They’re all going to laugh at you…

Rihanna and Chris Brown concert, Brisbane Ente...

Rihanna and Chris Brown concert, Brisbane Entertainment Centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post is for the sister sitting at home contemplating making the change. She’s sitting in front of her computer looking for videos, blog posts and comments for encouragement to do something she’s been wanting to do for quite some time. “Why doesn’t she just start the process and see how she likes it?” says the avid reader of OohMyHair.com. “Do what makes you feel good girl!” they continue to shout at the computer as they’ve thought about a few people in their personal lives that seem to be going through the same thing.

We know it’s hard to believe in a world where Rihanna, Amber Rose and India.Arie exist and thrive that there are still women afraid to make bold hair moves in 2013. Nobody on the staff can stand as a judge, because we’ve all been there. To the sister that’s searching the web high and low trying to find a way to make that first step, we say, bust a move!

There are so many resources and far more sophisticated products available now. Consider those of us on staff that started this journey when the only people who were available to help were people who smelled funny and made up words like the inmate character that Daman Wayans played on In Living Color. A few posts back we talked about some of the bad advice that was, and still is, floating around the once small community. There were times that some of us had so much product doused all over our heads that had there been an open flame nearby a situation would’ve arisen. We say that to let you know that even though this journey has had some not so fun times, the joy that you find in learning to deal with exactly what you’ve been given and love it is indescribable.

Push past that wall of vanity. We still deal with perception and confidence issues in the back of our minds, especially in the “Corporate world”. However, the moment you realize that the styling that needs to take place is not on top of your head but inside it, you’ll find that the most important factor in this decision is your own personal happiness. In later posts we will discuss some of the health risk factors that may aid you in deciding to take the leap towards natural hair, but today it’s all about you feeling sure and knowing that there is nothing abnormal about taking your time.

We wish you luck, but even more we ask you to stop by every now and then and pick up a few tips and funny stories even if you decide that natural isn’t for you. As always, please ask questions when it stops making sense. Enjoy!

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That Kind of Hair Day

English: Erykah Badu; Live in Bruges, Belgium ...

English: Erykah Badu; Live in Bruges, Belgium – 2006; (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nobody is exempt from a not so easy to deal with hair day (we’re trying to avoid “bad hair”). No matter your texture, curl pattern, color or length, sometimes our hair just refuses to comply. Here’s a few go to looks, sure to counter cantankerous tresses.When in doubt, wild it out.

Lucky for all of us the Bohemian look is in right now. On the days that nothing will tame your hair, use some type of ornament (headband, flower) and rock it with confidence. Nothing says I meant to do this like adding a finishing touch. This should be reserved for the weekend if you’re not able to get some professional assistance.

Tai Chi the Situation.

Try not to fight your curl pattern on these days. Try to put your hair in the most calm state possible. Condition, rinse and style. Notice that I did not suggest shampoo. Unless you’ve switched to a sulfate free product sometimes shampoo only makes the situation worse. This is the technique that you read about on other blogs and websites called Co-wash. During this process massage the hair rather than rough manipulations to allow your texture to reveal itself. When you’re ready to rinse don’t completely remove all product, leave some conditioner behind to help keep your hair pliable. Part your hair and two-strand twist it down while it’s wet, make the twists the size that your hair will roll into easily without much tension. You can air dry and wear this style for a day or two and continue to add moisture, once it seems that your hair has calmed you can take down the twists and wear your hair curly. You’ve turned one difficult hair day into two great styles.

Walk away from the scissors.

If you feel like your ends may need to be clipped call in the Pro’s. There are some people who will tell you to go through your hair and clip your single strand knots, but for days like this keep the scissors out of your hands until you return to a more comfortable state. This feeling has led many to secondary and tertiary big chops all over the world. The problem that many of us have found is that the problem increases from uncooperative hair to ends that won’t curl down. If your regular stylist is not available, go to a mall salon and get a deep conditioning treatment. You may discover that there’s no need to cut and you’ll most likely walk away with a style you can live with until you get a better idea.

Scarf styles.

There are many ways that one can wear a scarf. This is not the time to get your sleep scarf and head to Wall-Mart only to end up the subject of another blog. We try to keep a few pieces of nice light  decorative fabrics around to play with a few looks. Some of us here at OohMyHair.com go for the Erykah Badu look, while others go more T-shirt bun India.Arie. Be creative, there are some fabrics that are thick enough to make the African headdress look that was so popular in the 90’s. Remember to line your scarf with satin (do this also with your hats), no need to lose moisture while you’re taking some time out to think of a new style.

Above all else carry your head with confidence. Even Oprah’s had some not so great hair and she’s got a team dedicated to just that. Don’t beat up the mirror or curse your ancestors, just own this moment (because it won’t always be like this) and strut your stuff. Take what could have been an Eww my hair day, and flip it to an Ooh my hair day.

As always ask questions when it stops making sense. Enjoy!

The first week after the big chop!

Lauryn Hill at Central Park

Lauryn Hill at Central Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Congratulations! You’ve taken a large step into this journey and you decided it was best to dive in head first. Depending on your curl pattern you may be experiencing straight patches and flyaway hair. If you conducted the ceremonial ritual at home, there’s a chance that you may need professional assistance soon. Some of the questions that I’ve encountered from people in this stage include:

Why doesn’t it look like an Afro?

Why isn’t it even, even though I keep chipping away at the stray pieces?

I love the curl when it’s wet, how can I keep that when it’s dry?

Answers:

This is the week of discovery. Freshly cut ends on any texture of hair need some time to settle. Increase your water intake, grab some Biotin and be patient. If you have the curl pattern that will produce a stunning Afro as pictured, this is where you pay your dues.

Try not to clip at the stray hairs, until your curl pattern starts to really reveal itself, which will probably be this time next week.Then it’s time to select an approach. The nightly care for hair that’s long enough to twist or braid includes moisturizing the hair and sectioning it off into braids to retain the moisture, the more you chip away, the more difficult that process becomes. If you’re not comfortable roughing it out, this may be a good time to get a braid style. Be mindful of the tension put on your hair. Some braid stylists, even now that natural is popular, put additional stress on the hair because it may appear to be difficult to manage. A professional will be sure to analyze your hair prior to attempting a style to be sure it is executed in a manner that does not compromise your hair health.

This is the time to observe your hair, your curl pattern is not ready to be diagnosed yet. I suggest holding off on purchasing an abundance of products until you see what you can come up with as naturally as possible. A whipped Shea butter product from a trusted Shea Processor will provide light-weight moisture which allows your hair to breathe and come into its own.

Hopefully this puts some of the first week jitters at ease. Leave comments and feel free to send questions. I’m here to help.

~Margaret Ellen