How Loving My Hair Taught Me Patience, Persistence, and Perseverance

       Now I know I am not a hair expert or nowhere near being a stylist. Never have been. But, since embarking on my healthy hair journey last summer I can’t help but feel like I am starting to finally understand my own wavy, curly tresses! Still I am no expert and as a result my hair has taught me everything (well almost everything!) I know about patience, persistence, and perseverance.

The fact that are so many products, so many tips, so many to try, so many methods to try is mind boggling. Time consuming and unpredictable at times. The trial and error that goes into being a product tester (aka junkie!) is a lot of work. Twisting, curling, rolling, pineappling, and the whole nine yards is work, too! But, once you get it, you get it! It is like a happy moment.

It has taught me the meaning of patience…good things come to those who wait and WORK at it! Taking care of your hair is no easy task, especially when you just start learning. For centuries many of us were denied the proper knowledge to have these “how to’s” and “go-tos” to help us take care of our own hair. I am happy to say that with so much knowledge, videos, and word of mouth this can now be passed down to our daughters (nope don’t have one quite yet though!)

I’ve also learn to be persistent and persevere through the trial and errors. I now chalk things up to “you live and you learn” instead of getting easily mad or frustrated when things don’t go my way or turn out as I had hoped…and yes, I learned this all from the hair that grows out of my head!

Guess what, those three P’s sure have paid off for me with my hair which has grown tremendously and is so healthy and shiny! In other areas of my life as well because I ACCEPTED my hair journey flaws and all, stuck with it, patiently awaited my hair to come back to health, and embraced that TRIAL AND ERROR ARE FACTS OF LIFE THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR SUCCESS, and GREATNESS IS THE RESULT OF HARD WORK, FAILURE AND RISK-TAKING! Now those are some life lessons for ya!

What has your hair journey taught you about life?

5 Things I Learned About Growing Black Hair

BEAUTIFUL HAIR IS A MEASURE OF ITS CARE.” —FREDERIC FEKKAI

I love natural hair! I think I have very beautiful natural hair although I don’t wear it often, but I love my wavy hair just as much as my straight hair. Over the years I started to not take care of my hair, and quite frankly got mad that my short hair took so much more work to manage. Both frustrating and annoying, however my hair never grew back. It still isn’t back to the original length. So you mean to tell me that every other race can grow their hair back in a snap, but black girls can’t. So not true! Black hair just requires different care, and it grows just as healthy and long as every other girl’s hair. Sadly, most black girls don’t know this. Nor are they educated on the science and proper care of healthy black hair. It’s not like they teach it in hair salons wish was always one of my biggest pet peeves with salons. Maybe it isn’t their job, but shouldn’t they know best? Or so I thought.

In this wake of the natural hair revolution many girls are contemplating whether they will join. However, all of the blogs, articles, terms, products, etc can be overwhelming. This is part of the reason I didn’t care to delve deeper into it. Until now, I enrolled in a free online “Healthy Hair Bootcamp” from www.shalenadiva.com which has been so helpful! Now I feel free and liberated. I’m not an expert at this, but I did learn a great deal.

Here are 5 things I learned about growing healthy black hair this week. Words in italics are (natural hair terminology). You can find definitions and more info by googling the info:

1. You need to be committed

Starting a healthy hair journey takes time, dedication, and commitment to consistently take care of your hair. This is not an overnight process. This is a lifestyle change similar to changing how you eat to lose weight. It’s a change in how you see your hair and care for it. You need to know your hair type as, well. This will be useful when selecting products or following others who share their journeys via YouTube (you will get addicted!) or blogs.

2. You need a healthy hair regimen and products that work for your hair!

This is a must! It must include at minimum: Moisturizing shampoo (w/ no sulfate), moisturizing conditioner, deep conditioner, moisturizer, and sealing product (ie. castor oil)…basic regimens are easier for beginners. You need products that work for your hair. What works for one person may not work for you. Part of this journey is trial and error with products which may be frustrating. Many also make their own products at home! Shampoo should occur weekly, deep condition weekly, and moisturize/seal daily. Black hair is very dry compared to other races so you need to keep it moisturized daily! The number one reason why it breaks, and never grows is lack of moisture for retention. You need to drink more water and give your hair water, too!

There is also pre-pooing (pre-shampoo only if your shampoo has sulfate in it) and co-washing (washing hair with a conditioner only), as well which I didn’t learn about in depth because I will not be using these in my own regimen.

3. Heat must be kept to once per week at minimum

Heat damages the hair excessively. If you need to blow dry, instead put on cool setting or air dry. A hood dryer is better. Instead of heat everyday, hair should be wrapped at night for a relaxed style or put into protective styling (braids outs, twists, bantu knots, wigs) daily

4.You can do a big chop or grow out a relaxer

If you want to transition you can do the “big chop” and chop off all of your relaxed ends or you can grow out your relaxer. Women usually choose the “big chop” because it is freeing and a fresh start. Women who grow hair out may find it challenging to maintain two hair textures once the relaxer starts to come out, but as long as you find protective styles that work for you—you will be fine! Two important notes: It is also important to get ends clipped to maintain a chic look. Clipping ends don’t necessarily lead to hair growth though. Second, you can still grow healthy, long hair with relaxers if you want to continue with it.

5. Join a hair community

It is important that you join a hair community particularly online that can help inspire, educate, and empower you to follow through on your journey. Great blogs such as: CurlyNikki.com, Carol’s Daughter Transitioning Movement website, Black Girl Long Hair Blog, or DE Naturalistas are great places to find a community. Communities are great because as you go through your process friends, family, and significant others may not be supportive especially, with the changes and even with some of the protective styles you use. On the other hand, they may be very supportive which is a plus! Online communities and Facebook groups are inspiring!

I didn’t cover everything here, but this is the basic essence of it all!! Keep learning and reading more if you want to get the healthy hair you want! Products to consider trying:

Rapunzel The Future of Hair- http://rapunzelthefutureofhair.com/index_home.html

Bee Mine Hair Products – http://beemineproducts.com/

Carol’s Daughter- http://www.transitioningmovement.com

Ultra Black Hair Growth- http://www.ultrablackhair.com/ubh2/

The Politics of Black Hair: 5 Truths Melissa Harris-Perry’s Panel Combs Through

Check out my article on the politics of black hair over at Urban Cusp. Urban Cusp.com is a cutting-edge online magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social justice, and global awareness.

The Politics of Black Hair: 5 Truths Melissa Harris-Perry’s Panel Combs Through

Professor and Author Melissa Harris-Perry hosts one of the newest shows on MSNBC. She is constantly discussing and challenging the status quo in relations to politics and culture. As the natural hair revolution takes root and the conversations on black hair continue, Perry tackles this topic with a panel of natural hair African American women including: actress Nicole Ari Parker, natural hair blogger Nikki Walton, Professor Anthea Butler, and cultural critic Joan Morgan.

Perry notes in the opening of the show that it was time to do a show on “black hair” as most of the feedback for her show mentions her hair, which is braided. She goes on to review the basics of black hair for all viewers who don’t understand why black hair is always such a hot button topic for some. While others are upset at the idea of her “Black Hair 101” teaching as if we didn’t already know our own hair, Perry and her panelists get a few things right and her teachable moment hopefully sank in for those who don’t understand that the hair that grows out of the black woman’s head is as political as the election this year. Beauty, acceptance, and power are tangled up in black hair. Here are five truths this panel left viewers with:

Read the rest at: http://www.urbancusp.com/newspost/the-politics-of-black-hair-5-truths-melissa-harris-perrys-panel-combs-through/