Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hair Post 2014: Hair foolery pt 1

Hello lovely people.

I get messages from time to time - Which reminds me, should I do a Q&A?
If so, send me messages via email or Facebook. :)

Anyway, I get messages from time to time asking about my hair. What I do to it, how I style it and if I have any tips. I don't know what I can say, but I do have these hair posts from a few years ago and thought it was time to update some of my hair talks, as I have changed some of my regimen.

Here is where I should note some crucial things: I have been wearing my hair in its natural state for nearly 20 years, so I was just ahead of this massive natural hair movement for black women. It's a cool movement, and has helped many women brake from chemically treating their hair and discover their natural hair's beauty. I have tried to at least comb through some of the larger sites and read some of the ever repetitive content, but it is often cliquey, and militant, having gone from being about wearing your natural hair as best and as healthy as you can, to a hodgepodge of product makers snake oiling their wares to make your natural hair 'be like' something else. 

That is one reason why I do NOT use natural hair care, or any hair care product. That and I'm vegan, and rather than sort through ingredients, I prefer to keep to my stripped down regimen and know what I'm getting. Plus, since forever, 'black' hair care products have wrecked my hair. For reals. They have made it brittle and stiff and some often have chemicals in them to relax your hair (ladies, you know what I mean), so I choose out right to stay away from them completely. I'm also particular about smells, and loath heavily perfumed things. I'm simple, clean and minimal, I expect my beauty products to be the same.

Another reason why I can't do the natural hair care community is the ever obsessive talk about hair typing. What the hell? Talk about divide and conquer. For those who do not know, 'hair typing' is a completely made up thing, introduced by a famous hair stylist not too long ago. If you'd like to know more, I'm sure you can Google it. I just don't care to provide bunk information.

The 'system' ranges from one to four, with one being straight as straight can be hair, typically found in white women, while four being kinky (I'm not even going to get into the politics of using kinky) hair typically found in women of African decent. The psychology of this blows me away. A fake hair typing system meant for black women puts their hair type dead last? One is always associated with first, with best, with ideal, but this system does not even put black women's hair in the top three? How asinine. There is fierce debate in the black hair community (BHC) about coiled hair v kinky hair v nappy hair. Oh, so much hair. It's just too much for me.

I have no idea what hair type I have, and I don't care. I have black people hair, and that's enough for me. As I said earlier, I'm not a product junkie, and through years of practice, I'm managed to limit my hair care to a few core items.

I care for my hair by caring for my scalp. Hair is secondary. By the time it's hair, its dead. The hair follicle is key, so keep it clean and unobstructed by caring for your skin and also use with good nutrition. I get a very dry scalp, and because I try not to use too many chemicals, I have had to do a lot of experimentation on keeping my scalp healthy and flake free. I don't use shampooer or conditioner. I use castile soap and oils to get my scalp clean. Castile soap has tea the oil in it which cleans my scalp very well. I add a bit more when I wash my hair to help things along. 

My regimen is this:
I wet my hair and wait about 15 minutes and I do a scalp scratch with my rat tail comb. Mmmm feels good.

I then do a rinse with the Apple Cider Vinegar slightly diluted and warmed. I wait 15-30 minutes.

I rinse that then I do a wash with the castile soap and added tea tree oil. I wash twice to get the ASV smell out.

That's it for my hair. I then section it off and apply the best Vitamin E oil I've ever found (works amazing on the face, too) on my scalp. I then rub the Jojoba oil on my hair then the shea butter over it, comb it through and twist. I keep the twists in until they air dry. That's it. I do this all about twice a week and it takes me about 2 hours each time.

When it's taken down, it looks like this:

I do twist it up every night and yes, a satin cap is a staple, but I'm not militant about it. Mostly when you see me with my air up its in a bun because I don't like hair on my neck, especially in the summer, and I hate bangs. I have mad shrinkage so the twisting helps keep it full and stretched out.

But I was bored one night and it was about time for me to do my ritual wash and I decided to play with some hair stuff.
More tomorrow!


Gail D said...

It looks great!

Robin said...

Like this post. It gives me some ideas about products to use on my natural hair. You're right--there are so many products on the market for 'natural hair care'. I got sucked into the product movement and I found none of them are any better than what I was already using. Castile dries my hair out but I read that ACV is good for the scalp. Sounds like a good regimen.

Shelley J said...

Robin, try black soap, you can find it in liquid from at Vitacost online. Its too rich for my hair and coats my scalp in an oily film, so the castile soap is great for me.

The Nostalgic Cook said...

I've been using apple cider vinegar on my scalp (I have an oily scalp that is made worse by allergies), but it never occurred to me to do it *before* washing my hair, so thanks for writing about that. Maybe I won't crave salad all the time now. :)

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