Sunday, February 20, 2011

My hair, like a caterpillar.

Last weekend, I really wanted to cut my hair.  Like, violently.

So I cut a few strands to help me decide…

Huh, I thought. It’s spiral-y.


I remembered last summer when all I had to do was quickly rub some conditioner in my hair when I showered, comb out under the shower, rinse. It took less than five minutes. Then I air dried.

Except for sometimes feeling like a man (see first photo), it worked out really well, especially because (a.) I’m low maintenance and (b.) I’m lazy.

But now! Now? My hair, whose name is Vita (latin for "life") btw, takes what seems like forever in the shower! And it seems to have recently had a growth spurt (I haven't photo proof unfortunately) AND DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO HANDLE BLACK HAIR?!

Well. For now, Pantene for women of color in the—GET THIS—brown bottle helps.

Eh, I know other black women who read natural hair blogs, research how to care for black hair, trial and error, one of my girlfriends told me about an Olive oil treatment as my hair type really needs lots of moisture, yadda yadda…I really wish I could care enough to care.

Hey! In case you’re wondering what kinda moron doesn’t know how to care for her own hair, please realize that like many brown girls my mother combed my hair till I started growing breasts, and then it was chemically straightened for ten years until last May.


Maybe I’ll end up cutting if off again. Or maybe I’ll let it continue to grow. 

But one thing wearing my hair natural has taught to laugh at myself.

Between Julieta lovingly comparing me to the Chiquita banana lady and a Chia pet, or her cute Colombian uncle, who she took to church and introduced to me, later asking why I had a pantyhose wrapped around my hair (it was a brown, silk cloth!)…it’s all really hilarious. People kill me.

Or when I wore a red bow in my hair last friday and mentioned to Julieta while we were in the restroom, “I look like Minnie Mouse.”

And later we were walking in Times Square…who do we see but life sized Minnie Mouse with her lover, Micky Mouse?!  I die!

I think it especially helps to laugh because it’s helps me forget what I’m self conscious about. Like, my big head the size of head for instance that sort of bothered me when I first cut off my hair. I supposed that short hair was better fit for daintier heads. The other thing is that being overweight with shorter hair made and still makes me somewhat self conscious.

But what big head? What back fat? I've almost forgotten. I’m so busy googling photos of the Chiquita banana lady…and marveling…

I’d forgotten to mention the marveling. It looks sort of like of caterpillar, no?


And no split ends! When my hair was chemically straightened I always had split ends and couldn’t expect any better, not with the chemicals and heat I myself, or the person I paid, used on my hair.

It’s also sculptural, like wool, like a brillo pad sometimes, curly like telephone cords.

If only I knew what to do with it, because I keep watering it and it grows and grows…and from what I hear, it’ll become even more time consuming the longer it gets. But I suppose I can laugh and laugh or start to cry when I can’t drag a comb through it, or maybe I can do that Olive oil treatment sometime.



Fatty Cake Heather said...

I, like you, am VERY low maintainance and also very lazy. I have very straight, thin, whispy hair. It could be cute in a pixie cut if it weren't for this fat butt, tiny head and unruly cowlicks! Short hair on fat chics with little heads = pin heads. Its not a good look. Plus my DH thinks he has the right to have an opinion on my hair. AS IF! I just wish he HAD hair! LOL! But I have always said (being totally clueless what it is like to have hair like yours) that if I could, I would so have a big puff of black curly hair on my head! Think Corinne Bailey Rae style. But I guess that's not really low maintainance... Good luck with your decision! I think short hair is beautiful.

Alexia @ said...

GASP! I love Corinne Bailey Rae's hair! Gorgeous! Thanks for stopping, Heather. Pin head=HILARIOUS! HA :))))

Dani- danielleislosingit said...

I am useless on this topic except to say that I loved this post, and I am sad about my split ends.

pinkvision said...

You could have some braids put in while you wait for it to grow out more. Afro hair is so soft when it is in its natural state, unlike my Asian hair which is thick and coarse. I always have to use a big handful of conditioner in it whenever I wash mine. I have heard that leave-in conditioner helps Afro hair, and allows you to style it.

Anyway, headgear and hats are fab and I've always thought it a shame we don't wear them so much any more, maybe you can make that your trademark style for now - fabulous headscarves like those Nigerian women wear are sooo beautiful.

MizFit said...

Im useless as well except to chime in, as I have before, with how beautiful you are.
Your countenance and hair--sure--but your writing and insides YESYES.

Toot said...

I went back and forth between natural and relaxed about 5 times. For me, I don't have the patience for natural hair because mine was thick as all get up. I noticed when I washed my hair once every 4-6 weeks with a clarifying shampoo and then deep condition, it did alot better. Getting that product off of your hair helps a lot. Continue with your conditioner washes during the week. Detangle with a big comb while in the shower and the conditioner is still on it. Follow with a leave in. Design Essentials hydrating leave in is very good, EXCELLENT. If you can't find it in NY, let me know and I'll send you a bottle. Then air dry. Make sure you spritz your hair with a solution of water, olive oil or some other type of oil like castor oil and a little bit of conditioner mixed in like a tablespoon or two. I sprayed my hair multiple times a day during the summer. Also, twists are great. right after you get out the shower, put your leave-in conditioner in and twist it up. I used to wear my twists out or wrap it up with a nice decorative head wrap. Moisture city. I hope this helps Alexia :)

One Day, One Weigh said...

I am no help. White, brown, pink or blue people hair, I am lost. lol

I wish I had the guts to just cut it off. Alas, my head IS too big to pull that one off.

Alexia @ said...

Toot, so helpful!! :)))) Really, I am so happy you shared!

Erika Renee said...

LOL "I wish I could care enough to care". If I knew that was your mindset, I'd never torture you with my hair regimen the other day! But as someone who has been natural for about 2 years and only JUST decided to invest time to make it healthy in October 2010, I know the feeling of how tragic hair care can be for naturals. Even today, I was so frustrated with my DISASTER of a twist-out attempt (a personal SCREW YOU to all those youtube ladies with the *perfect* twist outs, btw) that I was ready to break my no-heat rule and blow my hair into something Erykah Badu-esque. Sadly, this just led me back to youtube to look how to put heat on natural hair. Madness. Also, I have FINE hair on top of it and having fine natural coarse hair is a combo to slap you across the face with frustration.

But it's all a process. A long long patience driven process. I know I told you about the olive oil pre-shampoo treatments but do you know that I stopped that cause it was just too time consuming? As your hair grows, its needs will change. Olive oil was a good thing a few months ago and now my hair doesn't need it. Craziness. At least now I've got an extra 30 min on my hands?

Just remember your hair is like a child...a 2 year old child that will be happy some times and throw a tantrum the next. You can neglect it and watch it go off the deep end or try your best. I remember how much I HATED my hair only this time last year (which was WAY longer than it is now) and loathed the moments of the dreaded shampoo (breakage breakage BREAKAGE). But now that I decided to give it a try, it is in a strange way, it feels worth it. I have victories (I don't need to detangle my hair much this days!) and failures (F*** YOU TWIST OUT!) but I'm learning to love the spoil brat on my scalp more and more everyday.

Oh and btw, my twist out is now mashed under a hair mask and my hair is feeling awesome. Win.

Miss E said...

Oh hair... Gosh, I don't even know where to start, but I know I can't really help you on how to care for yours. Because I am lazy as well when it comes to hair. I've taken the easy route of having it straightened for years, then I'd even go easier by having it plaited in a very easy to maintain hairstyle.
In 2009 though I decided to cut it and try locking it. I spent a lot of 2010 with it locked, with a weave on on top while the dreadlocks grew. But then it was taking too long to grow and I grew impatient and chopped it all off. Now it's short hair. Low low maintenance because I just wash it and apply mosturiser on a day-to-day basis. But one problem, big girl small head, so I'm tempted to start the weaves again, the big ones. But I'm determined to wait at least until winter.

Thirteenlbs said...

Have you checked out the curlygirl method? I learned it on (4a). It helps with moisture, which I've found is the key to my best hair days...I don't spend a ton of time on my hair either, except to dry it.

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