I am ashamed to admit this, but I have relaxed my daughter’s hair before. Her natural texture is very thick and coarse, and I just didn’t know of any other way to manage it. But each time I slathered that “creamy crack” onto her new growth, I felt like I was doing her a huge injustice. As it turns out, I was.
Let me start out by saying that I am not ashamed of the texture of her hair. I see little girls out and about with similar textures, and it’s beautiful. But the mothers of those little girls apparently knew a whole lot more about managing their hair than I did. No matter what products I tried, Thing One’s poor hair was always dry and brittle. I would talk about this problem to anyone who would listen, a plea of sorts for any information that would help me make my daughter’s hair presentable. Just about every person I approached suggested that I wasn’t putting enough “grease” on her hair. Other people would suggest Lustersilk’s Pink Lotion (which I hate, by the way).
I finally had the good sense to stop using a relaxer in her hair, and let it grow in its natural state. How can I possibly teach my daughter that she is beautiful both inside and out if I am constantly trying to straighten her kinky hair, as though there’s something wrong with it? I felt a whole lot better once I made the decision to stop putting chemicals in her hair, but I still had the issue with dryness. I can’t tell you how much money I spent on products that claimed to be the best thing out there. My bathroom cabinet was full of half-used bottles and jars of moisturizers that just didn’t do what I needed them to. Out of sheer desperation, I turned to the internet. Why wasn’t that my first step, instead of the “ethnic hair” section at Walmart? I have no excuse.
Many sites pointed me in the direction of products like Kinky Kurly or Miss Jessie’s. I ‘m sure they are wonderful products, but I was just sick and tired of spending my hard earned money on moisturizers that whose only purpose in the end would be to suck up precious storage space in my bathroom. After scouring some natural hair care forums, I came across a few different recipes for homemade moisturizers. I took a little from each one and came up with my own: 1 cup of pure aloe vera juice and 1 cup of distilled water. After washing and conditioning Thing One’s hair, I use a wide-tooth comb to detangle. Then I spray my aloe concoction on her hair until it is thoroughly saturated. Afterwards, I rub some extra virgin coconut oil through and let it air dry. After using this method for about a month, I can honestly say that her hair is much more manageable, doesn’t break off as easily, and looks healthier overall. It’s easier to style and her braids look much neater. She doesn’t complain about having an itchy scalp anymore, which is a big plus.
Working my daughter’s hair in its natural state is still sort of a work-in-progress. I am sure I can improve on what I am doing. I have no problem with tweaking things along the way, and experimenting with new styles. I will keep you all posted, and pics will follow soon!