Sunday, August 18, 2013

A stranger asked me a question: "Is it racist to use the term Nappy Hair?"

Nappiology dfw, a local Non- profit that celebrates and educate on "Nappy Hair" 

I love this shirt for a few reasons, primarily because its comfortable!! Most of the time I forget what it reads. Saturday my hubby and I decided to tour our own city... (that was a great idea btw, we should do it more often!) 

Clyde Warren Park In  Dallas

As I was waiting on my food at one of the food trucks I was approached by  a male of the opposite race, and he carefully asked me  "I just want to know, is it racist to say that someone has Nappy Hair or to use the word Nappy?"   I must admit I was a bit caught off?? Until I remembered what I was wearing! 

  It's funny because this question wasn't as clear cut to answer for me as I thought it would have been? I knew that I really could not answer for all black people with this hair texture?  So I said, "I guess it depends how you say it and why you said it? Only you know what your motives are for using the word. I also said, it also depends on who you say it too!"  I also went on to describe to him what our hair texture really is as it grows out of our scalps. Many people have  misunderstood our hair type, even us!  I told him its a real hair texture and not something that is matted and not groomed or maintained.

Pomp and Pony

 I rarely  use the word "nappy" to describe kinky or tightly coiled hair, but I also don't really have a problem with the word. I do know that a lot of African Americans do have a problem with it, and many in the Natural Hair Community do not.  So I believe this is why I wasn't sure how to answer him initially. 

I believe the origins of the word is racist.  However, many African Americans use the word to define "bad" hair or naturally kinky hair also. So its almost like, we can say it, but they can't?(sounds familiar) Idk just my take on it. 

Twist out

When I was growing up it was definitely considered negative in our community and in our homes.  And as an adult I've experienced it as being negative but not necessarily racist.  Now days, with the ever growing natural hair movement among African American women,  it has caused people to look at the word a lot differently. Many are embracing the word "nappy hair", but at the same time I know the word still brings up hurtful memories and negativity for some and they don't want their hair referred to as "nappy."  So when unsure I  wouldn't use it to describe any one's hair but my own.  

So, How would you have answered this curious stranger?          

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Using heat to help manage my natural hair

blowout,flat-ironed, dry rod set

Can yall believe it? I flat ironed my hair twice in the same year! Not only that it's August? and I live in Texas!   So I have to explain why I did this. I've decided because of the length of time it takes me to detangle, re-detangle, and detangle again I will start blowing my hair out about once a month and use the flat iron once a month to help with tangles and single strand knots.  Of course I've been dealing this entire time and there are techniques that get me through my hair safely. Its just time consuming.  

The longer my hair gets I don't really have hours and hours to spend on it. So to keep it healthy and to resist the urge to rush through which will result in breakage I am going to give this a try.  I have an ultimate length goal of MBL to WLish! And I believe if  I'm going to get there with this texture,  I need these tangles and knots minimized! 
Shot of hair prior to a detangling session(prepoo applied)

  I have noticed with my natural clients that use heat maybe 3 to 4 times a year, that their hair is a lot quicker and easier to detangle. No tangles No knots, yet their hair is still textured.  It is my goal to keep texture in my hair in order to still wear my favorite style, two strand twists!!!  So I know there is a careful art to using heat to loosen some of the kinks. I've thought about this for about a year now, but have been a chicken about it because I am so anti heat damage and have been my entire journey!  I've always been afraid of my hair not curling or kinking back up in certain places due to flat ironing.  But I have learned a few things so I am not as afraid of heat as I use to be. With this session I prepped my hair with a protein deep conditioner & my hydratherma naturals moisturizing conditioner mixed them! (steam conditioned). Added a leave in, hydratherma moisturizer, and hydratherma naturals growth oil, mixed with safflower oil as a heat protectant. Then started blowing out my hair on a low heat setting. Purchased a great ceramic iron, set the temp to 375, used safflower oil again. I did 2 passes with the iron 3 in some areas where the ends were really knotty.  The next time I do this I will probably lower the temp even more, because my goal is just to lightly use heat to smooth and make my hair easier to style without the tangles. I don't want my hair bone straight.     
Started removing my curls from the rod set in pic 1

  So right now my hair is still straight even though I have been dying to add a ton of moisturizer to it. I couldn't resist adding moisture to my ends and as a result they have started to frizz and curl. So I just plaited my hair all the way to the ends so I wouldn't get knots.  So that is it! I wanted to check in to let you ladies know where my journey is trying to take me!  My four year nappiversary is coming up Sept 27th!  My hair is the healthiest and longest its ever been.   I am really excited with how this journey is going.  As you can see there is still more to learn the longer you are natural. I've never stopped learning. Often times you will have to adjust with the changes in your hair as it grows. Don't be afraid to make healthy adjustments to your regimen that will help you go the rest of the way to meet your goals.   Yes, you are going to hear a lot of  do's and don'ts and won'ts and nevers, even from me! But in the end you will have to listen to your own hair and do what is working for you, and stop doing what isn't working! It's as simple as that.  You have to deal with your hair, you have to wear it out, and you have to be happy with it. So make it work for you! 

Welllll Until Next time ladies!!! I will be keeping you posted!