Friday, July 13, 2012

Passing on the vision for natural hair

"I want a relaxer"!

I've been prepping myself for the possibility of one of my girls coming to me with this request for a long time.  I thought I'd consider their motive from every angle.  I thought I'd be ready.

I was wrong.

I've recently been in conversation with HmG about this very issue.  You've watched her hair grow and flourish and flourish.  She has ALOT of hair.  I think it intimidates her.  Sometimes it intimidates me!!!

She says she believes natural hair is beautiful.

She says she likes the look of natural hair more than the look of relaxed hair.

She asks me anyway, "Can I relax my hair?"

I shout WHY?

She says, "Because I just can't see myself spending all that time doing my hair!!!  It's not worth it to me.  I just think a relaxer will be easier."  She finished by saying that the risk of damage to her hair is a risk she's willing to take.

I was floored.  I JUST wasn't expecting that to be the reason. 

I've spent several weeks reflecting on how HmG is feeling.  It has been a lot of work for me managing 5 natural heads of hair but at the end of the day, there are many aspects of grooming I genuinely enjoy.  It never occurred to me that a daughter of mine could possibly have no interest in working with hair.

I was disappointed.  I'm being honest.  I was also honest with HmG and she had no trouble directing me back to my own videos and my own words about letting her spread her wings with my full support.

I've given her my answer.

When HmG is financially able to afford the maintenance of a relaxer, and can take herself to her appointments, I won't stop her.

It's HER journey.

I've given her the best of what I know and must have faith that her journey will be just as meaningful as mine.  My resolve has come from the mistakes I've made, I'm realizing my daughters may not choose to learn from my mistakes.  They may need proof for themselves.

In the end, I believe HmG will exceed my expectations, no matter what. 

Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6


  1. "Because I just can't see myself spending all that time doing my hair!!! It's not worth it to me."

    Natacha, I can relate to HMG!

    When I started my natural hair journey a few years ago (for the 2nd time) I researched online. I read the blogs & watched the videos talking about all the intense TLC that natural hair requires, and I did learn a lot from them.

    I bought the spray bottles, the satin bonnets and the Denman brushes. I was very gentle with these "fragile" strands I kept hearing about. I tried to be mindful of the need to retain moisture, to use water-based products, to seal the hair, to apply the water-based and oil-based products in the correct order (less I seal the hair first and then try to add moisture!!)

    I did twist ins and twist outs until I was ready to scream and shout!!

    While I didn't spend the endless hours that I saw demonstrated on many a YouTube video, still my hair had become a major time investment. And in this humid climate, with my hair that frizzes super easy, no style lasted very long.

    For me, reverting to relaxers was not an option, but time wise I had to find an alternative. I felt like my hair was a baby that needed close supervision and constant care. In that regard, yes, having relaxed hair used to be easier (though on other levels, it had its own difficulties and deep rooted implications.)

    One of the reasons I went natural was to truly enjoy and embrace my natural hair, not become its nursemaid. Locs may have been an option, but I've had locs before and came to the conclusion that I enjoy my hair loose. Braids are not an option for the same reason. I enjoy my hair length, so cutting it was not the answer for me.

    I had to find a solution. And I have (the details of which would be another post.) Not that I don't need to care my hair and be aware of what it needs. In fact, for anyone now learning to care for natural hair or trying to nurse damaged hair back to health, I would offer them the same regimen I used to use, and still use to some extent.

    But all of that to say, I relate to HMG's response. And it was that desire for a simpler, more enjoyable path to hair care that led me to find a regimen that worked for both me AND my hair!

    I really think that natural hair care might not be as detailed and intense as it's made out to be ... at least for me.

    Thanks for sharing. You're such an awesome mom and I learn so much from you.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. HmG is now saying she realizes she doesn't want a relaxer--just something she can manage. I am encouraging her that she will find something but she has to do the work of figuring it out. She really appreciates someone understanding how she feels. I am so glad you posted this.