Sunday, June 28, 2009

You get out of it what you put in…no more, no less (Oh, the advent of technology!)

Question: How many of you have looked at pictures of yourself as a child (pre-relaxer) and compared it to your curls now? What differences (if any) have you seen?
I was looking through a photo album a few days ago and the difference is staggering. I grew up in the 90’s before websites like and so the information about curly hair was not readily available the way it is now. As a matter of fact the day I decided that I wanted curly hair (before I knew I actually had it) I googled it, and soon had more information than I knew what to do with at the time…but I digress. As a child my hair was long. It was a big puffy, fuzzy mass. In every photo I looked at on my short trip down memory lane there was only documentation of ONE individual spiral that I can only guess my mother had missed with the comb. Any other picture that showed my hair was an afro (a la the 1970’s) or the infamous “Diana Ross”. This is why I did not know, or understand the fact that my hair was curly.
During my transition I was anxious to know what my curls would look like. I asked my mother, and would show her my inspiration pictures, such as Pre-straightened Alicia Keys or Teri LaFlesh of, and ask her incessantly: “Is my hair curly?” “Will my hair look like this?” “Will my hair look like that?” “What did it look like when it was wet?” etc…to which she would always say: “No, it’s not curly like that, your hair is COURSE, your hair is THICK. When it’s wet it draws up.” And during my transition her advice was always “braid it up at night, and pick it out in the morning.” ick.
From what I had been reading on the above mentioned sites (NC and LHCF etc) these statements completely contradicted everything! Not to mention the new growth that was sprouting from my scalp was getting-and staying-curly, not puffy, not frizzy, and definitely not “drawing up” when it got wet.
She would use products on me such Liv Hair Crème (the one in the white tub). Not to mention the styling! Saturdays were used as shampoo/condition/blow-dry/braid day. And whenever it came time to do my hair I would run away and lock myself in my room because the detangling process was just so unpleasant (compare that to now when I wake up in the morning excited to hop in the shower and finger comb whichever conditioner through my coils). The blow dryer was the one with the pick comb attachment and I have several childhood memories of that cursed thing ripping through my hair =\. And for this reason my hair stayed dry, and when it came time for me to be envious of all the other girls who got to wear it “down”, I never could because it would get puffy/tangle etc…
My mother was among the afro’ed masses of the seventies, and one would think that she would be an EXPERT on the care and manipulation of natural hair. When I was about eight or nine this must have become too much for my mother because she had no idea what to do with it. Then I got a relaxer and the rest is history….
But I compare that puffball to what now is defined spirals I really wonder: Was it my hair that was different? Or was it the method in which it was being handled? Was it rebelling because it was being fought with? Or did it turn over a new leaf once I grew my relaxer out?
All that is strictly rhetorical because know that with hair, like everything else, you get out of it that which you put in. My mother with and her Liv crème and afro pick served a different purpose than my Aussie Moist and finger combing. However, it only serves reason that if you put in crappy products; your hair is going to look like crap. But if you nurture it, and give it everything it wants it going to respond by being beautiful
Out of curiosity what were your “pre-enlightenment” routines/procedures?

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