You know you have big, curly, hair when:

1.) The back of your head is flat after driving.

2.) Your hair gets caught in all kinds of doors (and zippers and earrings)

3.) Before buying a coat you make sure the hood can fit over your hair and might have to buy a bigger size to do so.

4.) There is most likely lint somewhere in there.

5.) “just pulling your hair into a ponytail/bun” is a serious decision.

6.) You break hair ties on the regular.

7.) “a quarter-sized” (does anyone measure?) amount of product NEVER was enough!

8.) You’ve started to think you’re a model whenever you go into Target (or JCPENNY or SEARS).

9.) “windswept hair” looks like it.

10.) You’ve developed a strategic way to picking your seat in class.

11.) You would be an exception to the draft.

12.) You might be an candidate to be a rock star.

13.) Part of your hair has been cut out pictures.

14.) On a long train ride you don’t need a pillow.

15.) You can freely block out reality at any moment if need be.

Sorry, I Don’t Do Magic

Have you ever wondered why so many women straightened their hair and continue to adhere to some beauty standard while making themselves miserable? I have.

“Your dad said you had a hair website that helped hair grow.” A woman said to me as I was applying Curls Goddess Glaze Styler in the seat of my car.

“We’ll, yes, I do have a website that talks about curly hair and products,” I responded while showing her the bottle. She barely glanced at it and started to turn away.

“Oh, but do you have anything that will make my hair grow? You see my hair was really short but I put it in braids. But then I permed it. That’s why I wear a wig.”

“We’ll, you use products will moisture your hair will grow and you won’t have to get a perm.” I said while applying more cream and feeling as if this lady was not listening.

“Oh, yes I’ve seen all these hair products for natural hair but I want something that will make my hair grow.” She said while finally walking away.

“Sorry, I don’t do that.”

Need I explain?

Why yes, you shall.

Oh alright. As you can see from my reenacted exchange this woman didn’t get it. She wanted a magic ointment to solve her problem. I gave her the realistic alternative:

1.) Stop Perming hair (and yes, I know it a “blowout”)
2.) Come to terms with the fact that your hair will look a mess for a while ( after all you think you’re natural texture is hideous to begin with and you’ve almost killed it with toxic chemicals.)
3.) Use organic products that provide moisture and nutrients

And she still wanted this imaginary solution that will put a pretty fix to the problem she did to herself. And to top it all off she wanted to re-damage her hair after it grew. Now, I wish I had such a product but even if I did relaxers, the power of choice and Hollywood are still out there.

In the city I live in this is what I’m usually around. Sometimes when I write this blog I think that everyone already knows that needs to know. The fact is: they don’t . Even though how said and frustrating this exchange was it has inspired me.

So, tell me, what makes your hair grow?

Natural Hair Idols in the Media

How many naturals do you idealize? Do you praise Beyonce, Alicia Keys or Esperanza Spaulding?

A big issue I’ve had with many natural hair advertisements is that they usually target mixed women. Kinky Curly has a girl like me with “Go natural” above her smiling curly head. This is the advertising that most people without that hair texture see. As a result they want what they can’t have.

It goes back to the root of relaxing Afro hair. The whiter the better. And mixed people have white/or non-black in them and therefore usually have looser curls. This is the ideal for black beauty.

The issue with black women not exercising because of their hair is utterly ridiculous. You’re a human go out and catch a mammoth!

Every time I see Jennifer Hudson promote weight lost with an obvious straight weave/wig I get disgusted. Yes, good for you to attempt to get black women to exercise but shame on you for doing it with fake hair.

I do realize that it’s easier to market black women who are overweight since many of them may have relaxers. And obesity and diabetes are the greater threats than what some ignorantly call “a hairstyle”. However, it still disappoints me in the media.

So are your natural/ hair idols people that look like you? Or are chasing the Natural hair dream?

But What if You’ve Never had a Relaxer?

One of the reasons I have been reluctant to starting this blog is I’ve never had a chemical relaxer (perm). To many people, especially of African ancestry this is highly unusual. However, it usually is justified by “Oh, she’s mixed and has that good hair so that’s why”. It I find may be the same reason that people give when a person that has never had constant texture-alternating treatment.

I’m always looking at blogs, YouTube videos, websites, ads conventions etc. asking about “How long have you been natural?” In fact, I was asked that very question at the event I attended. Many of these women have psychological/cultural issues that effect how they see their hair. I don’t have the same restrictions.

I haven’t found anywhere where there are girls that have never had relaxed tresses. However, I did find out that Maya Angelou never had a relaxer until age 70. Do I belong in the natural hair movement if I’ve always been natural? Or is it offending to people who are ‘going natural’?

A Curly Day

Now, I’ve always been dying to go to a big natural hair event such as the ones held in annually Atlanta and NYC around this time. However, they tend to be expensive for some naturals.

Instead, I invited two of my friends, one who has recently transitioned an one who is hoping to, to a smaller event held at a book club in Albany, New York.

The advertisement asked guests to dress up. However, when we arrived we weren’t sure if we were over dressed or not. It turned out to be fine. Some people were dressed up and others weren’t. I wore a sweater dress, heels and my curls.

As we presented our tickets at the door we were given goody bags of hair samples from Kinky-Curly, and Curls, two prominent brands for curly hair.

The whole event featured demos of hairstyles, wrapping scarfs, personal testimonials, giveaways and spoken word poetry.

I reviewed one of the giveaways: Shea Moisture Shampoo, deep conditioner,and finishing spray for sharing an answer of what not to do with natural hair. My comment was: Never comb hair when dry. It was a ton of stuff to get for that one comment.

There were networking moments where I met some people. One girl, who came in a bit late and stood near my table made her own homemade recipes. I collected hers as well as other people’s information. I hope to work with her for some of the nifty Do-it-yourself that I have planned for my blog.

It was overall an exciting experience. I finally taking action on my natural hair obsession. Instead of becoming outraged whenever I see a relaxer roll out of a car or for a badly maintained weave strolling through the isles of a supermarket I’m doing something about it.  Here is an video of the event: http://youtu.be/uZFVpWP2NvE

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First Curly post: My Mane

Hi, my name is Margaret and I have been “naturally” curly all my life. What is “naturally” curly you ask? Well, its what my hair is like when I jump (literally) out of the shower. Exactly that. With all the hair extensions,relaxers,weaves, products that “add volume to limp strands”, texturizers some people find it hard to believe that yes, this huge mane of hair is all mine. It’s also almost always an expectation to be ready to explain to the random black policeman hanging out in the hair isle at the drugstore that I have never had a relaxer in my life.

Consequently, contrary to many natural hair sites out there I have not recently “transitioned”. However, I would like to share proper hair care of natural hair and join in all the hoopla that revolves around the new natural hair movement.

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