Milton and I had a great weekend together, mainly because we were able to spend quality time together. I still hate that he has to run around so much doing errands for the both of us but he says one reason he got married is to be the provider and protector.
I was hoping to have some sense of normalcy while in the hospital and today some of those things happened. It started with a phone call from Chenica. Chenica is my AMAZING hair stylist that I’ve had for several years. Many of my friends now go to her also. I knew doing my hair everyday was not something that I could maintain, especially with my hair being pressed flat against a pillow. I reached out to her to see if she could help and on Monday afternoon she stopped by. I washed and conditioned it. Then she blowdried it and put it back in twists. The nurse and cleaning lady (both African American) came in while she was doing it and commented on how much hair I have. Although my hair probably looked very wild while she was blowdrying it, the finished product has made life easier.
Around the same time, Lucinda, the rector at my church, St. Matthews Episcopal, came to visit. She brought not only conversation, but communion. I had been down that I would be missing Palm Sunday and Easter, so I loved that communion could be brought to me. My church has a very special place in my heart. My mother and I faithfully attended every Sunday and many yearly traditions that I look forward to each year are based in that church. Although my mother has passed away, it’s been great to now share those experiences with Milton!
Where, Oh Where is My Hair?!
Breaking news, breaking news, breaking news! I have cut my hair! It’s all gone. Goodbye. So long. Farewell. Peace out. In the garbage to a far away place it has gone!
Well i guess this really isn’t breaking news since I cut my hair almost three weeks ago. But, it is a pretty significant event. I do not believe that my hair has been this short since the day I prematurely popped out of my mother’s womb 35 years ago.
When I sat in the chair to “chop”, I wasn’t nervous. As the scissors were cutting I still wasn’t nervous. All I hoped what that I would like it. I remember the first time I looked up and realized all of the relaxer had been cut away. My thought was “I don’t like it yet.” But I sat there and let the process continue.
I left the salon with a two strand twist as as I walked out the door I still wasn’t sold on my new look. I went to Go Natural and bought some hair supplies but then has to rush home to prepare for an out of town trip. It was not until I walked up stairs, into the the bathroom with my mirror that I truly embraced and loved my new natural hairstyle. It was equally exciting to send my husband a text message and have him ‘turned on’ by the new look.
It definitely feels good to be able run my hair under the water when I take a shower, but I’m still learning what to do with it. Although it’s not long, I have A LOT of hair all over my head. I had a hair date with Cherilyn where she gave me some advice as I go on my product trials and I’ve found an obsession with finger twisting these various strands all over my head on an hourly basis.
Unfortunately I learned that you can’t have a bad hair day. I needed to pick up my car and their shuttle was supposed to call me when they left the store. Well, they didn’t call until they were on my street (I was still laying in bed). I popped up and went to grab a hat to put on my head but then realized my head and hair are now to big to put on a baseball cap. Crap!!! I threw some water on my hair and a headband and knew that was the best I could do.
I will say that Louisville has some very friendly natural hair ladies. Each woman I have encountered has always been so open and knowledgeable. I do still hope to grow my hair back out like Chaka Kahn or Diana Ross, but I like the fierce look I have now and rockin’ the hair God gave me!
The best thing about going to visit my husband recently was that I didn’t teach Zumba. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching Zumba, but I was able to keep my hair in an actual hairstyle for more than 24 hours. That’s right – the curls stayed curls and the roots stayed straight. For five whole days I rocked my hair down. Yeah baby! And then Monday came as I returned home with 9:30am Zumba. That night was Total Body Blast 5:30 + Zumba 6:10 + Zumba 7:10 = hair fail. Back to Ponytail Nation I went.
Last week I recorded a video about transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. One of the reasons I did this was to show my non-black friends/clients what was actually happening. I showed the difference in texture and kept it nice and simple. Click here or below to watch the video.
Natural vs Relaxed Hair (the difference in my hair)
A couple of weeks ago I had twists and while they looked cute done, when I had to comb them out 1) it wasn’t fun and 2) my hair was everywhere.
It’s time to let the natural hair do its thing. So, next week I am doing my cut before the cut. No, not the big chop, but more of a short bob cut. The big chop will soon follow.
It’s time to let my natural hair have a chance at life and freedom. My roots will soon be able to run free and I’ll be a part of Natural Nation. I’ve heard your hair grows pretty fast once you make the transition so I hope my hair will be in the mood for the advance rapid hair growth speed. I may hate it, I hope I love it. Time will tell soon. Wish me luck!
None of us know everything about everything. Most of know nothing about most things. Some of us are full of things. And a few of us know a wealth of information about one thing.
I found this last part to be true about a woman here in Louisville. For the longest time I just knew her by the posts she’d put on Facebook. Then I became intrigued by her through the photos she posted of various women in Louisville rockin’ out their own style. The more I paid attention to what she said, the more I was able to see the passion she possessed. It wasn’t until a Zumba class a couple of weeks ago that I finally got to match the face behind the name.
Her name is Cherilyn and her group is called Derby City Naturals. If you live in Louisville (or even somewhere else) you need to check out her blog and Facebook group. It is one of the most thorough sites you’ll see dedicated to natural hair, hair products and just celebrating beautiful black women of all varieties!
Just this week I had a conversation with her about the very likely possibility of doing the Big Chop toward the end of summer. She gave all types of wonderful advice and suggestions. But the thing I appreciated best about our conversation is that with each statement, she would begin it with “For me, I….” She never came across as being the end all be all for hair. She solely talked about her personal experience and what she’s observed from others.
You can hear the thrill in her voice whenever she talks about natural hair and I can’t wait to see where all of her experiences lead her. Whether it’s a national blog, advice column in a hair magazine or voice on a 9-1-1 emergency hair help line – her passion with be celebrated in a big way!
Derby City Naturals just celebrated their one year anniversary and tomorrow night they are having a Coils and Cocktails Event (see Events section of the Newsletter/website). If you are currently natural, thinking about going natural or just love the idea, please come mix and mingle. Cherilyn – thanks for being you!!
Mug Shot, Really?!
Before traveling to the Dominican Republic, I had my hair braided in cornrows so the heat and humidity would not expose my half natural and half relaxed hair. It was wonderful to wake up each morning and just be hair ready. No brush or comb needed. Just get up and go. Well, let me correct that. There were the spritzes of oil sheen in the crevices of my hair that itched and called out my name to be scratched.
After two weeks of braids, it was time for them to come out. I started unbraiding them while driving down the street. I finished while watching a reality show on TV. I didn’t look in the mirror during the process, but once I went upstairs to look I saw a full head of hair – and I loved it. Although there was no true style, hair products or anything on it, I loved the potential that it could have possessed. So what did I do? I took a photo of it and put it on Facebook. I received some interesting comments –
“Oh my. That could be a mug shot picture!” “From all the glam pics this is truly different. All you need is a name plate with a number.” “Time to DEEP condition, straighten it out, and trim! Hey now!”
Wow, I was pretty caught off guard by the comments. Who would have known that a picture I admired would be seen as so horrendous and negative by others. It wasn’t until I posted a comment about liking the photo that others started writing positive comments.
I hate that so many people see natural hair as such a negative and ugly thing. It’s a good thing that I don’t do things in order to impress other people or else I would have run as fast as I could to get a “Just For Me” Kit. By the next morning, my hair was back to straight and I looked “acceptable” again (see below).
I don’t know how people will treat me once I am completely natural and let all my hair do whatever it feels like doing. Who knows, I may cut it tomorrow. I may flatiron it forever. I may rock an afro puff cocked to the side.My hair does not define me. Whatever I do, I hope people will still love me for being me.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the process of going natural. An OnyxLouisville reader emailed the following: “I have been told numerous times by my guy friends that the average Black man does not want a woman with natural hair…and that as long as I am natural, I will be single.” I wondered if this was true so I did some investigative work.
I talked with some natural females. One person said that a guy told her “if I wanted to see all that natural ish, I’d go to Africa”. Another woman was in a longterm relationship with a man and as soon as she cut her hair, he completely left the situation. Another person enjoyed her natural hair but ended up getting a relaxer because of the pressure from her boyfriend (and they are no longer together).
Some said they the haven’t had any trouble dating since they went natural. I remember last year we did a “Singled Out” event. I tabulated all of the matches. One female had a lot of men interested in her. I actually looked her up on Facebook to see who she was and she is someone that wears her hair natural in locks. That was a true indicator that the words love + natural can go together.
The men that commented had one general view. Many men said they like natural hairstyles that are nicely kept. One guy said “Men are very visible and I’ve seen some natural hair on woman that looks a hot mess.” So, it’s more about whether or not it’s natural – it’s more about how you keep it styled.
I also found that men seem to generally prefer long hair (either natural or relaxed). Many women with natural hair found that as their hair grew longer they started receiving more compliments from men. The great thing about the people in the discussion is that the majority of the women in the discussion are currently dating, engaged or married!! So love is definitely possible. Kevin Wigginton summed it up best – “Brothers and Sisters please keep in mind Natural hair is just that Natural. Some of our Sisters have hair that’s Straight, Curly, Kinky, and Wavy. We have to remember not only do we have different shades of beauty but different grades of hair. All of which are Beautiful Naturally. Be proud my Sisters no matter what your hair texture is or the amount melanin that’s in your skin because all of you are beautiful.”
CLICK HERE to read the discussion and give your view