So lock down is finally over and I stare into the mirror. The last time I’ve dealt with (read that as argued, struggled, cried, threatened, begged…) my natural hair I was twelve years old. It was my birthday and as promise my mother was begrudging slapping in my first kiddie kit. I couldn’t stop grinning, even though my head was in the sink with the straightener’s bitter taste running through my happy lips. This was it, my passage of rights to the long straight locks I’d been waiting for.
Fast forward to now. A complete full circle, and I’m back to a drawer full of grease containers and oil, sprays and elastics, scrunchies and pins, scarves and conditioner, not to mention a mountainous collection of wide tooth combs that could keep a sorority house happily stocked for a month.
Albeit forced. If not for lock down I would have caved months ago, but I have let my hair grow out.
This all started back in February, when I was due for a touch up but was under lock down and continued until now due to redistricted store and service openings, else I would have run to my hairdresser as fast as my thighs that touch would carry me.
However, I have once again become reacquainted with my natural hair.
I have some questions.
Why is my natural part still in the wrong place? Did braids always hurt this much? Why is my scalp so damned itchy!! If humidity is wetness, why can’t my hair curl, like when I come out of the shower, instead of frizz out like a chia pet??
I’d love to pass on some wonderful words of wisdom here, for all my sisters struggling with the same time, but I’m at a loss. I need help from all the women who have walked before me.
Ladies pull me through!
Vanessa has always had wild hair and because her mother had zero experience with black hair care, and a bad experience involving her grandmother and too tight braids, she became a self-taught natural hair diva from an early age.
And what have the years taught Vanessa, the heroine from my book Church Mouse on his Motorcycle?
Moisturize! That’s her first and best piece of advice. She of course tries to explain this to Spike, the hero of the story, when he insists she wear a helmet and leave all those jars of ‘hair crap’ behind …. alas Spike just doesn’t get it. So Vanessa ignores him and stuffs every possible bottle of moisturizer she has into his motorcycle saddle bags anyway.
A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
Sorry Spike but you’re dealing with a black woman and her hair. You’ll be used to it by the end of the road trip!
VANESSA’S THREE NIGHTLY HAIR CARE RITUALS
WHAT’S HER WEEKEND CONDITIONING ROUTINE?
DOUSE hair in pure grade A coconut oil.
COVER with any type of head cap. A heated one is truly the best.
LEAVE in for at least an hour.
RISE using a high quality deep conditioner.
SPREAD a small amount of coconut oil through damp hair and lightly twist hair to dry. Do not over twist or hair will take forever to dry.
VANESSA AND SPIKE ON PINTEREST
FOUND THIS TWEET ON TWITTER and LOVED IT!
india. on Twitter
“so y’all know how I said I woke up from surgery w/more braids in my head than I came in w/and I thought it was the black nurses? I found out today at my post op appt that the surgeon (he’s black) did it. He said he has 3 little girls & they have wash day… I almost cried”