Why can’t my natural hair be like the people on t.v., I mean YouTube? How do they get their hair to behave and come out in those bouncy curls and coils? Do they take several takes before the final cut they show to us? My natural hair never comes out in dope twist outs, but instead limp stands of semi-coiled, twist-out like, shenanigans play in my head. Not happy enough to be growing right next to each other, they proceed to form single-strand knots, also known as “fairy knots”? Why oh why?! For years I tried to understand why my hair won’t cooperate with me and why it hates me so (at times). Behave, I say, behave. It laughs at me, I do what I like and that’s that. For this very reason, I prefer it locked up, refusing to let it go out and play so it can knot up again. What mischievous ways it has! When I get it styled I keep it in the style for as long as possible because I fear its bad behavior when it is out. However, it always gets me back. Keeping a style in too long (more than two weeks, sometimes less) leaves my hair knotted. Why do I stay in this relationship? I stay because the good out ways the bad and in any relationship, whether with a person or with those strands that crown your head, you must not be quick to act irrationally. However, in light of my on-going frustration, I have decided to write some things I don’t like about having natural hair. This has nothing to do with self-hate or not appreciating who I am as a person. It’s just me keeping it real about the things naturals have to deal with. This thing called love is not easy. I love you, hair, but there are also five things I hate about you:
- Single Strand Knots – These are my biggest issue and why I must always keep hair shears handy. It’s snip, snip for those knots that are so stubborn there is no other way to get them out.
- Product Overload – With product information on what works for this issue or that it can become overwhelming. I am now a minimalist but when you have certain issues with your hair and you are trying to find which product works best it can be time, money, and mentally consuming to decide what to get because there are so many brands and products on the market.
- Style Flops – Why doesn’t my hair come out like the people on YouTube? I sit, I watch, and I try to mimic, and it never turns out properly. Not even a simple twist out. So, I have just stopped and I now watch for entertainment purposes, and to see how creative people can be with their own hair. I have resolved to the fact that I am not at all like the character Josephine in my book. She was an expert naturalista and mastered every hairstyle she put in. (Yes, some authors do speak as if their characters are real because to us they are.)
- Dryness – Okay, I have the spray bottle with the necessary oils, with added water. I also have my ever-trusted Cantu Daily Conditioner. I love you Cantu Daily Conditioner. You have been my confidant for over ten years now. You keep my hair moisturized the best you can. I also drink a lot of water. However, this hair, this hair, this hair. It has its moments when it rebels and looks at me like, Miss, I am not interested in any type of moisture today so please leave me alone.
- Time and Energy – It really takes a significant amount of time and energy to try to understand my hair. My hair literally causes me anxiety sometimes. Number one on this list, fairy knots, are what gives me the biggest problems and no matter what I do nothing prevents or reduces these knots. If the wind blogs, there is knot, if I’m removing a style, there is a knot, if I’m putting in a style, there is knot. Here a knot, there a knot, everywhere a knot, knot. I don’t over-style my hair but I am always thinking of what I can do to reduce the stress of being natural. What style can I put in that protects my hair from these things? It seems that nothing I do helps.
As I said before, I do love my natural hair. I prefer my face with my textured hair. I love the way it feels, I love examining its curl pattern, and to put it simply, I have given up the white crack (perm). Also, with getting older, I realized that my hair was changing in that it thinned out easier. Natural hair causes less stress on my strands, hence resolving that particular problem. I can just cut it and avoid all these issues. However, I am on a growth journey and I am trying my best to be patient with my hair. Before, by now I would have cut it off due to frustration. I am hanging in there. However, everyone’s hair has its own personality, and if your hair has a personality like mine then it is not going to be easy for you. If you are committed you just deal with it and hang in there. Not having to worry about whether it’s going to rain or not, and frizz up my “laid and slayed” permed hairdo is enough to make me stick with it. So, what are your hair issues?!