Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hair Conference

I have been so busy this week, so many apologies for the lack of blogging. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I was at a conference from work. I got into a few conversations about natural hair. One that stuck out the most was when a co-worker from a different department approached me about my hair routine. She was sitting behind me in a seminar and was staring at my head, I guess. She has two daughters, the oldest one had hair that she compared to one of our white co-workers who has kind of loose curly hair...the co-worker seemed proud that her daughter's hair was like that (she said it was also long, "down to here"). Her younger daughter apparently has hair like mine but "frizzier" and she doesn't want to perm/relax the hair. "She's only 3, so I don't want to perm it." This disturbed me a bit, the way so many (black) women automatically consider the perm because they don't feel like/know how to deal with their daughters' hair. I was bothered that (it seemed) only because of the daughter's age was she not getting a perm, while the daughter with long, loose curly hair was obviously prized. Another thing that bothered me was that she kept touching my hair and flipping it around with her fingers like I was her fucking 5-year old.

Since she asked, I went into great detail about conditioners, braiding, air-drying, de-tangling, everything because I wanted to convey that she had many options and that my hair routine is so low-maintenance. I plan on e-mailing her too once we get back to the office. I am a kinky/curly crusader, what can I say? ESPECIALLY when it comes to the wee ones.

I just wish more women would at least be open to keeping the hair natural; there are tons of resources/products available now and it can be lower-maintenance, healthier, and cheaper than maintaining a relaxer over many years.

Here is how my hair looked today: (Disclaimer: I literally just took this picture after a long day at work/school and I had it in a bun, and un-bunned it for the picture so it's a little frizzy. I'm also at the end of my hair-week meaning I will wash tomorrow or Sunday, so the curls are looking frizzy at the front...but check out those back curls, lol!)
Trust me, I feel as tired as I look in these pictures, lol. The weekend won't bring a respite either, but you just gotta keep on truckin' (my Texan is showing).

7 jewels of thought:

Chanel said...

good job spreading the word! i feel like a lot of times black children don't even know their options when it comes to hair. at least i didnt. i got a relaxer before i even realized what it was or why i had to get it, which is very unfortunate.

ChocolateOrchid said...

I'm glad that you are there to school her. Maybe you have enlightened her about our hair in some way. It saddens to hear women say things like that. I hope that she will take your advice and use it.

Vesper de Vil said...

Your hair looks great! I love it!

Alicia/InstantVintage said...

Welp, I'm glad she actually asked you instead of waiting for the baby to grow up. Now get some sleep!

Gem said...

Chanel: Same here, and I think this is the story of most of the young black female population. I felt like I was unplugged from the Matrix when I first realized that I was getting a relaxer, had been since about 7 years old and everyone else is too and almost nobody wore their natural hair! Crazy.

ChocolateOrchid: Something tells me she will use the routine I recommend on her younger daughter, but I suspect her feelings toward natural hair in general won't change--something to tame as early as possible, or else it's relaxer time.

Vesper: Thank you! I (and my hair) look so beat in those pics, lol so it makes me feel nice that you think otherwise.

Alicia: Me too and---wait a minute. I had a serious response to you until I saw you said "Welp". Now I just want you out. :-)

Desiree said...

I was wondering what had happened to you! School and work at the same time is a monster! And yet, you still found the energy to save (hopefully) a young girl from the pain/nightmare that is the chemical relaxer! Good job! :-)

Lina said...

Trust if I knew then what I know now about natural hair, styles and maintenance, and what the actual texture of my hair is, I would have NEVER, you hear me NEVER permed my hair. But you live and you learn.

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