Wednesday, June 8, 2011
As we know, gas prices are extremely high. Many, who value their hair, spend a great deal of money to keep it looking good because it is important to them. Often times, people see their hair as a reflection of their outward personality. However, given a published unemployment rate of 9.1%, high gas prices and an overall tough economy, many people are cutting back financially as a matter of practicality and in some cases, survival. So, how does natural hair come into play during these tough financial times? The answer is, beautifully! The great thing is that maintaining your hair naturally is cost effective. There is no need to involve any outside parties in taking care of it, thus eliminating the cost for such services. You can wash and style your own hair, naturally, and look beautiful as a result. I have not allowed anyone to take care of my hair in 20 years and I'm very proud of that. I wash it, condition it, twist my own locks and I use natural products, with an eye towards keeping the costs low for products, for every occasion. Truthfully, there is very little fuss in taking care of my hair. I find that 100% shea butter is my favorite moisturizer because it keeps it soft and shiny. My only concern, at this time, is too much growth. As the summer begins to hit us hard, having long locks is some times a bit heavy, literally, but I wouldn't trade my locks for any other hairstyle as it is a mere matter of choice for me and so when the need arises, I just cut them (although rarely). Mostly, I just twist them and style them accordingly.
On that note, recently, I was at the gym at the University where I work, minding my own business and sitting in front of a mirror, twisting my hair, since I washed it, after a vigorous swim. There was blow drying going on all around me, spraying of hair from aerosol cans and all kind of hair primping activity. A woman who was using a curling iron on her mid-length, blonde hair looked over at me and said "you should be careful with those braids because you can get a form of alopecia (a form of hair loss) from constant braiding." I was a bit taken aback that she had the audacity to enter my peaceful hair twisting process with unsolicited advice and that she was inappropriately considering my hair as braids instead of locks (although I think braids are beautiful too). Nevertheless, I responded politely with a quasi smile and said, "first of all, these are not braids, but locks, and secondly, I have had them for twenty years and I understand how to handle my hair carefully so that I don't twist too hard." She then proceeded to walk over to me and look closely at my head, presumably to determine if I had braids or locks. I looked at her, now indignantly, and then said, "by the way, I think you should pay attention to how much you blow dry and curl your hair with that hot curling iron. It can be very damaging to the hair and then to add insult to injury, you follow by using a curling iron and then probably hair spray will follow correct? I wonder what you would do if the electricity went off" I added further. "Well, I do let it dry naturally sometimes" she said rather defensively. I smiled and said "O.K." with disbelief in my voice. She walked away and I went back to my peaceful twisting hoping for no further interruptions. On my next work out day, I saw her as I walked by in a towel, headed to the shower, with my locks hanging down my back." She was blow drying her hair and averted her eyes so as not to look at me and I just giggled softly. I know she heard me.
I recalled the conversation that I had with her and as I showered I thought about how wearing my hair naturally really does allow me to take care of it with care and a true understanding of what it can take and cannot take, ensuring that I do not twist too hard or put undue strain on it. I reflected on how I never have to blow dry or use hot electric appliances on my hair and how I search for inexpensive natural products that are gentle to my hair, or make them myself, from natural items that grow from the earth and that do not have a harsh environmental impact. In these rough economic times, keeping my hair natural helps me to keep the costs associated with caring for my hair extremely low, especially as gas prices (and costs for other necessary commodities) continue to increase and that's N.I.C.E....another reason that I know that Natural Is Cool Enough!
Posted by Patti Rose at 10:57 AM