“Don’t remove the kinks from your hair…Remove them from your BRAIN!” – Marcus Mosiah Garvey
I love my hair. The relationship I have with my hair is representative of my personality, character and how I sometimes interact with others. Temperamental. Sometimes attached yet able to sever ties in an instant… with or without provocation. Love today, disdain tomorrow. Neat on the occassions that I become thoroughly obsessed with seeing my parts and my scalp… or when someone else that I trust can handle the task. Other wise, laid back, easy like sunday morning and irie like a nyah!!! It has been four years of growth, pun intended, and dysfunction.
While I wish more women (of all ethnicities) would embrace their natural hair for all that it’s worth, I also know that just because you may not choose to wear your hair natural does not mean that you haven’t embraced it, or that you don’t love it.
So I decided to start the NAPPY chronicles because I want to get excited about my hair again. The hair that I love that I am sometimes convinced does not love me back. It ‘s like the marriage we hope to never have. The wedding : exciting!… the honeymoon: fantabulous!…. the marriage: a) shit… who the hell is this guy? b) i want to shoot myself c)I want to shoot him. When I first started I chronicled every 1/4 inch; I researched like I was writing a thesis for a Ph.D. in natural hair; I new every solution to every natural hair problem at every stage. Nowadays, life has come into play. I will toot my horn and say that I do still consider myself a guru in locstyling innovation. But my admirers will tell you that I have fallen off. So I want to keep myself inspired and keep you motivated because contrary to popular belief, natural hair is not easy. NO HAIR IS EASY… EVEN WHEN IT DOESN’T EXIST.
How you choose to wear your hair is your choice, whether you throw some chemicals in there or not, just do you. If you prefer a weave, do you. Whatever you do just wear it well and with confidence. While you are doing you realize that your hair is still your hair underneath all the changes. If you can embrace that, thumbs up to you. What rubs me the wrong way is for e.g. a friend of mine who has gorgeous natural hair, which she chooses to stick a weave in (sometimes running her up to $300 or more) because she can’t deal with her natural hair…. BUT SHE HASN’T EVEN TRIED!!! (arrrrgh)
But this. . .This is a serious situation. Natural hair gurus and loc experts across the globe need to convene over this.
This = the lint in my locs (in case you couldn’t tell from the title)
This morning I hopped up out the bed took a look in the mirror said, wassup!!! At that moment I found that I could NOT turn on my swag because in the midnight blue lowlights in the unique anatomy of one of my longest locs I saw what all loc heads loathe. (enter perilous theme music from horror movie soundtrack). LINT.
Lint in locs is the accumulation of dust (minute useless pieces of fibre) particles from your linens, clothing, the air and life. Yes… even in the cleanest head of locs it will reside and when invisible on the outside it is probably holding your lock together on the inside. What makes it worse is that dust is attracted to static electricity… it’s been a while since i did physics but I’m sure it has some thing to do with the proton neutron electron thing. Hair is pretty good at conducting static electricity. Humans are pretty good at conducting and creating static electricity… if you ever dragged your behind on the cloth seat of the car and sparks flew in your attempt to close the door, despite your claims it was not because you are hott and electrifying. Really it wasn’t. Anywaysssss moving on….
Then…my obssessive personality popped out, grabbed the tweezers as I have countless times before and started to go to work. From far away this lint gives depth and dimension to the artwork that is each loc. That is the “positive” of this deceptive little nuisance. But close up… in the mirror, and eager to continue the process of turning on my swag which had been abruptly halted by keen eyes and idle hands, nothing good could come of the lint discovery.
So like before, I went to work. I think I blacked out I was so focused! I teased the loc all the while having a nervous breakdown in my head. How did this happen?!?! WTFreak!! I ran through the list:
- I tie my hair down AND put on my Boyardee night cap every night… ok not every night but most.
- I stay away from petroleum based products and beeswax and all the extremely greasy lint magnets.
- I stay away from supper sheddy head gear made of angora or wool or knitted
- I wash my hair
- I moisturize with light naturals
- Clarifying shampoos
- rah rah rah
- ray ray
But the only thing that could keep lint away from my locs was if I lived inside a bubble…naked. So I trodded on in determination til I was left with 3 weak spots in the same loc… frayed, teased and frazzled. I had been through this before. And just like I did before, which happened to be after I cut a bunch of locs for different reasons, I took it like a woman and knotted my baby up. Knotted those weak spots to simulate the girth of the loc. Knotted because I would not be able to turn on my swag if I let my third scissors happy personality chop off 6 inches of my loc!Then it occured to me that this lint was a metaphor for life. Some of the BS we wish we could get rid of has had a major role to play in us becoming the unique individuals we are today… for better or worse. Whether you dwell on the BS, ignore it, bury it in your subconscious, or tweeze, fray and tease it out, it still has a lasting effect. However small it is a forever mark, indelible and invaluable.
While this may not have been the most encouraging of posts to aspiring loc heads, I believe it is only fair that you should know the truth. Just like you need to know that if you relax and color your hair within less than two weeks of each process their is a high possibility your hair will break off… you need to know these things. And there are more, many more… less daunting than lint. In upcoming chronicles I will share my favorite resources for hair care, tips on styling, care etc.