The Hawkeye

Natural hair: it’s not easy like Sunday mornings

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Wake up, spritz. Pass out, spritz. Sit down, pick. Stand up, pick. Tired, hair. 

Anyone who is natural knows the struggle of having curly hair that is completely chaotic and has a life of its own. The curls are beautiful and popping once you figure out how to manage them, but the period of time before learning that skill is hard. Your day ends up turning into that Kendrick Lamar song where all he does is “drank,” but instead of drinking, you pick and spritz your hair all day. 

When I first “went natural,” I had no idea that I would be actually depressed over my hair. Up until August of 2016, I chemically straightened my hair and even though I put perms in my hair, I always had healthy, long manageable hair. I didn’t necessarily need to go natural, but I wanted to jump on the curly, girl bandwagon and show-off my black girl magic. 

Boy was I in for a shock, when I realized that “big-chopping” meant actually cutting off all of your permed ends, which was close to 50% of my hair. So, I was rocking a mini afro, and it sickened me. I remember looking in the mirror and crying to myself saying “what have I done and what am I supposed to do with my hair.”  I immediately bought a wig. 

No one tells you that natural hair does not immediately curl up on its own, especially if one has a kinkier curl pattern and three different, other curl patterns in their hair. Once I took my wig off, I had a lot of growth. But, certain areas curled-up immediately and other sections needed more tender, love and care. My hair routine ended up taking two hours every morning. I wanted to put my wig back on but, it was summer, and it was absolutely too hot for that. 

So, I learned to tame my curly locks. 

It was a combination of water, curl-enhancing gel and God that finally got my hair to look like the curls I always dreamed of. But, it still took absolutely too long and my arms always caught cramps after working in my hair.  I needed an arm workout routine. Then, I realized that my hair is growing at a super-fast rate. If it was taking two hours to do my hair with a teeny-weeny afro, what was I going to do when I look like Michael Jackson circa1970s. 

 I immediately began looking for long-term protective styles. 

Three weeks ago, I got box braids, and it was probably the best idea I have ever had. Although they are super heavy on my head and I sometimes get headaches, I don’t have to mess with my real hair. And that my friends, is a blessing. 

People try to convince other girls to go natural but they forget to tell them that it’s not easy and you will be frustrated. It takes time to come to terms that your hair will now be naturally curly and that comes with kinks thst are hard to control. 

I recommend transitiong (which is growing out the natural hair, while keeping the chemically sraightened ends ) as long as possible, if you started your hair journey with a lot of hair. I made the mistake of big-chopping too early and truly went through an identity crisis. 

I know I am not my hair but, I really didn’t recognize myself. 

Natural hair is gorgeous and it’s a trait I believe all women of color should at least try. But, beauty is pain, and I learned that dealing with my difficult locks. 

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Natural hair: it’s not easy like Sunday mornings