Many black women and men have tried to conform to society’s notion of “good” hair by straightening their hair with lye based relaxers and hot tools for almost two centuries.
For many years, it was considered normal to put up with the sting of relaxers and breakage caused by harsh chemicals and high heat.
Today more black women and men are refusing to continue to abuse their locks in the name of fashion. More people are embracing their natural beauty.
Sometimes it’s a cultural decision, while other times people may just be tired of the upkeep. Whatever is the basis of your decision to embrace your hair’s natural texture, making the transition can be a challenge.
If you decide you want to try dreadlocks but don’t want to wait for them to mature and grow, you can add human hair extensions or yarn to your hair. This is fairly easy to do. (One note of caution, if you use anything except acrylic yarn, your hair may lock into it. If you change your mind you’ll have to cut out the yarn and your hair off.)
Naturally curly human hair works the best since it is easy to place into your hair and lock. As you braid your hair add the extensions to give yourself the length you want. Next roll the hair and extension between your palms to form a lock. You can also roll your hair to form locks and skip the braids if you want. If you want to try the yarn method simply knot the yarn onto your hair and then braid it into your hair. Roll the braid between your palms to form a lock.
Another attractive option is twists. As the name implies, you take small sections of your hair and twist them. This is a very lovely short look. You could also wear braids or an afro. Either choice is an great natural look for men or women. Be careful, if your braids are too tight you may develop a condition know as traction alopecia. Traction alopecia presents as hair loss along the base of your braids. It is usually a temporary condition, but wearing tight braids constantly can make you lose hair along the base of your braids permanently.
With ethnic hair, it is important to keep it and your scalp moisturized. You can wash dreads and braids if you’re careful and use the correct products. Don’t wash your hair everyday since ethnic hair is generally dryer than other types of hair. If you sweat a lot you can rinse your hair with cool water to remove sweat and dirt. Oil your scalp after you wash your hair while your hair is still wet. Try to massage your scalp everyday to stimulate blood flow and the oil glads which produce sebum. Sebum keeps your hair from becoming brittle, and the increased blood flow will help your hair grow.
Ask your stylist for tips on transitioning to natural hair. Embrace your hair’s natural curl and texture. There is no such thing as “good” hair. Good hair is simply healthy, natural, and looks great no matter what type of hair it is.