Many Black women who, to paraphrase Mississippi civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, “are sick and tired of being sick and tired of” dealing with straightening their hair are going natural, but it ain’t no walk in the park. And we know that Ms. Hamer got her hair “did.”
Thankfully there are women who made the hairrowing transition who are ready to help bring their sisters over through instruction, advice and understanding on variety of Web sites, blogs and YouTube channels and videos.
The struggle over the hair on the heads of African-American women begins when they are small, as mom says, “SIT STILL GIRL,” while she holds a curling iron. The hirsute battle escalates when the same young lovely’s hair is treated chemically, first at many mothers’ insistence, and later by the young woman herself, because the older and younger women say it is “easier to deal with” when the kinks are tamed.
The result: beautiful hairdos, but often no memory of what your hair looked like before it was “relaxed,” and suffering locks that have thinned or broken due to what may be decades of chemical assaults.
And most Black women, from first lady Michelle Obama to your female relatives who range in complexion from alabaster to ebony with all grades of kinkiness on their heads, are on a continuous hunt for appropriate shampoos, conditioner and other lotions for their locks.
There a number of women sharing their experiences as they document the journey from relaxed hair to natural locks. These include Alicia Nicole Walton, who created an online salon for hair therapy chats, and Kim Love. Her Kimmaytube channel is a three-year YouTube sensation.
Their motto might be: straight hair today, natural locks tomorrow.
(Photo: Wendy Yang/Landov)