Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Considering the T word

For the past year or so, I've been trying to simplify my life and be more green. I really care about the earth and I want to be as healthy as possible. I truly believe that the reason so many people get cancer and other diseases is not just from genetics, but the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we use. That includes hair products! I am slowly eliminating mineral oil, petrolatum, parabens, phthalates, hydroquinone, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) from my regimen, but I'm thinking I need to completely eliminate them asap. My mother, grandmother and aunt all died from cancer and I'm trying to be one less (like the commercial!).

As I go through my hair journey, I've realized that 1) Relaxers have been damaging my hair since I was 14, 2) If I do want to live a simpler/healthier/greener life, relaxers are a huge contradiction, 3) Although I haven't seen all of my natural hair since I was 13, I think my new growth is actually pretty soft and manageable, and 4) I'm tired of paying and relying on and being a slave to a hair stylist every 8 weeks only to be disappointed with the health and feel of my hair.

Sooo, I am seriously considering...dare I say...transitioning to natural. Okay, I wrote it and I've said it out loud twice. Now it's out there in the universe and I have to make a definite decision. I've been reading Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Became Too Ruff by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner and The Black Woman’s Guide to Beautiful Hair: A Positive Approach to managing Any Hair Type and Style by Lisa Akbari (I recommend both!). Although I was somewhat aware of my hair attitude before, I now realize that I do feel a certain way about being natural. Since I was little, I wanted my hair to bounce and shine and be straight like the white girls I saw on tv. I don't think any different of other people with natural hair, I just always thought that it wasn't for me. I'm pretty conservative in my personal and professional life, and I thought that having relaxed hair was the only way to keep my hair neat. Well, I was wrong, because I've had a lot of bad hair days that didn't consist of neat hair. Nappy does not = bad. My hair is nappy and I have to learn to live with it. It's the hair God gave me and He doesn't make mistakes.

I printed out some positive affirmations that I taped to my bathroom mirror. I will praise my hair every day, no matter what style it's in.

If I do decide to transition, I need to have a goal, make a deadline, sacrifice/work to reach my goal, and have a plan.

On a side note, I went to the outlets today. Being the product junkie that I am, I walked into the hair product outlet store. They had a lot of KeraCare products. I've been wanted to try the Humecto Conditioner, and they had bottles for $10.25 (vs. $27 or more in other places). However, I read the ingredients and what do you know, there's mineral oil in it! I thought about it for a minute, and put the bottle back. Remember, I'm trying to be one less!


Margarida539 said...

yay for wanting to transition! I really think it's one of the best things you can do for your hair...especially when you see how much stronger it is compared to when it was chemically processed. :) good luck in finding products that suit you! also, try not to go crazy with ingredients. i went through that (being super picky with ingredients), and i feel i've turned neurotic. some are avoidable, where as others aren't so much. ~Colleen

Ms. S said...

Yay to transitioning! My sister is natural. Sometimes, that's the only way people can tell us apart-- I have relaxed and she has natural hair. I tried it once but didn't last. The 3 years that I was natural, all I could do was wear my hair in braid extensions or the kinky twists but my sister comes up with all these cute styles!

I have learned from watching her that being natural does not mean less maintenance. Actually, she curls and twists her hair almost every night. And she still go to Liz's every few weeks for a trim, treatment or style.

Also... so what did you think of Liz's??? I hope it was a much better experience than the Dominican salon I referred you.