Hair story…learning on my (new) natural hair journey
I have learned that our hair is fragile and that has a lot to do with the shape of its follicles. Its curly, kinky nature requires a lot more care and moisturization that it often does not get. Lack of moisture leads to breakage and hair that is slow in growth. I learned about Liquid Oil Cream (LOC) or Liquid Cream Oil (LCO) methods, the fact that frequent manipulation (i.e. styling and combing your hair too often) can lead to breakage. I have also learned about hair porosity and how that plays into moisture retention. I also now know that I was rocking a “twist outâ back on my first journey, but didnât know it at the time.
Itâs a whole thing
One of the ironies of afro-textured hair is that it works great to protect our heads from harmful UV rays, but it is also fragile and requires its own proper care and protection. This new journey has caused me to re-evaluate some of my own thoughts on how women wear their hair. For example, some strategies for protecting natural hair include wearing wigs, weaves, and braids of the synthetic and human hair variety. For some women, wigs and extensions have a purpose beyond just aesthetics. They are actually useful for protecting womenâs hair from damaging environmental elements. Thus, when women wear wigs and braids, they are literally wearing armourâ¦for their hair.
In my new journey, I have been searching for community, both online and in real life. If I am in a queue in a bank or paying a bill somewhere, and my tablet is out of charge, I count the number women who sport their afro-textured hair and Iâve noticed that, more often than not, there are numerous women and girls sporting kinky, curly puffs, twists or full blown afros. Another set would be wearing their hair in braided extensions.
I am happy to see so many younger women and girls especially, sporting their hair in its natural state. I am not sure if it means a conscious awakening of how beautiful afro-textured hair is, or if there is another reason, but it is still something that gets a smile out of me whenever I see it.
I resist the urge to hail a young sister with her glorious mane saying “I see you, sis, with them curls for the ages, come through.â But I smile instead, happy in the thought that there are others like me on this beautiful journey.