The following was originally posted on July 11, 2011. It is being re-posted as part of our CHICKS ROCK! Holiday series.
I spent several hours last weekend watching YouTube videos of black women dealing with natural hair. They offered style tutorials, product reviews, and general advice and support for one another other. I studied their advice closely because I've been wanting to try new things with my hair lately. I stumbled upon a New York Times article that sparked a renewed interest for me.
It was a relief to find these videos, because it demonstrated that I'm not alone in my various hair woes, wondering how to manage the texture, the volume, the unruliness of these locks, which I'm convinced could be quite pretty if I could just get a handle on things. It's been a lifelong struggle to get my hair to behave in the way I would like it to, and I haven't really figured it out yet.
Growing up, no one was able to give me adequate advice, because I was raised in a predominantly white community. I had access to a few African women, but it seemed they always wanted to slap in some braids, and while that was always nice and manageable, I wanted more variety. I dreamed of wearing my hair "down." (The caveat there being that my hair doesn't really stay "down.") I suppose the word I should have been looking toward back then was not "down," but "loose." I wanted to wear my hair loose. Which usually meant, no matter how ideal it looked in the ten minutes after my shower, it would swell as it dried into a virtual 'fro. Granted, some women are very comfortable wearing a cloud of hair bigger than their head. I'm not one of them. I vacillate between thinking it's a matter of comfort and a matter of preference. It bothers me to think I’m so uncomfortable with my hair in its natural state, but when I gear myself up to try it, I realize there are other factors, like not wanting to constantly be pushing it out of my face. So….what’s a girl to do?
Any natural hair ladies out there with brilliant solutions or even just suggestions?