Recently I have made the decision to go natural (my hair that is). I put what are known as Kinky Twist extensions in my hair. I was skeptical but I loved the freedom of being able to get up and go. But I also liked the overall look of the new hairstyle.
I was very skeptical about doing it at first. One, because I hate going to work or anywhere after someone has just seen me with short hair and then they see me and my hair is down my back. Then everyone is like “Oh look at your hair”. I hate when all eyes are on me. Two, I’ve worn braids before and I was ready to take them out the first day that I had an itch. Needless to say they weren’t in that long at that time and it was a dollar well wasted. Three is probably the most obvious reason. I was so used to having a perm that I really didn’t want to give that up. What was I going to do without it? How could I possibly live without a relaxer?
In recent months I have been having issues with my hair. Shedding was the major issue. I tried everything and nothing seemed to work. It only looked good after I came from the my hairdresser. And we all know that even after a few days, you can never get that hairdresser look back again. After awhile I just got really tired of it and said I have to do something. I thought about cutting it off and just starting over but that was too drastic. I thought about growing my dreads back (yes I had dreads) but I didn’t even have the patience when I had those. They are a lot more maintenance than you think. I looked online at some different hairstyles and was pleased with the kinky twists.
But is natural the better way? Some people have different opinions on it. I was reading a discussion on Facebook that had me very intrigued. There were women (black women) that just didn’t care for permed hair. Everyone had a story about bad perm experiences and how their hair fell out etc etc. Other women can’t live without a perm. I also read stories about how natural hair is harder to maintain and they are going back to a perm. My personal opinion is that the better way is whatever way you make it. No matter what you do to it it needs to be maintained. You still need to look decent when you walk out the door in the morning.
I started writing this blog back in March 2013. Since then I have taken out the twists, gotten cornrows, took those out and went natural for about 3 weeks to see if I could deal with my own hair. Those 3 weeks were very trying for me. I discovered that I liked what my natural hair looked like but at the same time (due to time management issues) I would not be able to maintain that look. In November I permed it AGAIN. I just couldn’t deal with the stress of trying to maintain a very difficult to manage look!
Some women and men for that matter will probably say that I sucka-ed out. Some people will say that I permed my hair because of insecurities that I may have about my natural hair. Some people might even say that I am lazy and needed an easy way out. Well I bet that I can agree with 2 out of 3 of those.
Did I sucka out? Yes and no. I’m definitely not afraid of some naps. Maintaining a natural look is high maintenance. I had dreads, twists and a fro so trust me I know! Between going to work, maintaining a family and sweating to death working out, I just didn’t think that I had the time to maintain that look.
Am I insecure about my natural hair? NO. Going from permed to natural is a big decision. It’s drastic. It’s been a long time since I actually grew my hair out and to do the “big chop” after all this growing effort is scary.
Am I lazy? NO. The convenience of a relaxer is just makes life easier for me. I would say that lazy is just extremely harsh.
Well call me lazy no more! It has been a little over six months now and I have not reverted to what is called the “creamy crack” or relaxer (it’s white and addictive). It has been a journey but I have decided that flip flopping is not going to help the life of my hair. Its growing very well and educating myself on how to maintain a natural lifestyle really helps. It may take a little longer in the morning to get ready but at the end of the day, I think that this will all be worth it. The chemicals are harsh and they do a number on the scalp and the hair itself. I have a very thin grade of hair and an extremely sensitive scalp. Not having to cringe when the chemicals touch my scalp is also a bit of a relief.
To perm or not to perm? Judge for yourself. I wanted to see for myself what all the hype is about with everyone suddenly wanting to go natural. Honestly, I will say that no matter what you do, there will be some degree of maintenance. Braided, permed, faded, waved, dreaded, bald, short, or long…it all has to be maintained and you have to figure out which fits you and your lifestyle.