You and Your Hair’s Relationship
Growing up a young African American child in the 90s, I’m pretty sure you have a few stories to tell about your hair journey. As do I. Overtime our latest hair trends have changed but styles from back in the day are still flourishing.
We all have those embarrassing childhood photos from our past thinking to ourselves like “what was my mother thinking?” From personal experiences, heartbreak, confusion and trust issues, you and your hair are in a life-long relationship.
In any relationship, what you give is what you get and your hair is just the same.
You can’t expect to have healthy hair if you are not properly taking care of it. Luckily because of recent technology, our hair issues live on behind us. There are a million outlets for hair questions or concerns you may have that we never had access to before during childhood.
Hair products and inventions have been created to keep your hair healthy even if you want to wear extensions. Take this time to unwind and reflect on what mistakes may have transpired during your childhood with your hair. Learn what you can do now to prevent those things from happening again.
My Personal Experiences
My childhood hair was hectic growing up. I remember as a child, my mom had no clue what she was doing because she hadn’t had any experience in hair like many women I know.
So what do you do when you have a child who has very thick natural hair, and you don’t know what you could possible to tame this monstrosity? Well, a few things happened. When I was between the ages of five and nine my mother paid a friend of my brother’s to keep my hair braided up every two weeks.
No, not box braids, but single plaits with my real hair. I could just die right now thinking about it! I never liked the style because I felt like I resembled a little boy.
In my later years, from childhood to adulthood, I realized that my hair was very healthy using this technique because every two weeks my ends were clipped and my hair was washed, conditioned and moisturized.
The Cry for Creamy Crack
When I say beg, I mean I was crying for a relaxer.
All the girls my age had one, and I wanted to have straight hair like them. In the 90s it felt like nobody was concerned with natural hair. What’s considered to be beautiful natural hair now was once ugly nappy hair.
My mother’s biggest concern was finding a stylist that promoted healthy hair and making sure my hair wouldn’t fall out after the relaxer. She finally met a woman who was a Godsend when it came to hair.
I got my first relaxer when I was 9. My hair was already beautiful, but now everybody could see my length. I even got more attention from friends to where I finally felt popular.
Just like my braids, my mother had me in the shop to see my stylist every two weeks like clock-work, getting ends trimmed and deep conditions for a healthy scalp.
Don’t get it twisted, you can have healthy flourishing hair with a relaxer, but in recent years modern hair technology has proved you can achieve the same look with a blowout or extensions minus the addition of chemicals on your real hair.
So from the age of 9 to 15, I relentless kept my hair relaxed and healthy, until I made one huge mistake!
We all know that high school brings out the exploration in pre-teens and teenagers. I always wanted to experiment with my hair not having a clue in the world of what I was doing, so the damage began.
I loved my relaxed hair and side part, but I started to feel peer pressured when the girls around me had extensions and clip-ins for longer lengths.
My Investment in Hair Extensions
Now I wanted longer hair because I wanted to fit in.
In high school, my parents would give me an allowance every other week, and I would use the money to invest in hair extensions from Sally’s. I was unable to braid and sew, so my best bet was a glue-in right? Wrong!
I go about adding extensions to my hair by parting my hair and gluing in an extension and repeating this process all the way to the top. The result was gorgeous, it looked like my real hair, but taking it out was catastrophic.
Even an oil adhesive didn’t work. It helped me remove the tracks but combing it out is what caused immediate damage.
After seeing how much of my hair came out, I continued to add the tracks because at this point I needed them to add fullness to my hair.
Towards the end of high school, I started to gain an understanding of what healthy hair truly meant. I have to thank my guidance counselor for that one because she suggested I take up cosmetology.
It was a two-year program during my junior and senior year that was free. The only thing you had to pay for in the end was your license if you successfully passed your state board.
Coloring Hair in College
At the age of 18, I went to off to college in a different state and from this point on my hair was my responsibility.
Talk about the peer pressure of high school; college is a whole different ballgame. I started playing around with the idea of color not knowing the do’s and don’ts of coloring, and it turned out to be an epic disaster.
During my sophomore year of college I wanted to go blonde, so I bleached my hair and over processed it. However, that wasn’t my only mistake. In my estranged brain, a week after bleaching my hair, I got tired of seeing my new growth and figured I should just relax it to lay my hair down. Applying this chemical on top of chemical turned out to be an epic fail.
As I began to wash the relaxer out of my hair, I saw huge chunks of my hair in my hair and cried like I never have before. Clearly, in high school, I didn’t pay attention to my cosmetology teacher when we went over bleaching because I had no clue I wasn’t supposed to relax my hair shortly after lifting it.
At this point, I had to call over a male friend of mine who was a barber and asked him to complete the job and cut my hair off completely. I had a fade like a boy but enticingly loved it. And I no longer had hair problem because I didn’t have hair.
Two years later being natural my hair grew back to full length. I can honestly say I appreciate my hair journey because it taught me how to take care of my hair properly.
Hair Trends from the 90’s and early 2000’s
Like I stated before, hair trends have changed over time, but we are starting to see them come full circle in recent years because what are considered to be old school hairstyles are now the latest trends.
For example, in the 90’s, braids were all the rave! They never really went out of style, but today you see braiding styles such as lemonade braids that hang to the side and up-do braiding styles that get recognition as if we didn’t have those same exact braiding styles back then.
Other hairstyles that we all use to love during childhood were flat twists, ponytails, Bantu knots, Poetic Justice braids and so much more. All these styles previously listed are all styles we rocked as kids and pre-teens.
These are the same exact styles I witness today at my local grocery store or shopping mall. What we need to remember is no hairstyle goes out of style, and you can wear any hairstyle that best suits you at the right time.
My Hair Has Broken My Heart One Too Many Times
In life, we all experience heartbreak in one form or another but have you ever been heartbroken with your hair? It sounds crazy but very real.
You know what I’m talking about, those times where exciting experiences have happened with your hair and you’re just not sure if you can do it anymore. Sorry for you but you can’t just leave a relationship with your hair because it’s yours and it isn’t going anywhere.
The only thing you can do at this point is to learn the likes and dislikes of her hair. Take the time to figure out what works best for you to provide the nourishment to your scalp you may need.
If you suffer from a dry scalp and continuously have dandruff, research some solutions on products that help moisturize your hair.
If you suffer from hair thinning, look into the many hair care products that promote hair growth.
If you are having issues with bare edges, there are products for that too. Nobody can genuinely give you exact products to use because specific products don’t work for everybody.
If you want a healthy hair relationship, the best thing you can do is invest. You are going to have to purchase these products and give them a fair trial before deciding on what works better for you.
By fair try I mean, you are going to have to follow instructions precisely to guarantee sufficient results. If you can stay committed, don’t waste your money on products you are going to use efficiently.
All in all, if you’re willing to correct your hair to your liking, options have been provided to your leisure.
Modern Hair Technology
What do you think of when you immediately hear the word technology?
I think of computers, cell phones, and televisions. Sometimes people don’t know that’s just about electronics. Modern technology is an invention made to better society, something we didn’t have before.
So I want to tap into some of the latest hair inventions created you can use at your disposal. From childhood hair to adulthood hair, keep in mind my most significant factor in this whole article is healthy hair.
If you are anything like me, you enjoy your weaves and extensions.
However, I wish someone correctly taught me how to add extensions to my hair without the unnecessary damage. Good thing someone came out with the lace closures!
They’re affordable and I don’t have to worry about my hair sweating out at the gym! What can get better than that you ask? Nothing at the time, but then they came out with frontals.
They are God’s gift to earth, but closures are very affordable when you don’t have enough to invest in a frontal.
A frontal installed the correct way; this protective style will have this hair looking like its sprouting straight from your scalp.
Another great thing about a frontal is being able to part it however you desire. I am always indecisive about what part I want to get for my sew ins.
There are two types of frontals:
Each frontal helps you to achieve any virtual hairstyle you want!
Inventions like this were created to keep you from tampering with your real hair. No heat damage or processing your hair for a straight look. Wish I had this back in high school!
Social Media Helps
I may have suggested you try new products on your hair to help with particular hair problems you suffer from.
Although, in this generation, we google everything. I’d strongly advise you to use social media as a go-to guide to search for your hair care products. On Google, our searches come up with the most known products you can get over the counter in stores.
And though those products may work, try digging into a product you can’t get in stores. From personal experiences I’ve found that products purchased online may have more quality.
You may be asking “ok, how do I find hair care products on social media?” I have got the answer for you. Hashtags are life in the social media world.
You can find pretty much anything on social media using hashtags. Instagram and Facebook are full of hair care product pages you can gain access to with through hashtags.
You can use words like “haircare, breakage, damaged hair,” business pages will come up for you to reference too. Take a look at the pages and see if they may be able to help with your hair problems.
Check out the websites for you to view and see the prices that are affordable for you.
When Adulthood Hair Reflects Childhood Hair
Although I look back on pictures of myself during childhood, thinking ‘why did I choose these hairstyles’, I’m so grateful for my journey.
It’s like breaking up with your hair and falling in love again. I am happy I acquired my cosmetology license because it taught me how to keep healthy hair. Still, I am no guru, and I am learning with every hairstyle how I could have possibly done it better.
I am always on myself about getting my ends trimmed, deep conditioning, and moisturizing properly.
During my childhood, I didn’t think about my hair is healthy, I thought about the result.
It may have been pretty, but I didn’t realize the lasting effects it could have. Being an adult, most of us live fast-paced lives. It is hard for us to stop and indeed take care of ourselves. But if you want healthy hair, you’ll take the time to do it the right way or find a local trustworthy stylist.
If you’re not willing put in the work, don’t waste your money on items you aren’t going to use.
For growing, flourishing hair that you’re willing to invest in, I am sure you will ultimately be successful. Today I stand firm on my healthy natural hair. And I’m happy I learned from my childhood mistakes from playing in my hair.
Now it is time for you to learn from them too!