Sorry I haven’t been on my hustle this week, y’all. I’ve been fighting off a cold. I’m at about 75% right now, so instead of staying up till 2 in the morning writing Afrobella stuff, I’ve been drinking Nyquil and passing the hell out before The Colbert Report. Sad but true. I have lots of stuff to write over the weekend, so keep your eyes peeled for a new Afrobella of the Week (I am sure some of you will find her a surprising choice), new product reviews, and yet another shout-out to a legend of yore. For now, without further ado, let’s get to another Ask Afrobella.
In this case, that’s a misleading title, ’cause Afrobella asked Motown Girl.
Lots of you are going through transition issues, and asking questions about specific hair types. In terms of figuring out whether you are a 3C, 4A etc… yeah, that all seems baffling, right? This link explains it all. I think I rest somewhere between a 3C and 4A. Let’s call it a 4A +, ha ha.
Brittaney Asks: I absolutely adore your site! But if you don’t mind, could you give me some advice? I have been struggling with my hair for as long as I remember. Right now, I am letting the relaxer grow out, so my hair is two different textures. Do you have any suggestions as to how to wear it or how to make the relaxer-to-natural process more smoother? Anything will be appreciated.
And Tracie Asks: Hey Ladies! I am just beginning transition from relaxed to natural. I have 3 months of new growth to contend with and I am looking for some guidance, advice, inspiration, pics, links, basically anything that can inform me on how to treat and create the curl in my new growth. I have not had the big chop yet because I would like to have a few more inches of natural hair. Thanks in advance ladies!
Thanks for the kind compliments, Tracie and Brittaney!
My hair journey was unusual in the sense that relaxer and over-coloring had damaged my hair so much that by college, I “took a menopause”, in the words of my friend Richard. I got a really short, spiky cut before I transitioned. This broke my mom’s heart, because I wore said short, spiky hair (with a beautiful seed pearl and copper wire tiara) to my wedding. I straightened my hair for her on that day, and never turned back after that. There were days when I didn’t exactly feel like the Belle of the ball, but I figured out how to rock the out-of-control TWA I was sporting with style and confidence.
According to many black parents, short hair = manly = lesbian = better get a weave. First of all, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Secondly, I have read no scientific studies relating short hair with sexuality. And third, that kind of old school thinking has got to go. If you have to cut it off, play up your pretty features with makeup and rock some bangin’ earrings. Or wear a beautiful flower behind your ear – without all that hair on your head, you can actually show off cute accessories. And condition, condition, condition. Use products that are gentle and nurturing to your new curls and they will love you forever.
I asked Motown Girl her thoughts on the issue, and here’s what she had to say:
“Transitioning can be difficult. For the most part once someone starts to transition and their natural begins to grow, dealing with the major difference of the straight relaxed hair and the natural hair texture can be downright frustrating. Some people (including myself) choose to wear braids and wigs (with your real hair cornrowed underneath). This way you donâ€™t have to deal with your hair on a daily basis and it does not get damaged from daily wear and tear. Make sure you take care of your real hairâ€¦donâ€™t get your hair braided too tight and donâ€™t leave braids in for too long.
Regarding products, everyone hair is different and you must experiment to truly know what will work on your hair. However, it seems that the products people seem to have the most success with while transitioning is Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel and Fantasia IC gel with Sparkle Lites (a clear gel).
Most importantly, be sure to deep condition your hair often, maybe every other week or so to keep your hair healthy and moisturized.
Lastly, try not to rule out doing the big chop. I am sure this maybe a bit drastic for some, but overall, it seems that women that did the big chop earlier on experienced a lot less frustrations and had a easier time dealing with their natural hair. If I knew then what I know now when I was transitioning, I would have BCâ€™ed. ”
So there you have it. I hope that helps, and stay tuned for more fun stuff over the weekend. I teased some in the comments page, but I’ll repost here: ya girl will be back full force over the weekend with a new Afrobella of the Week, a new Never Again/T.B.S product review, and lots of other stuff too! Look out for a particularly random celebrity encounter coming up soon. Keep reading!