many of you remember the movie Something New?
Brian Kelly: Can I ask you one more question?
Kenya Denise McQueen: Hmm?
Brian Kelly: [grabs a piece of her hair] Can you take this off?
Kenya Denise McQueen: [opens eyes] What do you mean?
Brian Kelly: I mean, it’s not a wig, right? But it’s not your real hair either, is it?
Kenya Denise McQueen: [stares at him for a moment, then sits up] I can’t believe you just asked me that.
Brian Kelly: I’m sorry, I’m just curious.
Kenya Denise McQueen: It’s a weave, if you must know. I thought you dated black girls.
Brian Kelly: They had real hair.
Kenya Denise McQueen: I have real hair too.
Brian Kelly: Underneath?
Kenya Denise McQueen: Yes, underneath!
Brian Kelly: So what, they just… they sew it in?
Kenya Denise McQueen: Something like that.
Okay, so what I remember from this is Brian following up with a line similar to “I just wonder what it would be like to see you completely naked?” A similar statement was said to me. Everyone liked the long straight hair. Just one person wondered what it would look like if I stopped relaxing it and just let it do what it did naturally.
I stopped relaxing my hair many years ago – even before that statement, that question, arose. I’m not a fan of the big chop. It works for a lot of people but I don’t think it’s necessary for all. I’m more of a fan of let it grow out, do some protective styles, and then when it hits a certain length cut off the straight ends. That’s a little closer to what I did.
I found it easier to maintain my short fro as opposed to my now longer fluff. One – you don’t need to use as much hair product. Obviously. You don’t realize how much you really go through when it’s long and mine, straightened, is pass my bra strap. You can’t tell when it’s curly because my curls are SUPER tight but I love the versatility of it. I can straighten it and whip my hair back and forth on them boys (lol) or I can get my neo-soul on and rock it au natural.
Some of the products that I’ve used (past and present because my hair fluctuates on what it likes every few months and based on the weather) are the As I Am Naturally and The Mane Choice (currently using and my hair loves it!) lines. I’m also a HUGE fan of Paul Mitchell and Nexxus. Kinky Curly (Knot Today) is by far THE best detangler that I’ve ever used on my hair so I recommend that to EVERYONE. I don’t regularly brush out my curls but when I do my recommendation is that you use the Denman brush which most natural hair gurus will hip you onto. You’ll thank me for it so you’re welcome in advance.
Natural hair is not a struggle. You just have to learn how to do your own hair, what products work for it and which ones don’t. What you see working in a YouTube video for one person does not necessarily mean that is gold for everyone else. You just have to work through it and figure it out and though doing the work sucks for a little bit if you push through you will see some beautiful things happen. Just imagine what your hair would be like now if all your life it had never been processed and chemically straightened? Think about how strong and how long and vivacious it would be right now. Think about what you would look like completely naked?
I’m more confident now naturally than I was before it.