Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hair Stories

In our house, we LOVE hair; we may be a tad bit obsessed. In the bathroom, we have a variety of products for all hair types. We have so many hair accoutrements we could open a beauty shop. Anyone  who walks through our door, male and female, benefits from our hair obsession.  We share the wonders of aloe vera and how honey is a great conditioner and lightener. I share the wonders of henna and ayuverdic powders. One daughter experiments with various foods as conditioner, the other one is an oil and water girl. We've learn to enhance any conditioner by adding honey and oil to it. Spray bottles are now a necessity since we've all gone natural. Going natural is what started this hair obsession.

Prior to moving to the West Coast, we permed because it was easy, cost effective and it allowed us to have a degree of healthy long hair.  In NY, a touch-up was $45.00 (including the conditioner and style) and a wash and set was $10.00 dollars on Wednesdays.  With these prices I never washed my hair or my daughters'. In our neighborhood there was a proliferation of Dominican and Haitian shops; I tried all of them and eventually settled on the Dominicans. I went through a phase of hair breakage when I was growing up and I never wanted this for my daughters, so going to the hair dresser became a regular ritual.

Imagine our shock when we moved to the West Coast; initially it was a crisis - WE HAD TO GET OUR HAIR DONE. We were able to find someone in the San Fernando Valley (SFV); the price was $65.00 all inclusive, but she did not know how to style. I've paid every price point when it comes to hair, but I just couldn't bring myself to commit approximately $100.00 * 3 every 6-8 weeks. Eventually we travelled in to Inglewood to get our hair done and for a while were satisfied, but I couldn't take the smell of burning hair on the way home.

My oldest daughter went off to college - an HBCU, around the same time I became aware of the natural hair movement. I suggested she stop perming, she embraced it and hasn't looked back since. Once she embraced being natural, the 2nd daughter, the one with the thickest hair where perms were always an ordeal said. "O, you can do that?" and she too wholeheartedly embraced being natural.

I was still perming, and at this point I thought if they can do it, why not I? So I visited my hair dresser one last time in Inglewood and told her what I was thinking. She said, "It's easy - just stop perming."  She also suggested I visit her every 2 weeks so she could press my roots and again I thought that's not cost effective, so I decided to just let it grow out. One Saturday I cut off about 6 ins of permed ends. From that point on, I've been experimenting with my hair and for the most part loving it.

The Little One has never had a perm and more than likely will never get one. She said, "I used to want a perm but I didn't know what it was; now I don't want one."  Made me think - I wonder if little girls want perms because of the outcome while not realizing what the chemicals do to the hair.

The  Natural Young Ladies in My Life
That's our hair story - the condensed version. Had we not moved we more than likely would not all be natural today. We're all happy we did it. I do not miss going to the salon on a regular basis for my hair. I've found styles that work for me - but I've realized it's not about the style. You were always you before you changed your hair. So if you're confident, it's not difficult going natural at all. No additional self love is required, you should have that already.

What's your hair story?


  1. Beautiful pic! My hair is thoroughly processed and I am getting very tired of it. My 4-yr-old daughter LOVES her natural hair!! Of course, I am always the one wrestling with it and what's not to love, when someone else is responsible? But I'll do it glady and I'm proud her for loving her hair and embracing and loving her "different-ness" in her world of long blond haired, blue eyed friends.

  2. You guys have beautiful hair and it looks healthy too. Isn't it funny how much our hair can take over at times? It's our beauty for real!

  3. I went natural almost a year ago and never been happier...I just need to become more creative:-) cute picture of the ladies!!


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