State of the hair address

My hair’s at the point where I just want to shave it off! It looks terrible and it’s because I don’t get excited at the thought of styling my hair: washing, weekly deep conditioning, and occasionally using a curling iron is all I can commit to. The rest of the time it looks really bad, as if I was raised without knowledge of what a comb or brush is. I wear a “satin” sleeping cap to bed and that keeps me from waking up with severe “bedhead”, and I use that as an excuse to do no more than take off the cap and head to work, often without even combing my hair. Really, I’m a mess…see for yourself:

I increased the time between relaxers to make my hair healthier (I used to relax it every 8-9 weeks, now I’m going 12-13 weeks between relaxers) and around the 10-week mark my hair looks pretty atrocious, with the new growth and old growth vying for supremacy. Obviously my laziness doesn’t help: I’m still waiting for a miracle where I can wake up and have hair that’s good to go. When my financial blessings increase (by God’s grace), I’ll commit funds to regular hair appointments for sure. I dream of having weekly hair appointments, where someone else washes my hair, deep-conditions it, and styles it—does anyone have a husband who’s taken on the task of personal hair stylist so I can dream of all that awaits me in married life? :)

My hair’s been relaxed since I was 17 years old and the reason I initially went the relaxed route is because I naively thought my hair would behave in that “wash and wear” style that my hair did not: I thought I’d be able to wash my relaxed hair, have it air dry, and have it move when I moved, so when I’d nod for example, I’d feel the gentle weight of my hair at the back of my neck. Hah! That illusion was shattered pretty early in my relaxed hair journey. I discovered that many of the Black women I had seen on television and in magazines with what I thought was swishy relaxed hair that moved were actually wearing weaves or wigs, or their ancestry included other groups of people whose hair was a different texture from mine. Oh the disappointment! Oh my naiveté!

So here I am, 16 years later, and with the exception of the braids I get done when I visit Nigeria, I’ve been rocking relaxed hair. I always love my braids, and I wear them for months here until they start looking really awful. My excuse for not getting my hair braided here is the expense: it’s crazy to pay $120 (or much more) for a head of braids when the cost for braids in Nigeria would be a fraction of that and in many cases the styles that would be done would be much more complex and so well done! Even though I know Canada and Nigeria are different, it still galls me to think of paying so much for a head of braids. But then I have to consider how long the braids would last. If that $120 gives me braids I can wear for three months, a style that would literally be wash and go, then it’s worth it. My hair will look perfect every day. I won’t have to think about how unkempt I look and for me that’s about as good as it gets. I wish I could be like my mom, sister, and other women who care about their appearance to the level of making an effort but alas, I think I was born without that gene.

My sister and I didn’t learn to braid hair, which is a shame because we could be helping each other now, and we’d also be ready for our future daughters. I’m starting to think I’m too old to learn but that’s just an excuse: when I have a little girl (or when I’m expecting one!) I’ll be more motivated to learn.

If I were to succumb to the desire to chop most of my hair off, I’d have other hair management issues (because I secretly—and perhaps erroneously—think unrelaxed hair requires more maintenance than relaxed hair). And what if I turn out to be one of those women who looks hideous (or mannish) with short hair (unlike women who look pixieish, feminine, delicate, and adorable with short hair)? The horror!

So where does this leave me? Searching for a stylish headband to mask the growth, one that doesn’t leave me looking like I forgot to take off my headband after washing my face or exercising. I’m also left twitching to get my hair relaxed while trying to see if I can wait until the first weekend of April to do it. I’m also contemplating braiding my hair, but I think I’d need to relax it first anyway. I almost asked a woman I saw on the bus yesterday if she could refer me to whoever braided her hair but I didn’t, so I’ll research that as well.

How are you currently wearing your hair?

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15 thoughts on “State of the hair address

  1. LOL. go to work without combing…now that is gangster.

    120 dollars is a lot of money sha for mere braids

    I also think unrelaxed hair requires more effort. but whichever the case relaxed or unrelaxed, they require effort for a healthy hair

  2. Oh don't feel bad at all! This is a WONDERFUL opportunity for you to go natural! Don't hesitate to shave your head, you won't regret it.

    Natural hair isn't more work, but most people with relaxed hair never learned how to take care of their natural hair so for this work for you, you're going to have to learn how to take care of your natural hair properly.

    The sooner you learn about your hair thoroughly, the easier and more pleasurable your natural hair experience will be and the faster and healthier your hair will grow.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

    I'm so happy for you!!!

  3. Haven't had a perm since April of last year! Its been braids braids braids…hair out in some weird pseudo natural/relaxed hair style and then back to braids braids braids!

  4. I am wearing my hair in curls at the moment, haven't had it braided in a long time. I would say last year It cost me about $180 to get my hair braided in Senegalese twist. It's quite expensive to get hair braided in the states. One can get it for less if you go to just anyone, but this African hair salon in my area is the best thing ever, I knew they had to be the one to get my hair braided.lol Still expensive but the hair was fine! I no go lie.

    @GNG

    Girl! I can imagine how you felt this morning with your hair like that. I am tempted to tell you to relax the hair knowing stretching it too long can cause more weak ends and lots of growth that hair becomes very hard to comb.

    I fully understand when you say that being natural is harder to maintain, I respect women who are natural because I myself cannot be fully natural. My hair texture is stubborn , very hard to manage when not relaxed.

    My best tip for you is to :

    1) Give the hair a perm, wait like 2 wks…then go for a protective style like a weave or something like braids.
    2) Do some research on hair shampoo, oils, conditioners,…they can make a world of difference in how soft , strong, healthy your hair will be
    3) Massage hair often, drink lots of water , fruits and vegetables
    4)Wash hair every 3-4 wks, don't leave weaves or braids in for a long time as they tend to break hair
    5) Try a protein treatment every once a month to enrich hair and add to its fullness
    6) Have a daily supplement or viatmins to allow for new hair growth

    A lot of people say using Castor oil, Shea butter oils, tea tree oil is great for keep hair nice, healthy, soft . I would suggest coconut milk for hair and coconut oil to keep hair moist, grow nicely. Also peppermint oil to stimulate hair follicles…all organic

    Well, I know how you feel…Goodluck! I know it can be done.

    Ync! (Sorry this post is long, my apologies).

  5. Hmmm, have you tried checking out some of the videos on Youtube for ideas of how to take care of your hair? You can try and search for people who are transitioning from relaxed to natural hair and how they hide their new growth/work with their new growth – since you are kind of at that stage, although you intend to relax it.
    I personally wear my hair in dreadlocks – really small tiny ones – I have about three hundred. I retwist them myself, color it myself (jet black), etc. When I get tired of them, I simply cornrow them and sew in a full weave. Has been working for me.

  6. oooh a hair post. i love hair! First things first, don't cut off your hair…'cos it looks like your issue is not an "unhealthy hair" issue but a "maintenance" issue and specifically you are not too interested in the work it takes to style and do new things to your hair. My recs:
    – you could try wigs, especially since they have all these cute lace front ones
    -weave
    -cornrows…they are cheaper than braids. If u do end up doing braids, note that they shouldn't be your permanent style or u will be at risk for losing your edges
    – pack your hair in a bun or buy a faux bun
    -you can roller set or even better do a spiral set on your hair. spiral sets are smaller curls so wlll last longer.
    -have a low cut. You can test that out by seeing if you like your face in a bun/pulled way back

    good luck!

  7. We have the same predicament. I have frizzy, unruly and unmanageable hair. The only difference we have is that i don't often undergo hair relax or any hair chemical treatment. As far as i can remember i have to rebond my hair once a year or over.

  8. i vowed to stop wearing weaves a while back and have been weaveless for five months now so its just braids and relaxed hair for me. i swim once a week so i have to take extra good care of my hair. my regime when my hair is in braids/cornrows is to use castor oil on my scalp twice a week and it has worked wonders so far it really does help your hair grow. I use normal shampoos(even what would be called caucasian hair shampoo) but always deep condition and treat with Henna Wax treatment (it doesn't colour your hair) plus i use a leave in conditioner before blow drying or setting my hair when am out of braids. I always use a leave in conditioner before going into the pool coz of chlorine. Castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil are all good for your hair especially the pure liquid ones because they come in their natural form

  9. oh i forgot to add one thing this i got from my Ethiopian friend i have tried it and it's great. After shampooing condition your hair with NATURAL (not flavoured oh) yoghurt you can leave it in for 30mins or more and then wash it out. she leaves hers in for upto four hours as she is doing other stuff and then washes out makes your hair healthy and glossy! also good for your face and washing lady parts lol this i got from my Arab friends (works the same way as lactacyd based feminine washes do)

  10. In a few weeks it will be a year since I cut my hair. Like sugabelly said, if you've relaxed for a long time, you don't know how to take care of hair, and that's me. And it's even worse where in Nigeria I could walk into a salon and have my hair wash and set for like $10. Even now, I'm still struggling with styles for my natural hair.

    I settled for the Organic root stimulator Olive oil brand and thank God my hair is naturally healthy so I don't have to do much to it. When I get tired of the Afro curls, I blow it out, corn row and use wigs when going out.

    All the best with your hair.

  11. compared to mine your hair ia amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL I am exaggerating but your hair looks good o. I am praying for a bit of your hair and then I'll pray for the next level. I am tired of it!

    PS: from the little I can see, you have good hair line and a hair cut should fit you too..

  12. 120 dollars is decent. bear in mind you'll be getting salon treatment, not someone braiding on a chaiir outside.

    As a salon owner it is very annoying when 'our people' come and start pricing. I''m trying to maintain a standard here, this is not a junkyard project. Can they not see the light is on? There's taxes, electrcity and wages to be paid, not to mention the hours. I mean, do you see anyone pricing down what you make at your job (not you, but people who do this) Most white salons will charge $40-60+ an HOUR for hair appointments. Braids can take all day so even if you were divide by this rate it's a good price. We need to stop comparing to 'home prices'.

    If we wanted our hair done at home for such a good price, we're gonna have to buy a ticket to get there first, and there's not even the opportunity to price for that, lol!

  13. oh, and I usually relax my hair. Thought about transitioning but think I would get frustrated with the process. Maybe one day though, never say never.

    ps love your blog

  14. Oooh your hair does not look bad at all. What you can do is around the 10th week mark where it starts to be a little frizzzy, put it in rollers, after a proper deep condition or wear your hair in a bun more, Wear a half wig/wig. If you oil and wrap your hair every night, no matter how 'due' it is for relaxing, it would not look bad. There are youtube tutorials on how to wrap her properly.

    If you do desire to go natural. When I was 'transitioning' i had my hair in weaves and braided it as well. I did 'pick and drop' a lot and its a quick and nice style. And no you don't need your hair permed for braids. I know a girl that does braids in Ottawa for 80$. hollaaaa!

    Also no lies, Natural hair is a little bit more work, especially if you think relaxed hair takes work, It will be difficult because unlike relaxed hair where if you are too lazy, you can just perm and have it looking decent, with natural hair you HAVE to do things to it to have it look right.

    Holla me for the girl I know that does braids tho. :D

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