So for those of you who haven’t noticed, I’m a “natural” or a “naturalista.” A few years ago, I decided to stop chemically processing my hair to make and keep it straight. I basically made the decision to let my hair grow in naturally and let it do whatever it does.
There is a learning curve to this (as you’ll notice in my forthcoming novel Bobbing and Weaving) and it’s taken some time to learn exactly what to do with it. After all, the hair and beauty industry is slanted toward a particular standard, and my hair (or skin, or body type) does not fit that standard. So I had to learn from my peers. Three years of trial-and-error and I’ve basically got it figured out.
When I talk to other naturals, a lot of them spend an enormous amount of time on their hair. With my current regimen, I can spend about 5 hours in one shot to fix it, and not have to worry about it at all for three weeks. But I’ve heard stories of some people who spend entire weekends holed up in their houses doing their hair. People who spend more than an hour on their hair EACH DAY. People who spend hundreds of dollars on pre-poos, post-poos, shampoos, cowashes, leave-ins, leave-outs, rinses, colors, dyes, and other products (and groceries!) just to achieve a particular look. They flat iron, crochet (yes, crochet braids are a thing), thread (yes, African hair threading is also a thing), wrap, roll, twist, tuck, braid-n, braid-out, and everything else to make sure their hair is on point.
In the words of Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody got time for that.
I’m a professional writer and editor. This is how I make my living. I also have a family to take care of. If I did all of that every day, or even every week for myself and my daughter, I’d honestly never get anything done. Granted, I’d probably never be able to leave the house, as I’m very un-talented with styling my hair. It’s a wash-and-go, puff, or two-strand twists. That’s it. Nothing fancy here. In order to get any writing or editing done, my regimen had to boil down to keeping it clean, moisturized, and neat. For me, anything else is just being fancy. I’m not really very fancy.
Granted, I do know a handful of natural women who can have multiple styles done and their hair on point and get a lot of other things done. They are supremely talented in that way, but I am not. Because I don’t have those talents, I have to simply keep it moving. After all, publications can’t edit themselves.
Does your hair regimen keep you from doing other things? Why or why not?