Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"I Would Rather $$Buy$$ My Fabulous..."

Who doesn't like retail therapy?  I know it's typically deemed a woman thing, but seriously.  Can all men really claim that spending money on things you want for no other reason than, "it made me feel better" is something they never do?  I don't think so.  And even though this is a blog dedicated to a decidedly feminine issue, I think in this particular instance, we can all understand the issue at hand to a certain extent.  Even the frugal among us understand retail therapy.

That's why I'm currently grappling with something said to me.  I should be able to understand it, but I'm seriously having trouble reconciling myself to accept it. The it in question is something a coworker recently said to me.  I was walking past her while she was having a conversation with someone else and revealed that she just spent $500.00 on some hair bundles and is currently waiting for them to arrive.  I was completely flabbergasted!  Flummoxed!  Amazed!  Even when I had a relaxer, as the woman in question does, I simply couldn't understand spending that kind of money for such a "shallow" reason.

I no longer think that spending money one one's self for reasons of beauty, self esteem, and self image is shallow, but where is the line drawn?  When does it go from retail therapy to exorbitant and unnecessary spending?  When I heard my coworker's plans to have this "fabulous" hair installed so she can say, "I woke up like this" on Instagram, it honestly made me sad.  I told her as politely as I could that there is no need for her to spend that kind of money on hair of all things when she has plenty of strands growing directly from hr head.  She responded that her hair "can't grow past [her] shoulders."  I'm pretty sure most of you reading this know that that isn't true.  Just about everyone has genes that allow hair to grow to at least mid back length.  Perpetually shoulder length hair is a tell tale sign of self inflicted damage!  Change your hair habits, you change your hair!  When I voiced this, I was just met with "Girl, ain't nobody got time. It takes too long."

That's why I'm having such trouble understanding the mentality that says it makes more sense to deplete my finances for someone else's hair rather than put in a little effort and grow my own for free.  You can either spend over $500.00 (because I'm sure she still has to pay for the install) and have "nice" hair for maybe a few months and have your own hair stay the same length year after year, or you can save that money and have your own hair getting longer and longer with each passing year.  I just don't understand what would make someone choose the first option other than believing that the second option isn't really possible.  It's unimaginable to me that someone would make that decision for any other reason.

But it is possible.  I'm living proof!  I was the girl with thin, damaged, broken off, shoulder length hair.  I knew nothing about proper hair care.  I thought my hair was the length it was because of my genetics, not what I was doing and NOT doing to it.  The state of one's hair, no matter how poor or desirable, is the fault/responsibility of none other than the person whose scalp it grows from.  Ladies, please don't concede defeat before you've even made an effort to improve the state of your hair.  It CAN and WILL grow as long as you'd like it to.  Just give it the treatment it needs to get there.

Review:: Cantu Argan Oil Leave In

Hair Oil: Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Good Hair = Good Hair Habits, Bad Hair = Bad Hair Habits

This post is going to be a bit of a rant, I warn you now.  If you don't like opinion posts/rants, feel free to navigate away from this page, I won't be upset. Now that we have that out of the way, lets jump right in.

It's no secret that as a general rule, black women struggle with their hair.  Length retention is almost nonexistent for many black women and stagnant length is something most of us just come to accept as a condition of our genetic predisposition.  Basically, black people don't have "good hair" genes, or so most of us have been told.  We believe that our DNA dictates that we will have short, unhealthy, dry, brittle, unattractive, undesirable hair for life and there's nothing we can do about it.  I myself can even remember telling a white classmate in middle school that I wished I had hair as long as hers, but would likely never achieve it because black hair just doesn't grow past a certain length.

Nowadays, I know better, and so do many black women but the majority of us still hold on to those misconceptions that lead us to have negative self images where our hair was concerned, and convinced us that only certain lucky black girls and mixed kids got "good" aka desirable hair.  The majority of us still believe that black hair, in its natural and unprocessed state, is only acceptable on little girls below school age.  Our little boys rarely even get the opportunity to grow their own hair, being conditioned to believe there is something wrong or inappropriate about males who allow their hair follicles to actually do what they are programmed for and produce hair.

To me, all of these things serve as a reminder of the inferiority complex ingrained in people of color the world over, since the transatlantic slave trade.  I know many people the frequent hair care blogs, forums, and websites hate when others draw connections between slavery and the current state of black hair across the African diaspora, but if the shoe fits...  We were taught that everything about us, from our skin color, hair type, facial features, spiritual practices, clothing, and even language was wrong and less than.  When these lies were internalized, the outcome was the mistreatment of not only our hair but our entire bodies, as well as a loss of knowledge for how to properly care for them.  So instead of focusing on water, aka moisture, as a key component to a healthy hair care regimen, we put excessive emphasis on greases and oil based products that actually do nothing to truly moisturize our beautiful and delicate strands, only sealing it in or out.  Instead of being patient, loving, and gentle with our hair, we manhandle it, believing that this rough treatment is necessary for our "rough," "tough," and "nappy" hair.  And to top it off, we further abuse our tresses by frying them with flat irons, blow dryers, and curling irons.

After being denied true moisture, literally ripped from our heads, and fried to oblivion, it's no wonder most women of color have very short, brittle, damaged hair.  I didn't even mention all the high tension, neglect fostering styles we like to wear that make us feel like we can go weeks, sometimes months, without doing a thing to our real strands, like cornrows, braids, weaves, and wigs.  We are so convinced that beautiful, healthy, long hair is only a matter of genetics that we completely remove the human element from the equation.  We don't want to admit that we may actually be at fault for most, if not all of our hair woes.  We want to believe that we can chronically neglect, abuse, and mistreat our hair, and still have it grow long and thrive.  Sorry to tell you, but because afro textured hair is the most delicate of all known hair types, how it is treated day in and day out will determine its health and length over time, not DNA.

Being related to someone who is of Native American, Latin, Asian, or European decent does not make an individual any better than someone who claims nothing other than Black or African ancestry.  And it certainly doesn't guarantee "pretty" or "good" or easily managed hair.  Someone may be born with an aesthetically pleasing curl pattern, but if those responsible for their hair care don't properly moisturize it, rip it when then attempt to comb, constantly fry it with hot tools, put too much tension on it from tight braided styles, and neglect it for weeks at a time, it will visually reflect all the bad treatment it receives.  That's when the more judgmental among our community take the opportunity to call someone's baby "nappy headed" or say they have "bad hair."  I'm certain most of you reading this would be surprised at the complete 180 a persons hair can do when bad practices are thrown out and replaced with good ones.  If you want good hair, employ good hair care habits.  If you think you have bad hair, take a look at how you treat it then ask yourself if it's really your hair, or its owner that's bad.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What's Going On??

I made a post talking abut hot I'm back to blogging on a regular basis and then seemed to disappear once again.  I promise it's not that I'm just some inconsistent flake.  My computer decided to contract a virus recently. -__-  Yeah.  I know.  Right now I'm able to use my laptop only in safe mode, which is very annoying and inconvenient.  Everything from my desktop to my web pages all look like they've been zoomed in too far.  When I try to zoom out, everything looks grainy.  And for whatever reason, sound is nonexistent.  I can't hear anything on YouTube or any other website.

Today is the end of the 6 month challenge I joined with SistaWithRealHair on YouTube, and I can't even upload my final length check!!  Believe me when I say, there is nothing I would like to do more.  But until my laptop is feeling better, (which will probably set me back a couple hundred bucks) I'm very limited in what I'm able to do.  I'm up for blogging daily, but the visual aspect of my infected laptop is so difficult to get used to.  Sigh...  Oh well.  For now I think it's what I have to do.  So, just be on the lookout for my posts on here, twitter, facebook, and instagram.  When my computer is fully up and running again, I promise to get back to (almost) daily uploads.  Thanks for sticking with me, loves.  I hope to be fully back soon. :)