African American women how do you deal with perming your hair?
Currently I perm my hair using Dark and Lovely but I know it's very toxic and I'm trying to find out if there are natural perms for our type of hair? I tried searching on the internet but can't find any alternatives. I thought about flat combing but that is a lot of work, I also thought about braids but that took my hair out the last time I had it done.
I really don't like my hair natural, is this my only alternative?
I'm not sure if I posted this in the right Forum. If this is not in the correct forum can someone move it to the right one.
LOL girl, you don't want me posting in this thread!! But no, I won't preach...promise.
Well, there are some so-called "natural" relaxers out there (try Googling in "naturalaxer" or something to that effect) but I've learned that even when they say natural, there's just GOTTA be something in there to make kinkier-textured hair straight, dont-cha-think?
I haven't relaxed my hair in about 5 or 6 years (GAH I don't miss that) but have you considered Sisterlocks? I mean, I understand that you're not ready to be au naturale with your hair and that's fine, many women are not for whatever the reason may be, but with Sisterlocks, you have the option of getting the locs SO THIN that it really does mimic relaxed hair in many ways, 'cept it's all your own natural hair.
If those are too steep for your pocketbook, then you can investigate (shameless plug coming up here) my ebook on Bradelocz (what I like to refer to as "The Permanent Braids")- www.herspecialhair.com (just locate Bradelocz on the homepage and click on, "read more") and I also invite you to visit my site where I document my personal journey from relaxed to natural hair to locs at www.naturalfreedomjourney.com.
But if you're not ready to where it natural (and free/out) and you don't want to continue to use the toxic chemicals, I think finding someone in your area...preferably a somewhat older woman or even gentlemen (maybe one of those old school hair dressers) who can press some hair and get it pressed so you don't have to do it yourself. Also, with getting braids, it's a matter of finding someone who cares about hair care and not just getting heads in and out...someone who will not braid your hair so tightly that you end up looking like Susan Taylor of Essence Magazine!
Thanks Rawkinlocs, I will look into everything you listed above. I am open to going natural but since I've never been all natural I'm having a hard time seeing my hair without a perm.
Oh TRUST me, I understand totally where you're coming from. If you want, I'd be more than happy to be a support to you off-list, you can email me anytime with questions, concerns, etc.
Also, check out this site/forum: www.nappturality.com - a WEALTH of info, support, etc. there!
Ok, I will keep in touch. Actually I'm the one that emailed you from Illinois, Regarding Raw food Cert Classes.
That was you for real? Wow...I had no idea!
Originally Posted by docsharp
Rawkinlocs gave some good advice already. My answer is: I don't perm my hair or use chemicals on it for that matter. I pressed my hair for most of my life and several years ago decided enough was enough. Pride and politics aside, I was sick of not being able to SWEAT (exercise, sex, hot weather, etc), swim, wash and wear, travel without equipment, and other simple pleasures in life. My life revolved around keeping my hair straight and my hair suffered. It was getting thin, broken off, etc. I have a fine grade of hair and it would had never survived a relaxer, even a gentle one so it was never a consideration.
I just wear it natural (not locked), but I rarely trim it so its bra strap length now, though since its curly, it shrinks when it dries so it looks shorter. If you're ready to go the natural route, Rawk gave you a really good website. I was a regular for quite a while and gained a lot of good info.
You peaked my interest when you mentioned that your hair is not locked but natural. I perm my hair now but my hair doesn't really require a very strong perm. I can leave it in for a few moments and get it straight. So, I have been tempted to go natural for a long long time. My problem is that when my hair is dry it's very frizzy and extremely dry. What kind of hair products do you use to keep it soft and manageable?
And of course, if anyone else has suggestions I'm all ears!!!
I am so happy and grateful now that I am my perfect weight of 145lbs.
For me, the key is to not use products or shampoos that have SLS or harsh detergents. I also stay away from silicons that can dry out the hair. I use Aubrey's Organics for most of my shampoos and conditioners. I dont shampoo often either. I also use coconut oil and shea butter on my hair. There are a few other brands (because I'm a product junkie I use but what I mentioned is key.
The only real beating my hair takes is from the sun. My natural hair color is dark brown, but lately the top is an annoying red/copper color color. Wearing hats is something I should do but really don't think about until I come home and my hair is orange.
Overall, I stay away from:
Sodium Laurel (or any variation) Sulfide
Artificial fragrances and colors
Things I love - besides products
Apple cider vinegar (mixed with water)
Aloe vera gel
I'm really thinking about going Natural myself but I don't like my hair to look fuzzy and nappy. Maybe going natural isn't for me yet. I just wonder if there is as way to go natural but still have it look neat.
I guess that depends on what you mean by "neat". ;) I haven't had a relaxer in my hair for more than ten years (maybe more?) I've been locked (2nd time) for almost 9 years & was natural with a relapse (in judgement I would say <lol>) for a few months in there. During that time I braided or twisted my hair, wore extensions for a bit, cropped it when I got bored, grew it out again & locked it (which is where I am now). My mom can't stand the natural look of her hair either. Too bad; natural hair really is beautiful! Sure our hair looks different from the norm in America, but it's perfectly normal for us! I'm so used to my natural hair that I think relaxed hair on me looks weird! <lol>
As for the neatness thing, I would say just keep up your chosen style regularly. When it's fuzzier than you'd prefer, redo it! :) Of course this is easier said than done if you don't do your hair yourself; I do & did - from locs to extensions & everything in between, though I did go to a barber to get it cut. Invest in lots of nifty hair adornment items - ribbons, barrettes, combs, whatever you call those clampy things that hold your hair up (I can't use them with locs) & have fun with your hair! Make a point of going to natural hair care salons for the occasional beauty day. Nappy is cool! But just like raw get support if you need it & learn as much as you can about your hair.
When I need a neat style (job interviews, etc) I wear my hair back in a bun. Its has its drawbacks because my hair is so heavy (long and thick). I was never fond of braids though I may wear my hair in two braids on my more casual days. The other times, I wear it in a loose ponytail.
I hope I can come to terms with loving my hair naturally. My husband thinks I would look just fine with my hair natural, but he agrees that he would hate to see my hair looking sloppy or dirty.
To be honest I'm not all that crazy about hair or doing hair but I do like it to be clean and somewhat decent. I would prefer to just get up and go and not worry about my hair all the time.
I've seen many women with their hair natrual and they look really nice and I've seen not so nice looking hair.
I'd love to come to terms with who I am hair and all. I'd love to be just as natural as I can be, but I think it will take a lot of thinking and sorting out what I know to be the norm and that's perming hair.
I've never ahd a problem being different but when it comes to hair that is something that will always stand out.
Doc, I SO feel where you are right now. I mean, I did not always love or even like my own (or other's) naPtural hair. I was the person who would look at a woman's head of long, down-to-her-booty dreads and be like, "Wow, her hair would be SOOO pretty if only it were that long and STRAIGHT!" or I'd scoff at a woman with natural hair and be like, "Why don't she perm that?"
Now, I can't even imagine ever straightening my hair again. But it didn't happen overnight...just like with going raw, it IS a process. We have a LOT of very deeply-ingrained conditioning to undo and it's definitely a mind shift to say the least. It truly does take time to "remove the kinks from our brains", as Marcus Garvey said.
I think a GOOD place to start is to obtain a copy of the book, "Hair Story : Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America". I was in awe when I first read that book and discovered some history behind why we, as African-Americans, began to desire straight hair and the lengths our ancestors went to obtain it. Did you know that the way it was discovered that sodium hydroxide lye (relaxers) made our hair straight was because the slave owners used to dunk the (I believe it was male) slaves heads into a bucket of water and lye as a punishment? That's just one of the eye-opening things I learned from that book.
But yeah, you can make your natural hair styles neat by getting them done professionally (until you learn to do them yourself if you choose to), keeping your hair tied at night, etc.
One of the reasons I chose to lock my hair is because of the freedom to, as you said you desire, get up and go! I wash my hair weekly and rinse it maybe a couple of times a week just to keep my hair moisturized. I can style them, curl them, put in an updo, or just wear it as-is. It's hard to believe that I ever thought of locks as "ugly", even the "neater" ones. But you'd be amazed at how much your mind shifts once you decide to embrace what your creator created you with and just take baby steps to get there. I have gone from wanting tiny, thin, highly manicured locks to a more "free-form" approach. But again, it was a gradual progression that took years to get to that level of appreciation of our hair after years of being taught/conditioned to hate it.
If you don't mind, I'd like to gift you with a copy of my ebook, "Her Special Hair". I can send it to you via email...just let me know if you don't mind me sending it to you. It was written with the intent to help non-African American parents who are raising African-American daughters, but I have had MANY women purchase it for their own hair. I think it may be helpful to you.