January 13, 2011

Confessions of A New Natural - You've Got Mail

Check out this story from a reader:

I just wanted to say how glad I am that you started this bog, despite the negative remarks you may have received. As someone who is fairly new to being free from the “creamy crack” (I’ve been clean for 2 years!), I have truly benefited from your tips and suggestions.  In effort to embrace my natural look completely, I recently visited a salon in the Washington, D.C. area, which shall remain nameless,
in hopes of receiving instructions on how to get the look I desired. I was told, however, that I would not be able to wear the curly style I anticipated and my best bet would be to continue to wear it straight. In so many words, she told me the curls I came into her salon with looked a hot mess and that my hair would “never curl” the way I wanted it to.
I asked about braiding it or doing a two strand twist but even that was met with a look of disgust and a slow head shake. Needless to say, I was disappointed and more than a little embarrassed. I felt defeated and wanted to give up my natural hair journey completely. After all, what was the point of going natural if I’d be subject to the same limitations I had, with respect to style, when my hair was relaxed? I was basically talked into getting my hair flat ironed.  Sitting in the chair after my shampoo, I immediately knew something wasn’t right. She was struggling to comb it out, a problem I have never had, and was making comments about how much hair I have and how thick it is. I politely asked if she used either a wash-out or leave-in conditioner and she said “No, I shouldn’t have to use conditioner to comb through your hair.” As my students would say, “She treated you.” I never understood that phrase until that moment! I felt like an idiot, with nappy hair no less! I wondered if my regular stylist in was having the same problems with my hair but never had the guts to tell me.
As she talked me through her steps and showed me the products she sold in her salon she was using, I could smell the alcohol, a drying agent, in just about all of her products and knew I wouldn’t come away with the silky hairstyle I was used to. I was disappointed but when she showed me the finished product my disappointment turned to shock. It appeared that she only focused on the top layers of my hair. I ran my fingers through, just to be sure, and my shock turned to anger. She didn’t straighten the back (“kitchen”) or my sides. Upon further investigation I found that she only actually straightened the parts of my hair that were visible at all times. I was so angry I couldn’t even say anything.
On New Year’s Eve, I decided that incident would be the last time I let someone talk me into doing something I didn’t want to do. I’ve been a people pleaser for much of my adult life and I can’t keep up with others’ expectations of me anymore. I will turn 30 this year and I plan to make some major changes in my life, starting with my hair! I decided to give the curly look another chance, this time with a couple of product recommendations from Curly Chic, and see what happens.

I washed my hair with Mizani PuripHying Shampoo and used Mizani Moisturfuse Conditioner.

I then used It’s A Ten Leave-In Conditioner
parted my hair into 6 sections, and braided it using Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue on each section. Then I used a little Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste (say that 3 times fast!) to smooth down my edges. I tied my scarf on and let my hair dry overnight. When I woke up the next morning I poured a little Moroccan Oil in my hands, lightly rubbed them together, and with some oil still on my fingers, I untwisted each braid carefully pulling out each section. (The Moroccan Oil, by the way, smells AMAZING!) The result, a curly hairstyle I was proud of. 

Could it be better? SURE, there’s always room for improvement! But I walked into the building Monday morning with my head held high. I gave myself a pep talk and vowed that no matter what people had to say, I wouldn’t stop trying to find a regimen that works. To my delight, I received tons of compliments!
 I’ve decided to wear my hair curly the rest of the week so after work I’m going to find some cute accessories that will help me “jazz up” my look. My goal is to see how long I can go without straightening it and see how long it gets. I’m committed, I’m determined, and I’m finally doing what I want to do regardless of the nay-sayers. 2011 is off to a great start and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings!

1 comment:

kaydensmum said...

That's terrible. She saw your hair, how could she have felt good about letting you walk away from her chair like that!?!?

Silver lining is that you came away from the experience with more confidence in your ability to do your own hair and you'll only get better and better at it.