Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hair and... Politics!?

I do not view going natural as a political statement, because frankly, I do not care about politics. I believe that politics are fake, and that they only portray into the media what they want the masses to believe.
I went natural for two reasons. For one, I was sick and tired of society's view on bashing black women who did not keep their hair straight and 'manageable', and secondly, I already had a passion for 'naturalness' my whole life but I didn't really know it yet.
I got tired of buying lotions and hair creams that 'didn't work' for my hair and skin because they were full of chemicals. I would complain to my sister about commercial lotions that we'd buy and use, and the next day, we were so ashy, it was as if we put nothing on at all. 
I would get utterly frustrated when I got a cream for my hair, lather my hair in it, twist or braid it up, and the next day, it would be as dry as the Sahara Desert. When I did get perms, I only got them every 4-6 months, so I was pretty much wearing my hair natural and curly, anyway. I went to college with my hair still wet a lot, and people called me 'white girl' because my hair was long and wet, and still looking good, even though it was damaged. So 'big chopping' after transitioning for two years wasn't hard for me and it wasn't a hassle. 
I did, however, have to learn how to really take care of it, and that's what I continuously do today.
The rise of natural hair products has definitely made me feel better as a black woman, knowing that we no longer have to succumb to buying crap in the stores because that's all there is. We can wear our natural hair as we have been so afraid to do for years and not have it break off due to overuse of parabens, sulfates, and petroleum.
Going natural is like going on a choosing a healthier diet; you cut out a lot of the bad things, but you have to learn what healthy things you should substitute for and put into your body as well as how to care for your body. You can't just say, I want to eat healthier but I'm not going to research how to do it, so you continue to eat the same way and not exercise. Sorry, not going to work. You won't get anywhere anytime soon with that kind of mentality. 
It may seem that going natural is harder than being relaxed, because in a way, it is. Everything that we are supposed to be doing right is automatically going to be harder. That's just life. We were born natural, so taking care of our curls is what we were born to do. Growing your own food will automatically be harder than just going to the supermarket and picking up any type of food you want with no hassle, because that's the way the world was originally supposed to work. We've just gotten lazy over the centuries, and we don't want to do any more work then what we are allotted to do. Constantly spritzing, detangling, moisturizing, twisting, parting, and styling seems to be harder than just going to the salon for a relaxer every six weeks or so, but that route has it's share of hard work as well. 
Technically, your hair may require more care with a relaxer than our natural curls, only because the chemicals wear our hair down, but hey. Either way you rock your hair is still work to look nice and be as healthy as we can.
Natural hair maintenance can be super hard work, but it's worth it, ladies! Peace out till later, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~