Today, like most Saturdays (or Sundays) is Wash Day…My other Natural Sisters know exactly what I am talking about.
- The Night Before: dividing my hair into four sections, and moisturizing the sections with coconut oil and Shea Butter. After braiding the sections into oversized plaits, I tie a plastic bag around my hair (due to the fact that I always forget to buy shower caps) and cover with a large headscarf until the next day
- The Day Of: I wash each section (mainly co-wash, but I do use shampoo once a month) then jumbo-twist each section. After the wash, I deep-condition my hair, dividing each jumbo twist into smaller twists. I let the deep-conditioner set for 2-3 hours. Depending on which week my wash-day falls on determines the style of my hair (wash-n-go, or mini-twists). Today is mini-twist day.
This is my Process (In summary). The full day of “Hair Care” that I put myself through.
Although our process or regimen may differ, the one thing that all Black women can agree on is that taking care of our hair takes time…sometimes a lot of time.
I remember being younger and wishing that my hair was straighter or looser so that it wouldn’t take much time to do. I always slightly envied other races because their lives seemed so much easier just because their hair was “easier” (in my eyes) to maintain. I didn’t appreciate my coils. To me, they were a burden.
All my life, I have always had thick hair. So thick, that there were those who didn’t want to do it, or wonder “who’s doing that child’s hair?”…until they dreadfully found out that I was their responsibility.
In my mind, if I had “better” hair, they wouldn’t have had those thoughts.
Although I have now embraced my hair, I still sometimes wonder why it has to take absolutely forever to do my hair.
…It’s funny because, while I am washing my hair thinking about all of this, I started to wonder what my ancestors thought about doing their hair…
Did they think it took time…or was it something that they took pride in doing?
The weird thing about me is that I like to think about how life may have been before colonization and slavery. I think about how the things that I, and we as Black people, were taught about our hair was irrelevant to them because “black” hair was all that they knew. I like to think of my ancestors wearing the most magnificent styles with their hair…and not worrying about the time that it took to do it. I honestly don’t think they minded.
I think that the negative associations and stereotypes of being Black has limited our patience with our hair…
I think now we want a quick style…because we were taught that everything was supposed to be quick, even with hair. We were taught that straight hair was better and neater and that natural hair was more work. We were taught that being natural was un-natural…so we lost touch with our natural self.
We were taught to hate the life that grows out of the roots of our scalps…when in reality our roots show us our roots as people…
I don’t think my ancestors hated their roots…
So why am I impatient with mine? Although I have “accepted” my natural hair…I obviously have more work to do since the time it takes to care for my Crown is questioned…by me.
I don’t think my ancestors questioned it…I’m pretty sure they just enjoyed the process…which makes me determined to enjoy mines.
Just a little something I thought of today… **sips tea**
Peace&Blessings from yesterday and beyond.