Hello Brown Truth Tubers,
It’s been a really long time since I’ve had the pleasure of dousing you with my thoughts and experiences about natural hair. I do however have a reason; though, I should have never left you.
It’s no shock that life got in the way: my career (took many unexpected turns and surprises, my heart had run an unexpected course, and my hair grew to unimaginable lengths). Overall, in the interim, I got to experience what true growth (both natural and spiritual) really is when you’re on a destined path, especially if you embrace it with deafening ears to those who are too insecure to welcome their own.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned, and this was an unexpected one, is that accepting you, your flaws, and your failures is the best thing you’ll ever be able to do for yourself. To explain, life is so unpromising that waiting for perfect moments, hair length goals, scale milestones and a future husband can deter you from your destined existence…those moments that have been patiently awaiting your epiphanies to just breathe, or rather, for you to just do it…ultimately reveals that you should live instead of exist. We all should.
Last year a lot happened. But, the one area of my life that I had success, was on my crown. I had-before I’d even realized it-a head full of hair that grew beyond my expectations…all because I simply enjoyed it. The experience of being natural seemingly brought the laid-back comfort that I would soon start to approach the world with through fiery fierce eyes and mountainous heavy steps. Every step I took in focusing on what I loved about myself, unexpectedly took me closer to everything I would learn to love about myself that I once never liked. Once I had realized that my acceptance of my real hair (which is in my eyes a big deal, it’s always been a big issue since the world for so long has tried to tell women of African descent that we aren’t beautiful in any way, shape or form) had become the end all be all…my world had shed a new lens. I quickly saw that my already #boom personality I’d cultured throughout my entire life thus far had become #ThatBoom.
I know this debate on loving your natural self constantly goes back and forth between the arguments of, “…it really doesn’t matter” or “…it’s just hair…” still doesn’t convince many, but when it comes to me, experience wins; though it may be subjective, this is all it takes. I fell more and more into an abyss of happiness the more I realized how real I felt, and I’m not referring to just the physical realm, but the internal manifestation of how my soul now projected what I consider true beauty, which can only be released from an awakened real you. And not the you the world sees, but the you your soul sees. This isn’t to say that I ever presented myself as a fake to the world, but for me, it’s just something about really muting the world of all its judgments and listening to your soul and projecting that being you were meant to be.
The feeling I experienced as I walked out into the world everyday was irreplaceable. At first, I couldn’t figure out if it was the peace and serenity in knowing that now, no matter what, both the image and level of cognition that my soul now projected outwardly had become an unidentifiable substance of the world, basically meaning that my uniqueness could never be duplicated now. Only I could decode it. Finally. I couldn’t be touched by any negative thought or any irrelevant second-guessing because at some point along the way, without even realizing it, I just didn’t care.
In my mind, I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I just didn’t care (meaning, I now loved me and everything I stood for on a level so high that nothing no one said to/about me or did to me mattered; I was now my own rock, not just figuratively, but also literally, well in a sense. Along the way, my interest in a health style expanded into all things “give it your all”. I had reached a point in my life where maximizing peace and acceptance of self had become my own growth currency.
I know you’re thinking, what in the world does this has to do with being natural? Everything. The truth is, well, at least for me, becoming a natural almost five long years ago, was the eye-opening domino effect that would bring me into myself, the woman I am today.
Natural. And. Thankful for the view.
-The Brown Truth
Hello Brown Truth Tubers!
I’ve been away for a while but it’s been an extremely busy school year and in about three more weeks, I’m all yours again…to be free to write my blog posts and to continue the dialog on our bomb natural hair!
-The Brown Truth
“…Here’s to Being 30 Months Post Relaxer and Getting the New Nickname ‘Cabbage Patch Queen’ Because She’s (The Fro) is Getting Sooooooo Big!”
Sometimes…you just have to stop. Breathe. And take a break from the world. Right?
Well, what about when it comes to your hair? Do you continuously keep going through the motions out of exhaustion or do you take a chance on taking a break, and waiting to see how it can do you some good?
Though I have previously written about this topic, protective natural hairstyling, it really works and allows for you to not become overwhelmed. This is the reason, well at least for many of us, that we went natural…to aim for a healthier regimen right?
For me there was a clicking that happened simultaneously, I wanted to no longer have to rely on relaxers to manage my hair and as a matter of fact I didn’t even know why I was doing it. For most of my life I had been getting relaxers and I couldn’t even relate to the idea of being natural, let along explain to someone what it was.
The first time I saw my hair curl upon being wet it was like an outer body experience, there I was washing my hair and as it became wetter, it also became curlier…all I could think was “Wow!”…”I absolutely love it!”
Now, exactly 30 months to the day I decided I would never relax my hair again, I feel so blessed and relieved to have discovered such a world…a world where I not only feel confident and secure in my decision and experiences, but a world where I want to share it with others…a world where I can finally define what MY beauty truly is…and tell others what it is supposed to be according to well, just me.
Protective styling is an escape, a break, a way to come up with even more ideas of originality…NOW since being natural, I can almost be rest assured that no one else would hardly be able to copy off me at least all of the time…it gives me a chance to just live my life without worry and still be fashionable.
I don’t stress a lot anymore about anything hair related, I keep it very simple still and just try to bask in the path of my newly lived experiences as the newly noted “Cabbage Patch Queen” according to my older middle sister. She says, the longer my hair grows the bigger it gets and told me that I no longer am given justice from my childhood nickname, and that it was time for a remix, hence, she gave me the new nickname, “Cabbage Patch Queen“…
As of now, being noted as both The Brown Truth and Cabbage Patch Queen, I want to share a reminder of how crucial it is to have fun. I think it’s so funny that my sister fought for me to accept this new nickname she decided to give me…and who am I not to be open-minded. It is a good thing being open-minded as you embark upon this natural hair journey, I used to not be so sure why it was called a journey…but I have surely come to embrace the experience. I guess whether you think of it as a journey or not, it is definitely a lifestyle change that I plan on continuing for the rest of my life.
I feel at peace now, that I am finally me without any inhibitions. I hope that you can experience such a feeling one day as well if you haven’t already done so. I’m sorry I’ve been gone, but I’m back now!
Here’s to finally reaching 30 months post relaxer…here’s what I been up to for the last three months…:
…and here’s to the next 30 months!
-The Brown Truth a.k.a. Cabbage Patch Queen
Hello Brown Truth Tubers!!!
It’s been a busy beginning of the second half of the year. I just wanted to take a moment from my very all over the place life right now to share my current look, updates and words of advice:
She’s fine and have recently reached 12+ inches all around!
I finally made 27 months post relaxer, which means I am exactly 27 months natural…I do not count from my big chop start date…as I feel that can be really misleading as many naturals transition long before that…their length beyond the chop isn’t always the true length of that time span…SO…I am exactly 27 months past the moment I started letting my hair grow out of my scalp unaltered/manipulated!!!
It couldn’t be better! I love being natural…the beauty of my hair and my confidence shines right through!
***********************************WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT*********************************
Hang in there…time will become your best friend…meanwhile…back in your current reality, enjoy the real moments your hair is giving you right NOW!
***Until Next Time***
–The Brown Truth
Doesn’t it just make your day when you’re wearing THAT natural and another fellow natural shares a complement or has a conversation with you without ever opening their mouth-just eye contact-and yall be like-YEAH-without ever even having to say it.
-The Brown Truth
—I Am Not Even Going To Try To Understand It Anymore—
I sometimes find myself quietly annoyed at naturals/nonnaturals who constantly stop me or directly ask me how I have gotten my hair to be so healthy, thick, and so lusciously long.
I tell them: “I haven’t put heat on my hair for over two years”…”I haven’t put chemicals in my hair for over two years”…”I haven’t put color into my hair CHEMICALLY-BASED or NATURALLY-BASED for over two years”…”I do not do any style where I have to touch, slick, pull, or handle my edges constantly”…”I use a spray bottle to spritz a concoction made with conditioner, oils, and water every morning and night over my hair”…”I cover my hair nightly or whenever I lay down with satin or silk”…”I wear my hair in protective styles as much as I wear it out”…”I deep condition often”…”I trim only when my hair tells me ‘she’ needs a trim”…
Shall I go on?
Then, unsurprisingly after a few days, weeks or months…they come back and say, “Well what are you doing to that beautiful hair…or an update: “Oh, I haven’t started that regimen yet” or “I really need to try it” or “You know what, it’s not going to matter because you’ve always had long hair and it’s all genetic”…
“MAN, POOF BE GONE!”
-The Brown Truth
“I believe protective styling can not only be beneficial for growth…but also alluring.”
-The Brown Truth
What is the purpose of protective styling?
Protective styling is crucial for not only a natural, but also any women who has to wear her hair out into the environment. Having a style, any style rather, that shields your ends from being frequently exposed and touched will in time not only contribute to the continued health of your hair…but it will also contribute to the continuous growth of your hair as well.
If you are constantly touching, pulling, or styling your hair, this inadvertently causes friction and splitting to occur on your ends, which will eventually lead to breakage (which is the number one culprit to length retention).
How often should you wear a protective style?
Personally, I wear my natural hair in protective styling more than I wear it out. It’s a personal preference, and I often enjoy the exoticness of the types of styes I can do with my multi-textured hair.
I love the way I can do the coolest style ever-where my ends are protected and I am not constantly having to touch it-and it lasts for weeks…and still looks like I just did it, even while taking it down.
The only reason I usually never go past two to three weeks for any of my “homemade” protective styles is because I am keen on deep conditioning my hair-within that time cycle-faithfully. Never have I not deep conditioned my hair at least every two to three weeks; many times I am doing a hot oil treatment within that same time span.
Are all protective styles boring?
First, if the question as to whether or not protective styles are boring is on your mind…then…I am definitely the wrong person to be asking. I am pro’ protective hair everything. I absolutely love anything that contributes to the health and growth of my hair.
SO, with that being said…none of MY protective styles that I’ve ever done-since being natural-have EVER been boring…this is not up for debate. The proof is in the pudding…here is a snapshot of the different protective styles I’ve sported since going natural:
*Just a few examples….
Do they really help to retain length?
As a blogger, I must say that everyone seems to be an expect when it comes to the subject of growing long healthy natural hair by focusing on “length retention”. Well…I can only offer my experience and firsthand knowledge.
I will like to start by saying that my hair does not follow the estimated expectation of 1/2 inch of monthly growth. I have never taken any super vitamin or hairfinity, or any of those advertised products that advances growth.
What I have done is create a consistently effective regimen. In a previous post from a few months ago I spoke about simplicity and consistency. The main components of my regimen are: WATER, OILS, AND BUTTERS. It’s just that simple. With any style I do (because of the texture of my hair), I make sure that water is a consistent component from beginning to end, whether it’s used purely or as the primary ingredient in the products that I am using.
With that being said, I BELIEVE because of the simplicity of the natural components I consistently put into my hair, this is the reason my growth and retention rate is often much higher than the general estimation. I really don’t care if people claim it’s my genetics-and I am going to take the liberty of making this point: MY GROWTH AND RETENTION RATE WAS NOT AS SUCCESSFUL WHEN I WAS RELAXED, though I had long hair…it took most of my life to grow it-if anyone take the time to pay attention to the type of ingredients they are putting into their hair and being consistent with an effective regimen, they will find the optimum way of promoting growth and receiving retention; especially if protective styling is a part of that (depending on the texture, some naturals may need more or less of protective styling within their regimen).
Will You Run Out Of Protective Styling Ideas?
This is one of the most important questions to consider if you are on the fence about making protective styling apart of your long-term natural hair care regimen. I believe the answer is NO.
Our hair is versatile beyond belief. I have not repeated a protective style since going natural exactly 25 months ago. I have created and gathered styles on my to-do list that will fill up the next two years at least (…if I stick to my 2-3 average week range that I usually wear them). This is only from the list of ideas I have developed since this year along…and…I am still catching up with all of my ideas I have listed from last year. Now, keep in mind…I don’t solely wear my hair in protective styling 365 days a year. Sometimes I like to let her out to go free, the ‘Curly Fro’ of course…and many times I love to spend time doing the high curly puffs, buns, and flexi rod sets.
Obviously, I am in love with being natural…SO naturally for me I am finding limitless solutions and options. I must admit, when your heart is into something…it seems to be neverending.
Words of advice…
If I could tell you one thing about protective styles it would be to:
“…Use protective styling as an avenue for understanding patience and having more time for you. You’re going to be amazed at the creativity you find yourself amidst…and the ball of humbleness time has made you into…”
*Here Are A Few Pictures of my Freshly Finished Protective Style…Large Twists…
–The Brown Truth