The Sesame Street video “I Love My Hair” got me started. Please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enpFde5rgmw&feature=player_embedded
Natural Sistas, self-aware and saving their hair. Lye or No-Lye, we are lying to ourselves if we believe that we must use chemicals to support our self-esteem. Relaxers are corrosive materials that are chemically destructive. Sodium hydroxide is lye and caustic soda. It is used in industry for heavy duty cleaning; oil drilling; and making paper. No-lye relaxers contain substances such as guanidine hydroxide, lithium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, ammonium sulfate, or other harsh chemicals. Guanidine is used in manufacture of plastics and explosives; potassium hydroxide known as caustic potash and chemical cremation; ammonium sulfate is a flame retardant. Yes, that’s what some folks want.
For straight hair, women, specifically cosmetologists, expose themselves to skin burns; eye problems; gastrointestinal issues; blood pressure problems; and organ damage caused by these chemicals used to meet a hardhearted vanilla criterion of beauty. They also expose the rest of us to these chemicals when they get washed down the drain and into our waterways.
Natural hair is so organic. It is beautiful, versatile, wavy, straight or curly and most of all, strong. Look at the ends of your hair right now. Instead of relying on false shampoo, conditioner or cream advertising to “end split ends” you can simply maintain the ends with regular trims. Natural hair is more able to withstand our harsh environment. Humidity gives it that extra bump in the curls; the wind does not take the hair with it; and the sun does not make it brittle.
I love my natural hair. I can wear it curly, “poof” (as my kids say), or straight. I’ve learned to work with what sprouts from my beautiful brown head. Women have options. Our cultural creativity has birthed a multitude of absolutely wonderful natural styles from free wavy or curly, afros, braids, plaits, twists, locks, fades and bald. There is heat, but we must use it carefully and limit exposure. There are pomades and lotions. I prefer organic coconut oil.... and I can cook with it, too.
I straighten my hair every now and again because I feel like it. When I do, I wash and let air dry. Then I loosen the tight curls a bit with a blow dryer before I hit it with a quality ceramic flat iron. Most of the time, I just wash and go with my hair in a bun or curly pony tail. I limit attacking my hair to avoid conditions such as dryness, breakage and baldness resulting from pulling; tight hairdo’s; and non-natural substances.
Natural hair is so much less expensive to maintain. I save my time and money doing what I want to do for me; not anyone else. My family wins too. I spend that 4-10 hour salon time hugging my kids and hanging out with my husband; the dollars supporting my family and our future; and my worry on something other than letting my hair define my true essence.
I’m finishing up with the “eco and not so-friendly” shampoos and conditioners I have at home, but I’m working on a homemade concoction to wash and condition my hair. I’ll write up that trip later.