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  1. #21
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    Two perspectives that I can relate to:

    Quote Originally Posted by LBellatrix View Post
    For a long time in the early days of NP my sig said something along the lines of "Natural hair care isn't rocket science." I'm pretty sure some were ticked off by it but I put it up there for the same basic reason chacha mentioned: Many have grown up thinking of textured (and by this I mean non-straight) hair care as hard, and textured hair as bad and ugly. There is a learning curve involved not only in hair care, but hair tolerance (never mind acceptance and love), and a lot of people never complete that curve because of their conditioning. It's also true that a lot of people also never complete that curve because they simply don't have time and/or patience to complete it. In either case, and IMO, it's perfectly okay to choose another option so long as they blame their conditioning (and/or lack of time or patience) and NOT their hair.

    The problem is that too many people insist on thinking of textured hair as a birth defect.

    Here's something that I think a lot are afraid to say: This hair type might not be meant to be worn long and loose. Long hair in general is work but long loose (unlocked) 4b/4c hair in particular can be a LOT of work. If you don't want to invest that kind of time, then either loc it, cut it, or go on and get a perm but DON'T blame your hair texture for not being able to "bounce and behave" like looser textures.

    Here's something else I think a lot are afraid to say: Despite all best efforts, this hair type might never grow long. I have always been more inclined to accept this and find the beauty in the hair length I have rather than curse God for giving me this bad, difficult, accursed hair and slap a perm in and/or a weave on.

    I refuse to operate on the notion that this hair type is inherently difficult to care for in its natural state.
    One of the points raised here^ is something that I was trying to refer to earlier. Long loose hair is work. Some people in this thread mentioned perms, but when I talk about the effort that my hair requires, I don't automatically think, "But my permed hair took much less out of me." Because honestly, it didn't.

    I don't know about weaves. But permed or natural, IMO, caring for longer hair requires more effort. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by rootzdawta View Post
    I don't like messing with my hair and I will never put a chemical in it. I found when it was longer and loose, I spent more time than I cared to on it. Later on, I found out that traditionally, in many parts of Africa, people did spend quite a bit of time on the styling and maintenance of hair. which made me think that yes, if your hair is not bone straight, it will take a bit more effort to care for it. You can make it sort of a ritual and embrace that (change your perspective) or complain about it. When I read about the list of products some folks use and their hair care routines and they describe it as "easy", I tend to roll my eyes but that is their perspective and how they see it. I have no desire to go through tons of products to find what works or to even spend 15 minutes doing anything to it. Too much effort for me at this time and I am very honest about it. I don't feel like that's something to be ashamed about. When I had loose hair, I wasn't trying to get it to do things that my straight hair could do. And because of my texture, protective styles just wouldn't last that long. I could get *maybe* three days out of a double strand twist which could take me up to an hour to do. Again, too much time, effort and attention that I just didn't have. So I locked it which was great (and many other naturals lock it for precisely that reason--it's a very low effort style). And now I wear it very short. Everyone's experience of their hair will be different because everyone is different. The fact that you are still natural despite finding it time-consuming or difficult to style speaks volumes about your commitment to wearing what grows out of your head. That says that you believe it's beautiful and worthwhile.


    All haircare requires some effort. But everyone knows how much time they can afford to spend on their tresses. I don't see the harm in someone acknowledging that their haircare routine takes time. I'll take that over the notion that natural hair is "do nothing" hair any day.
    "Coal mining is harder [than writing]. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig."
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire76 View Post
    All haircare requires some effort. But everyone knows how much time they can afford to spend on their tresses. I don't see the harm in someone acknowledging that their haircare routine takes time. I'll take that over the notion that natural hair is "do nothing" hair any day.
    Time is different than struggle. ALL hair care takes time. The issue is the amount of perceived anguish and stress.
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilroygal View Post
    That natural hair is/can be WORK or that it is not necessarily EASY to manage. I mean, I have read numerous posts since I have been on this board (2003) about how people are struggling with their hair, and it's often met with (cyber) tooth sucking, roll-eye smilies, or snide comments. The truth is, SOME of us DO struggle. Are we afraid to admit it? Is there something WRONG about that? I mean, if you spent the greater part of your like managing chemically treated hair and then you decided to "go natural" only to find that a majority of the tools, products, and routines that you were used to DON'T WORK, wouldn't that present SOME struggle? Does that mean you don't like your hair? Even if you LOVE your hair but you struggle to manage it, wouldn't it be a normal thing for you to have doubts about being natural? I have experienced all of the above, and I freely admit it. It doesn't matter who I'm talking to, I'm NOT afraid to be open and honest about what I go through with my hair. It is no deep dark secret that I STRUGGLE to manage my hair. However, these days, the things I go through are SOLELY due to the CHARACTERISTICS of my hair, NOT the texture.
    I agree with you, gilroy gal especially with the bolded. Maintaining my natural hair is more challenging than maintaining my relaxed hair, and I rarely share that because 1) I know that it is MY personal experience and 2) I don't want it to be assumed that it is connected to any ideas of me calling my hair "bad". I absolutely LOVE my kinky, coily mane and will never go back to chemicals. I actually am one of those women who feels like it is NOT "just hair" and my choice to embrace my natural texture is a statement of my refusal to conform any longer, and my acceptance of who I am and how God created me. However, because I had never styled my hair natural (my mom got my hair relaxed at 12) learning to take care of this super dense mass of hair on my head has been more difficult than I ever imagined when I first started transitioning. In my almost 6 years natural, I've learned a lot, and have re-defined what it takes for my hair to look "done" so that did simplify my daily styling, somewhat. HOWEVER, when I twist my hair - that's a 7 or more hour job. And when I detangle, no matter what product I use, or how I've worn my hair (protective style or not) it's a BEAST!! I actually considered locing because of the time and energy it takes to maintain my hair, but for me, as much as I love a beautiful head of locs, it was the wrong reason to loc. Plus, I love my monster puff and braid-out 'fro even though I don't get to wear it out that often anymore. Most importantly for me, I want to positively demonstrate maintenance of loose natural hair for my daughters (who would want to loc if I did and I wouldn't want them to loc until they are older).

    Quote Originally Posted by Claire76 View Post
    One of the points raised here^ is something that I was trying to refer to earlier. Long loose hair is work. Some people in this thread mentioned perms, but when I talk about the effort that my hair requires, I don't automatically think, "But my permed hair took much less out of me." Because honestly, it didn't.
    For me, although washing, detangling, and styling my MBL relaxed hair did require quite a bit of time and effort, and stylists would complain about how thick it was even then, it DEFINITELY required less effort (a lot less effort) than my natural BSL hair currently requires - maybe it's the density. But again, that's just MY experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by PeachyNapps View Post
    I rather have my struggles with it in its natural state as opposed to having a chemical. Personally, I have grown to love the struggles because it makes me realize thats what makes my hair that more unique.
    ^^ ITA!!
    Last edited by CCmomof5; 04-09-2012 at 04:07 PM.

  4. #24
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    Good morning ladies!
    First of all, I want to say that I am very grateful for all of the insightful and thoughtful posts. I appreciate people sharing their experiences and I pretty much agree with everything said here. Some have experienced various levels of struggle. some have not. As I read these posts, I certainly have a different take on what I am experiencing. I mean, it MIGHT have taken me 15-20 mins to style my hair on Sunday morning. I did it while damp, shrunken, and coated with moisturizer, which certainly made it easier. Now, my hair wasn't easy to part, but I got through it. It turned out pretty cute, too! FOR ME, I KNOW that my hair would be better off locked, but I am unable to do that due to Navy regulations. I also know that I could make my life easier by cutting it, but I have my own reasons for not doing so. That said, I realize that if I want to continue to wear MY hair loose and at any length beyond a low fade, I have to deal with tangles,knots, and take my time when I decide to do comb/pick outs. I also realize that while protective styles WORK ( I KNOW THEY DO) due to my scalp condition, I cannot do them for any length of time. So, yes, my journey as a natural involves some (perceived?) struggles, some of which may be self-inflicted (since I choose to wear my hair loose and refuse to cut it) and some of which are due to my own physical limitations (scalp condition). I also want to add something which MAY not have come across in my OP. I LOVE my hair. I am WILLING to go through the things that I go through with it. I DON'T sit around and COMPLAIN about my hair struggles, but since the young ladies in question (whose mothers are white) have hair similar in texture to mine and they (the mothers) have the same concerns/issues as I have had over the years (due to the fact that they want to maintain the hair loose and lkeep the length) I have no porblem saying that the type of maintenance that they want to do will not be "easy". When I say this I realize that they are used to dealing with their own (straight) hair textures, and I try not to express it with disdain, but rather matter-of-factness, because it is what it is. They will never be able to just "run a comb through it" and that is pretty much the epitome of "easy" for a lot of people. I can appreciate that there are people with kinky hair who DO NOT deal with tangles nearly as much as I do. I am certainly not making an across the board statement about that. I also keep it simple in terms of routine and products and try to encourage others to do the same. It probably takes me about 5 mins to do my hair in the morning as long as I keep it simple. So, in the end, while I may make note of the fact that caring for my hair is "difficult", perhaps what I should really do is sit back and be thankful that I no longer have to run from the rain, experience scalp burns from harsh chemicals or do treatment after treatment trying to "save my hair." Perhaps I could see my hair as a blessing rather than something I "struggle" with. It is certainly beautiful. Thanks Ladies!

    P.S. @LBellatrix- I agree that our hair is not inherently difficult to care for. I just want to make sure that we acknowledge that there ARE those of us who have/Do struggle with our hair. The things that you mentioned about length, styling, etc all hit home for me. As I grow older, though, I really feel that I should work WITH my hair rather than against it because it's MINE and it's BEAUTIFUL.
    Last edited by gilroygal; 04-09-2012 at 04:05 PM. Reason: spelling
    Visit my blog: fragilehaircare-gilroygal.blogspot.com
    I share about my natural hair happenings, lessons, and experiences.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilroygal View Post
    That natural hair is/can be WORK or that it is not necessarily EASY to manage. I mean, I have read numerous posts since I have been on this board (2003) about how people are struggling with their hair, and it's often met with (cyber) tooth sucking, roll-eye smilies, or snide comments. The truth is, SOME of us DO struggle. Are we afraid to admit it? Is there something WRONG about that? I mean, if you spent the greater part of your like managing chemically treated hair and then you decided to "go natural" only to find that a majority of the tools, products, and routines that you were used to DON'T WORK, wouldn't that present SOME struggle? Does that mean you don't like your hair? Even if you LOVE your hair but you struggle to manage it, wouldn't it be a normal thing for you to have doubts about being natural? I have experienced all of the above, and I freely admit it. It doesn't matter who I'm talking to, I'm NOT afraid to be open and honest about what I go through with my hair. It is no deep dark secret that I STRUGGLE to manage my hair. However, these days, the things I go through are SOLELY due to the CHARACTERISTICS of my hair, NOT the texture. That was not always the case. I am currently surrounded by women who are white an have adopted black babies and we've had conversations about managing the hair of the children and I must say that I get pretty real with them. My recent conversation is what lead me to post this. I shared with one of the ladies about the things I use and what I had to go through to get my hair into the "cute style" (her words) that I was wearing. We talkied about breakage, moisture, products, etc. and what I could possibly do to help her daughter manage her hair better. I was amazed at how comfortable I was with being open about my struggles and what I do to manage my hair. However, there was this nagging feeling that I was "making my hair seem bad" or something. I know that I wasn't, but the truth is that I felt like I was betraying my hair type or something, as if I were supposed to keep my hair struggles a secret. All of that to say, do (you think) we sometimes try to minimize or downplay what we go through with our hair? Why or why not? Also, do you think that we can sometimes be hard on people who acknowledge such struggles, especially if that is not OUR experience? All opinions and trains of thought are welcome!

    At the red: I've had similar conversations with moms of black and mixed children. I have offered tips and suggestions and have even combed/styled children's hair while the moms (black and non black) watched or took turns with me so they could learn.

    Never did I feel I was making my hair or theirs seem bad or betraying our textures.

    Maybe it's all in how one states their thoughts? Maybe a deep down part of some people does feel like it's bad and that comes out when they speak on it?

    There has never been a shortage of "my hair is a struggle" threads so I never realized that people were afraid to admit it if that was their truth. It's just not everyone's truth.
    ~~Started Locks (2STs): April 20, 2006~~
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  6. #26
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    Here's my truth: I always get a little embarrassed when I read posts that say "I no longer run from the rain" or some variation of that.

    I don't like to get wet in the rain if I can help it so I'm quick to grab an umbrella, a newspaper, a coat, ANYTHING to keep from getting soaked.
    ~~Started Locks (2STs): April 20, 2006~~
    Fotki

  7. #27
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    I can only speak for my own hair. When I have honest conversations with people regarding the struggles I have with my hair I get the attitude "thank god I don't hair that hair. " which leads me to not want to talk about my hair often however.. My hair can be difficult to deal with if I do not have patients and a clear goal as to what I am doing.
    Yeah. I said it.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCmomof5 View Post
    I agree with you, gilroy gal especially with the bolded. Maintaining my natural hair is more challenging than maintaining my relaxed hair, and I rarely share that because 1) I know that it is MY personal experience and 2) I don't want it to be assumed that it is connected to any ideas of me calling my hair "bad". I absolutely LOVE my kinky, coily mane and will never go back to chemicals. I actually am one of those women who feels like it is NOT "just hair" and my choice to embrace my natural texture is a statement of my refusal to conform any longer, and my acceptance of who I am and how God created me. However, because I had never styled my hair natural (my mom got my hair relaxed at 12) learning to take care of this super dense mass of hair on my head has been more difficult than I ever imagined when I first started transitioning. In my almost 6 years natural, I've learned a lot, and have re-defined what it takes for my hair to look "done" so that did simplify my daily styling, somewhat. HOWEVER, when I twist my hair - that's a 7 or more hour job. And when I detangle, no matter what product I use, or how I've worn my hair (protective style or not) it's a BEAST!! I actually considered locing because of the time and energy it takes to maintain my hair, but for me, as much as I love a beautiful head of locs, it was the wrong reason to loc. Plus, I love my monster puff and braid-out 'fro even though I don't get to wear it out that often anymore. Most importantly for me, I want to positively demonstrate maintenance of loose natural hair for my daughters (who would want to loc if I did and I wouldn't want them to loc until they are older).



    For me, although washing, detangling, and styling my MBL relaxed hair did require quite a bit of time and effort, and stylists would complain about how thick it was even then, it DEFINITELY required less effort (a lot less effort) than my natural hair BSL currently requires - maybe it's the density. But again, that's just MY experience.




    ^^ ITA!!
    Well said. My hair was easier to comb, but I don't know if I would say easier to manage, since I look at manageability (now) interms of the whole rather than just how easy my comb may or may not glide through my hair. I'm sure that's not all that you're referring to, but initially, that was my default comparison. However, when I had a relaxer, I was constantly seeking treatments for breakage, whereas now I only experieince breakage due to mechanics. I mean, my hair was silky straight, but it was often falling out when I combed it because it was over-processed in an effort to keep it straight. When I consider the overall maintenance of it, going in every 6-8 weeks for a touch-up, curling irons, trying to keep edges "neat", long salon waits, etc, my hair was much harder to "maintain" while relaxed.
    Visit my blog: fragilehaircare-gilroygal.blogspot.com
    I share about my natural hair happenings, lessons, and experiences.

  9. #29
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    For me, my loose natural hair is easier to care for than my relaxed hair. I don't expect to ever be able to run a comb through it, even after a detangling session; because of that, combined with the density of my hair, I don't like having other people do it because they want the hair combed out to a T(ee?) and I'm tenderheaded. I don't have the desire to style 2.5+ heads of hair other than twists or braids which l leave in for months at a time.

    When my hair was relaxed, it was down, in a ponytail, or in a bun, according to when my next touch-up was scheduled, so variety was never an issue. I couldn't wash and go like I can now, and I frequented a salon, which I hated. So, yeah, my hair's labor intensive but the independence I have now is worth it and makes it "easier" on me. I'm going to lock my hair because I like the (relative) ease of locks, but I wouldn't share that with people who don't understand that natural hair isn't as much work and frustration as they percieve it to be.

  10. #30
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    My experience may be very different from the majority of posters in this thread....your mileage may vary.

    I look at my hair experiences through so many filters:

    ~the 'age 10-21' phase: When I mindlessly made hair appointments for relaxers and put up with the burning and all day sessions at the salon. Thought that's what I had to endure. That's all I knew.

    ~ my 20's-early 40's phase: When I began to notice the damage relaxers was doing to my hair AND when I began thinking more about alternatives. Still not sure whether or not to go natural...it was my hairdresser that began pushing me to do so. She was the one that could see the 'real' me! Slowly, I stretched out the amount of time in between relaxers to the point that I allowed myself to have new growth and not care about how it looked!

    ~ early 40's to present day: When I had 2 opportunities to learn about my natural hair, before and now after chemotherapy.

    I believe that I'm more knowledgeable about natural hair care in general this time around, and certainly more about MY own head. I might not feel like dealing with my hair [it's 14+ inches at the moment] but I do enjoy the natural me so much better. I'm still learning and don't see any day as a BAD hair day.
    Last edited by OHR; 04-09-2012 at 05:22 PM. Reason: add text.









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