Caring for Black Natural Hair
You know, it’s not all about having long hair. I am motivated to care for my hair because I am alarmed by it chronically breaking off.
Think about it.
If our hair grows about ½ an inch per month and we are at starting point (a) in January. Come December, we are still positioned the same, regardless of our best efforts.
We cannot get to points (b), (c), and (d), because we do not have the correct tools to move beyond a chronic-hair-breakage state.
The more annoying thing is that most black women are actually trying, but never moving forward. We have been moving in circles; and I am starting to get dizzy.
As black women, we have always been concerned with caring for our hair. In most of our conversations, hair care is not only discussed, but stressed, and obsessed about.
Although, we may not have been educated about how to prevent our hair from breaking, we continuously seek out methods to correct the problem.
Many black women, never learn appropriate hair-care-methods. So, we pass our bad habits down to our children. And yet again, the bad-hair-care cycle continue.
It is so easy to conclude that people need to read more books and seek deeper knowledge. But the fact of the matter is, many books on black-hair-care have only recently become available. AND-the few that do exist are only available for purchase online.
Back in the day, local book stores did not recognize a market for topics on black-hair-care; so they refused to carry them within their establishments.
No one was really concerned with getting to the root of the issue. Instead of acquiring an understanding of factual, scientific-based hair-care information, most people found comfort in taking the advice or friends, family members, and local hairstylist.
Most people prefer to be dazzled with quick-fix miracle products. The truth has never been as fascinating and marketable as elaborated, exaggerated lies and myths.
Have you ever heard the saying: the truth shall set you free. I would say become educated and informed so that you can gain a sense of control and power in your endeavors.
The more I research; and become knowledgeable; I try to connect the dots among all of the information. I have noticed that black-hair-care books were not available before 1990, which is when Cathy Howse developed her first edition of Ultra Black Hair Growth.
Here is a list of the books that nourished my hair care journey:
- Ultra Black Hair Growth II; Cathy Howse (1990, 1994, 2000)
- Grow It, CHICORO (2009)
- Don’t Go Shopping For Hair Care Products Without Me, Paula Begoun (2004)
- The Hair in Black Women, Dr. Neil Persadsingh; (2002)
- Black Hair Revolution, Yetunde, Betsy Bearden, Robert M. Henry, (2009)
There are many books far and in-between that I have yet to read; I am analyzing the books that helped me get through the beginning of my hair-care-journey.
I have studied scientific books focusing on the science of hair, also. but I am purposely mentioning books that specifically target black people’s hair.
Take note, most of these books are pretty recent. If you consider the time it takes for most people to read a book, give reviews on a book, and then finally share the book with a friend; then it is not that surprising that black-hair-care is JUST NOW starting to be under the microscope.
It is not surprising that black women are JUST NOW starting to get it RIGHT and retain our beautiful hair longer.
It is not surprising that we are JUST NOW beginning to learn our natural hair texture and understand how to care for it; and realize that it is amazingly beautiful, and versatile.
Not to mention, YouTube has only been around since 2005. Can you see how this is all a ripple effect? Can you understand why all of a sudden there seems to be so much information about black-hair-care?
Black people's interest has always been there. We have always cared about our hair. Unfortunately, the resources were not always accessible or even available.
Sometimes, I become overwhelmed by the amount of information available for caring for black hair, specifically-natural black hair. Now that black women are learning how to take care of their hair; and witnessing what their hair can do; there will be no turning back.
Those who are successful in accomplishing their hair goals will not be turning back to the damaging practices of abusing hair with chemicals, heating appliances, and other neglectful behavior.
A friend of mines while listening to me ramble on about my new natural hair care venture, responded with “This natural hair thing is just a trend, it will be out just as fast as it is in.”
I just wanted to flood her ears with all the information that was bottled up within me; instead, I just looked at her and smiled, remembering the days when I was in her seat, with her thoughts, with her fears, and with her insecurities.
Anyone who really understands what is happening would never proclaim that this is just a trend. Sometimes, I just want to scream DO YOU REALIZE THAT MOST BLACK WOMEN HAVE SHORT HAIR BECAUSE IT IS CONSTANTLY BREAKING OFF???
Why would we, once educate, once enlightened-turn back to abusive hair methods? Now, that is just stupid. The black women that I know are not stupid. They may have been mis-guided and mislead, maybe--but never stupid.
But the best part is: we are almost there. Healthy beautiful, long hair should not be a scarcity among black women; and it does not have to be rare.