I can't speak for all black girls, but I do know that I had no idea of the capabilities of my hair until I was a full-grown woman. When I was born, I had enough hair for a toddler. It just continued to grow into Rapunzel pony tails that my mom would carefully craft each day. It was a job. Especially amongst 5 kids, 3 of which were girls. Therefore, my mom did what was easiest for our hair and permed it. It would save her and we the tears. Yes, you read that right. It can be an intense feat to tackle certain textures of hair. In most cases, it has to be sectioned off in order to be combed through thoroughly. Extra detangling product may be needed. A special comb or brush or pick is utilized. Ouchhhh!!! Just reminiscing it hurts. Once, it was permed, we could all relax! My mom still did our hair faithfully. She would perm it with a box perm from a major retailer and style it with rollers and pins. We learned from the best! We always had the best time doing hair as a family. Hence, why it's so intriguing to me as an adult. Figuring out how to do different style and being adventurous with my hair is a hobby!
I'll never forget the first time I saw and styled my own curls! I was 24! When I was growing out my permed tresses, I wore weave sew-ins. They protected my hair like none other. However, I never really saw or played with my hair in between getting sew-ins. I'd just get it braided back and the weave weft sewn on to meticulously made corn rows. One summer, the perm was finally gone and my curls came out to play. It was exciting, but a challenge too. I had to learn how to deal with "new hair." How you treat different textures of hair should be a required course in school. It could help us all learn a little more about the complexities of hair and cultural appropriation that comes along with it. However, I'll save that for a later blog. Moreover, we did, in fact, have to take teen living courses in high school so why not? I learned how to make pillows and more… Okay, I promised, I wouldn't go there until next time.
I tried countless products before I found what would satisfy my hair hedonist mindset. It was challenging. I'd put product in my hair and go on about the day only to meet the end of the day looking less than suitable. I hated it! As long as my hair was wet, it was curly and cute. When it dried, it was brittle and feeble. The curls weren't as visible. I was convinced that my natural hair was not going to work for me. I went back to wearing my protective style, weave, in order to give my hair a rest and let it grow. I'd get it washed, deep conditioned and braided up. In that order, I stayed persistent until the summer months!
Finally, I found Taliah Waajid which I bought because my sister-in-law was using it on my niece's hair. She didn't have a perm. I didn't have a perm. We're family. Perhaps, this would work for me and it did! There are shelves upon shelves of natural hair products in major retailer's stores. I have most of them at home in my stash. I've spent a vacation's savings on hair products over the years. Finding Taliah Waajid concluded my search and helped rectify my disappointment of my natural hair experience. They make products for several different textures. And guess what. They are affordable. I appreciate hair companies that market hair inclusion. All types are celebrated. All follicles are nurtured. All heads are happy!
Maybe it's time you step outside the box and learn a little more about your hair. About other's hair. It's time we celebrate the inclusion of all hair! I had no idea until I found the right products to nurture my hair that it curled! P.S. I still wear my weave! I happen to love both styles. Stepping outside of the box helped me to appreciate both!