Friday, November 18, 2016

Change is In the Air As I Unlock My Hair!

It has been a while since I have posted so it's time for an update.  First of all, I wrote a new book that I am very excited about!  It is entitled: "Health Disparities, Diversity, and Inclusion: Context, Controversies, and Solutions" .  The release date is 2/16/17! My book, which has been a labor of love, is about the health status gap between Black (and other people of color) and White people in the U.S. along with an exploration of diversity and inclusion. Other social injustice topics are explored including, mass incarceration (of men and women of color), food injustice, educational disparities, the school to prison pipeline (K-12 children) and important concerns regarding women, immigrants, children, rural and urban environments, and other current, critical issues. The focus of the book is not solely on problems, but SOLUTIONS in every chapter. 

It was a labor of love as I wrote for over a year, finally getting the manuscript to my publisher, ahead of schedule, before I headed off for a well-deserved travel experience with my husband. I think you will find my summer travel interesting as it will include many installments. The first piece is about our last destination on that trip, which was New Zealand.  That was a fantastic experience!

Hair Changes 

During our summer-long international journey, my husband and I went through what we call, "hair changes." He decided to grow out his hair, rather than his normal short cut, so that he can interchange between braids and his fro.  I, of course, braid his hair and did so throughout our summer trip. This all started because we realized that his father has never gone bald, so therefore, the genetic possibility of him going bald is very slim if at all.  I told him that I think his hair is a natural gift and a luxury and why not just let his beautiful hair flow.  He definitely was feeling that idea and decided to go with it.

I decided, simultaneously, to end my 25-year lock journey.  I realize that emerging out of locks is a slow process, and I am not sure how it will actually happen, because I am going for it naturally, of course.  I just decided not to twist my hair anymore and let it grow from the root. So, I will share with you how that is going.

My Unlocking Steps:

1.  No twisting;
2.  Letting my hair grow from the root;
3.  Washing and conditioning with thick, creamy shampoos and conditioner;
4.  Brushing daily with a fairly firm brush;
5.  Moisturizing my hair and scalp with my home made, oil concoction and leave in conditioner;
6.  Style by braiding remaining locks and creative updos;
7.  Never, ever cut any of the remaining locks but allow them to thin out and fall off, if that happens.
8.  Never, ever twist the locks;
9.  Sleep with a silk scarf every night;
10. Use Henna for extra conditioning when desired.

The results so far are fantastic! First of all, my locks are still hanging in there which I love, so the goodbye to them is gradual.  Also, my hair is growing beautifully and thick from the root, which has created very nice length overall.  Some of my locks have broken and fallen off, but that is ok.  I lovingly let them go as I understand that without the twisting and nurturing, it is hard for them to remain as some thin out and just let go.

The question that I have asked myself and I'm sure others will ask is why, after 25 years of having them, have I decided to let go of my locks? The answer is that I'm not sure.  It just happened.  I just looked in the mirror one day, at my beautiful locks, and decided, I want something different and new. I decided that I want my strands of hair to be free flowing and that I want to feel the texture of my hair from the root, all the way to the end so that on some days, I can just wake up, wash, condition and go and let my hair do what it pleases. Also, it is a positive, interesting journey for me.  When I started my locks, I cut off all of my hair and let my hair grow from the root and then I locked it up and let it grow.  Now, this time, I'm letting the same process happen, without any cutting, but instead of locking my hair as it grows, I'm just letting it grow freely, just like my husband is doing with his beautiful fro.

I'm excited about this process and will share as I get further along with growth and no locks but for now, there is not much to say except that Change is in the Air, As I Unlock My Hair!  All that matters is that I maintain my commitment to the fact that Natural IS Cool Enough!