All of these questions weigh infinitely heavier on me when you couple them with the fact that I am a bum. Well not a total bum, but I do tend to bum out on things when I feel I have something more important on my plate. Don't get me wrong, hair is important ("hair is a woman's greatest accessory") but what happens when...oh I don't know, you have a 10 page research paper due for class next week? What happens when you're finally gaining traction on that clothing line you've been designing for 5 years? When you get that promotion at work and your hours increase? When your boyfriend comes over more often? When you're taking more time to volunteer with your church? What happens when, oh I don't know, life becomes kind of interesting and you can't spend 4 hours before bed every night massaging your scalp and "deep treating" your ends? Are Black women forever relegated to that back of the Pretty Hair Bus if we don't spend infinite amounts of time (and money) on our locks?
Call me rebellious, call me lazy, but I simply refuse to spend exorbitant amounts of my time on my hair anymore in the hopes of achieving hair greatness. Back in August, in my "Think and Grow Fabulous Hair" post, I prescribed myself the following plan:
- Track my progress obsessively
- Tie my hair up every night or at least sleep in a silk pillow case to deter breakage
- Continue to wash and style my hair when it's parted into four sections for less breakage and easier manageability
- Keep hair inspirations nearby in either a physical or online scrapbook
- Use natural products
- Use Henna regularly
- Style my hair using the Twist n' Curl method to promote growth
- Get a support system! (i.e. naturallycurly.com hair forums)
In a nutshell, I totally fell off from that plan. I wrote it because it was the best distillation of everything available online for natural haired women that I could come up with. Now that I am thoroughly exhausted with "doing my hair", I've stubbornly decided that oodles of effort is not what it takes for a Black woman to have nice, natural hair—especially if she's got other things to think about. My new plan is as follows:
Track my progress obsessivelySpend time on my hair when appropriate Tie my hair up every night or at least sleep in a silk pillow case to deter breakageSleep in a satin bonnet cap—it's easy and it works on a myriad of hairstyles Continue to wash and style my hair when it's parted into four sections for less breakage and easier manageabilityWash or co-wash my hair whenever I feel it needs it (generally every 3-4 days) Keep hair inspirations nearby in either a physical or online scrapbookWhen I see nice hair, I'll mentally note it and keep it moving Use natural productsUse products that work (Raw Shea butter, Aubrey Organics Shampoo and Conditioner, and Kinky Curly Leave-In seem to do just fine) Use Henna regularly(Henna was way more hassle than it was worth...more on that in another post) Style my hair using the Twist n' Curl method to promote growthI like Bantu Knots—they take 10 minutes, require no heat, tools or supplies, and look great when you take them out
- Get a support system! (i.e. interact with people with nice hair who actively pursue other goals so that I don't sucked back into the "do your hair" vortex)
So I don't know, maybe I'm a lunatic and will fail miserably with my new "set it and forget it" approach to my 'fro, but since I've been actively "doing" my natural hair for 6 years with pretty mild results, I think a more hands off plan is exactly what my hair needs. We shall see...
How are all you naturals fairing with your quest for great hair? Is a certain amount of time on your hair required? Let me know by leaving your comments below...