So my third anniversary natural passed on September 19th without a peep from me. It honestly slipped my mind. A lot of things have been going on at my job of late so that explains why the anniversary went by unnoticed. Also, I’m just so used to being natural that it ceased being “weird” or “alternative to me a long time ago.
I’ve gone from this:
to this (as of May of this year) :
I don’t have a really strict regimen these days, as my life has gotten a little too hectic to have one. I still try to do a protein treatment and a deep conditioning treatment once a month (operative word is try). One thing about my hair that is an absolute must is that it cannot go more than 7 days without being washed. I can’t be one of those naturals that can wash her hair every two weeks or once a month. My hair won’t stand for it as my scalp will itch incessantly otherwise. It’s not a huge deal as I don’t spend an inordinate time on my hair on wash day as I neither have the time or the inclination. I didn’t want to stop spending 5 hours in a salon every few weeks only to start spending 5 or more hours doing my hair at home every week as I don’t want to be a slave to it. I have way more things in my life that I’d rather spend time on, so I don’t pre-poo, do all day or overnight deep conditioning or a couple of other things that other naturals do as they are way too time consuming. Many people think that caring for my hair must be this time sucking chore because it’s so coily and rough looking, but as I’ve stated in the past, it really isn’t. I’ve chosen not to spend an inordinate amount of time on it so that it doesn’t become a chore. It’s on par with showering and brushing my teeth for me. Basically, I use a lo-poo once or twice a month and co-wash all other times. I rotate products as I read years ago that if you use the same product for more than 90 days, it stops being effective. Right now, I’m loving the Shea Moisture Restorative shampoo. With co-washing, I rotate between Suave, Trader Joe’s Tree Tea Tingle and Curl Junkie Daily Fix. With leave ins, I rotate among KCKT, Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion and this new product I discovered recently, Nubian Heritage Repair and Extend Detangling Leave-in Conditioner. With stylers and gels, I rotate among SM’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Curl Junkie’s Honey Butta or the Coco Creme, Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha and Ecostyler. After washing and plopping my hair for about 15 minutes, I will put it into about 12 braids or twists and let it set overnight. As far as twists go, I often do three strand ones or flat twists as those give my hair more definition. I only do regular two strand twists when I want to do a chunky fro, which is about once every two weeks. I also did do a number of wash and goes over the summer, but with the weather changing, I may be doing them less often as I don’t like to leave the house with wet hair in cold weather. I do have a diffuser, but I’ve realized that I don’t like to use heat on my hair too much as it makes it too dry and it can feel like straw. I can count on two hands the amount of times I used the diffuser last winter. From start to finish, it only takes me about two hours to do my hair on wash day, depending on whether I’m doing any treatments to it or not. On other days, when I’m just retwisting or rebraiding my hair to preserve a set, it only takes about ten minutes. And there you have it.
To kind of illustrate how ubiquitous natural hair is becoming, I was grocery shopping today and as I was about to push my cart into the checkout line, this woman behind me exclaimed, “Hey! Do you remember me?”
My mind was a total blank. I could swear that I had never laid eyes on the woman before. So I shook my head.
“Well, I remember you. I used to work at Millenium salon (a beauty salon in my neighborhood). I remember Nikki used to do your weaves.”
I still could not place the woman that was talking to me, but I did remember the stylist who used to do my weaves. She moved back to Trinidad over 4 years ago and I remember not liking the two other stylists who did my weaves after her. I find it hard to believe that I would spend 5 hours in a salon getting those done every six weeks, even though it wasn’t that long ago. It’s like it happened to a complete stranger.
“Yeah. It’s a shame Nikki moved away,” I said.
“Who does your hair now?” the woman asked.
The woman smiled. “You’re doing a good job.” Then she walked away, bobbing her platinum blond fro to the music that was playing in the store. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she no longer even does relaxers or weaves or has started only doing natural hair. The revolution won’t be televised.