Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Embrace the Frizz: How and Why I Overcame My Obsession With Having Defined Curls."

Back in March, I promised a follow-up to my "How I Poo- Part 1".  In part 1 I provided some tips on maintaining healthy natural hair.  In part 2 I planned to describe in detail each step of my wash regimen and the steps I took to style my wash & go.  The reason I never got around to writing part 2 is because I was constantly changing the way I styled my hair from week to week. From braid-outs to twist-outs to wash-n-go's, I watched so many youtube video tutorials that they began running together for me.  The newfound versatility with my natural hair after my big chop led to me wanting to try every new style I came across.

So when did "Going Natural" become "The Quest for the Perfect Curl"?  About a week after my big chop, I became obsessed with gaining and maintaining the perfect curl.  For me, the point of going natural was to free myself from the tedious task of doing touch-ups every 6-8 weeks.  So how and why did I allow getting touch-ups every 6 weeks turn into spending 3+ hours each week twisting my hair.  The answer is simple..."First Day Hair."

If you are natural, then you should know what I'm talking about when I say First Day Hair. If you aren't quite familiar with all the natural terms yet, First Day Hair is the style you have the first day you take out your twists, braids, bantu knots etc.  It is termed first day hair because it is the day your curls will have the most definition and less frizz.  Many naturals including myself have spent hours every night re-twisting their hair to maintain that first day hair look.  For me the re-twisting every night lasted for about a month.  The nightly twisting turned into every other night, the every other night turned to twice a week, the twice a week turned into once a week, which then became once every 10-14 days.

The truth is I'm a Mom, a Wife, I have a full-time job, and a 3 bedroom townhouse to maintain; therefore I simply do not have time to twist my hair every night or every other night for that matter.  The fact that I did not have the time or desire to re-twist my hair every night left me feeling defeated.  I mean the whole point of being natural is having beautiful defined curls right...or is it??

There was once a time I believed that my hair was only socially acceptable to go outside the house if I had defined curls. If it had been more than 3 or 4 days since I had twisted my hair and there was more frizz than curls, I wouldn't be caught dead outside without a hat, scarf, or my wig.  I remember one day at work I was complaining about the countless hours I spend twisting and re-twisting my hair.  Then one of my co-workers asked me what it would look like if I just washed my hair and didn't twist it.  I told her the back would be frizzy and bushy as I frowned my face up.  Then she said, "So what!"  I paused for a minute because I didn't really know how to process or respond to what she said.  Did she not hear what I said?  I said my hair would be frizzy and bushy.  That's not cute...or is it?

Whether white or black, type 1 through type 4 hair, we've all been conditioned to believe that frizz is a bad thing; but if frizzy is the way you're hair grows out of your head, is it really that bad???  I hate when I hear people say things like, "Natural ain't for everybody" or "My hair is too nappy to wear it natural".  Why do we allow people to tell us that we can't wear the hair we were born with?  Why do we accept the idea that we can't be taken seriously in our career and/or attract men if our hair is frizzy.  Why do we let ignorant comments from our friends, family, or even strangers dictate the way we wear our hair.  I mean if it is on your head it is YOUR hair so why should anyone else other than yourself be able to control the way you wear your hair?

There are many women who prefer to wear their hair relaxed, straightened, wavy, and/or curly; and there's nothing wrong with that.  I am in no way intending to put them down or classify them as not being "natural" enough.  I am simply trying to get others to come to the realization that frizz does not have to be a bad thing.  Why do we have to view frizzy or nappy hair as looking a mess or looking like it's not done?  Why can't we just view frizzy as another one of the many versatile styles of natural hair?  Now don't get me wrong, I still twist my hair almost every time I wash it, which is usually every 1-2 weeks.  Sometimes I may re-twist it in between washes and sometimes I don't.  If it gets frizzy and I don't have time to re-twist it, SO WHAT!!  I'm still going to rock it like "First Day Hair"!  If I try a new twist-out or braid-out and my curls aren't quite as defined as I envisioned they would be, SO WHAT!!  I'm going to make that style my own and rock it with confidence!  And if I leave the house with a bomb twist-out that falls victim to frizz and shrinkage as soon as that humidity hits it, SO WHAT!!  Maybe my hair needed the moisture from the air to prevent breakage that day!

No matter what the reason for my frizz, I no longer intend to hide it under my hats, scarves, or whatever else for the purpose of appeasing others.  I chose to embrace my frizz and now I'm challenging you to do the same.  If you're okay with your frizz, rock the hell out of it and screw what anyone else has to say about it.  If some ignorant person chooses to make a comment about the condition or style of your hair simply tell them, "So What!!"

Two week old twist-out made into a Side Puff

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