I recently wrote about my 2 year natural mark and how I was feeling disappointed with where I’m at. I really appreciated the positive and warm responses I received from you. That post was so freeing to write and almost felt like a therapy session where at the end of it, I felt so relieved to have said how I’ve really been feeling. Many of you encouraged me to do what’s best for me. The truth is, I don’t know what that is! So I decided to investigate my real issues..
I recently read this article on Curly Nikki: Your Hair Doesn’t Have to be an All Day Event! The author gives tips on how to shorten the time you can spend on your hair. She explains that
while some natural women flaunt about how long it takes them to detangle
and wash their hair, others are very frustrated with how much time it
takes them to maintain their hair.
- Issue # 1: Time – The above mentioned article claimed it’s not rocket science; cut out what steps you don’t need to free up some more time for yourself. While I understand what she’s trying to say, it’s not as easy for me with the resistant hair that I have to follow all of her (and the other readers’) suggestions. For example, one suggestion is to not re-twist your hair every night and wear it in a pineapple way (gathering your hair at the top and wrapping it). Firstly, my hair doesn’t ‘gather’, it’s not limp enough to do that. My hair stands up so its interpretation of pineappling is to sort of get fluffed at the top and tie my scarf around the sides and back, leaving the top bit out. Thing is if I do that, I wake up the next morning with a 1990’s Fresh Prince type style and knots for days. No joke. And I always curse myself for putting myself and Fro in such a situation, especially on wash day where it’ll end up taking me twice as long to detangle. So, that’s out.
I’m sensing that for my hair to get to the next level, I’m going to have to put more time and work into it. Time that I don’t really have now that my personal life is so hectic. That’s why I’ve been flirting with the idea of cutting my hair. Thing is, I can’t imagine not having the option to do many different styles on my hair, it’s foreign to me. I know that hair grows, so if I change my mind, I can always leave it be to grow. The question is, how do I grow it past this stage? Is it as simple as minimising my manipulation and keeping my hair in protective styles with my own hair or just braid/weave it with realistic breaks in between?
- Issue # 2: Styles – the longer my hair, the more styles I can rock and I’m not ready to give that up yet. I’ve always loved changing up my hair, even when I was still relaxed and
weaving my hair. Rocking the same style for more than a week would kill
me and that hasn’t changed now that I’m natural. Sometimes I’m too busy or tired to style my hair in the morning so I grab my beanie or scarf and call it a day. Other times I want to show off what I can do with my hair and length has given me versatility for that.
- Issue # 3: Money – I don’t like spending a lot of money on my hair. Everyone has their ceilings and well, mine’s quite low. If I can have a friend hook me up with braids over me going to the salon, then I’d do that. I realised the other day I actually don’t trust people in salons. It’s not fair of me but I automatically assume they have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to handling Fro. And when a stylist comes at me with the tiniest fine toothed comb as soon as I sit down, I’m proven right.
And the last issue is one I have with protective styles. The same article and thousands of other bloggers and vloggers swear by
installing twists on their own hair and rocking them for a whole two or
more weeks before undoing them. My twists start to look ratty by day 4. I know they’re great and do wonders for your hair and keeping it moisturised and out of the way but I’ve been wondering, what’s the point of having a natural fro if you only wear it out every once in awhile? If you’re always hiding it? I love my fro and I always want to wear it out and about. I got away with it last winter but now my hair’s longer, it gets drier much quicker if I do a free fro style. My hair’s just not feeling this winter. Hmppf.
So I guess to summarise, my main issue is deciding on whether to grow my hair longer or to cut it shorter to a lower maintenance style until my life gets more stable (lol…does that ever happen?).
The jury’s out. Let me mull over it.