How Serious Is Your Hair Love Affair?

David Glover Afro

My hands are always twirling it, I take super good care of it, and most definitely it’s part of my identity. To the casual onlooker, it might seem kind of obvious that I’ve got a love affair with my hair. But am I obsessed with it? I guess I wouldn’t say so.

I thought I was, but then I realized that some bellas took their hair game to a whole ‘nother level! Try visiting some of the best natural hair online support groups (click there to read a great article for Clutch magazine by regular Afrobella commenter Laquita!). These bellas take hair more seriously than I may ever have taken anything in life! I’m fascinated by the world of hardcore hair care — challenges and special protective styles and charting hair measurements and posting photos of all of it — but I’m more or less a mere observer to the dedication.

I deep condition my hair regularly, I lovelovelove trying new products, but I’ll try just about anything. I don’t stick to any particular ingredients (although I know it is generally best to avoid bad-for-you hair ingredients. I feel like I should try everything anyway). I love experimenting with hair recipes (the easier the better, though).

My hair certainly is a reflection of who I am. But — I can’t say that I’ve ever consciously participated in a hair challenge. I don’t take hair photos very often. I have tried hair vitamins, but don’t remember to take them and then they go bad and I have to throw them out. Boo. And I actually can’t say that I’ve ever even measured my hair! So I guess by definition, my hair love affair is serious but not as serious as it gets.

I’d love to know how into hair you are. Are you a casual hair lover, down to try drugstore brand products? Or are you head over heels for hair care, and won’t allow anything less than the organic best to touch your tresses? Do you do hair challenges and take hair photos to share with your equally hair-minded friends? How far have you gone in your love for your hair?

Laquita’s list is great, and reveals the explosion of natural hair resources online. When I first started Afrobella, I only knew about Nappturality and Motown Girl. Now there’s Going Natural, Hairlista, Hairlicious, The Long Hair Care Forum, Black Hair Media, Texture Playground, AfroGlitz, Natural Belle, Naptural Hair Story, Naturally Scandalous, Newly Natural, Highly Textured, Black Girl With Long Hair, Curly Nikki, The Coil Review, On The Road to Queendom, The Natural Haven, Kinnks, The Natural Hair Care Guide, and Honey Brown Sugar. Woo hoo! SO many great websites holding it down, providing knowledge, and growing the community online! And we haven’t even addressed the world of YouTube and Fokti!

If you’ve got a favorite natural hair website that I haven’t mentioned, holla at me so I can add it to my links. And FYI, I got the photo above from this website, in case you were seeking hair inspiration.

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Comments

  1. I am not a hair person, but I should be. I have long dreadlocks and I can honestly say that I don’t take care of my hair, as I should. I will look into those websites and see if they can recommend some natural products for my locs!

  2. cosimicsistren says:

    When I first went natural I was a frequent poster at Nappturality. Now that I am locked I am not that much into hair like I used to be.

  3. LuvMeLuvMyFro says:

    I think I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I visit some of the sites you listed but my ultimate love is FOTKI.com. I have a regularly updated album there as well as most of my friends (real life friends (the ones you see on the regular and can actually touch) and on-line friends). I have participated in protective challenges although I have never completed one. I have at times avoided certain ingredients, only did co-washes but, have never tried the baggie method. I have been natural for about four years now and I just do what my hair likes. I use what it responds to and avoid what it doesn’t. I only trust my hair to myself and another cosmetologist that I know.

  4. Everyone who knows me knows I am addicted to all things hair :o) Although natural hair is at the top of my list – I also like keeping up with the latest perm/tex-laxed products/styles as well. And I also like trying out new products – I can stay in a beauty supply for hours :o)

    I am a member of various hair sites (I like reading the hair journeys, product reviews/recipes, and looking at the photos). I don’t participate in every challenge. I participate in the ones that I feel will be good for the health of my hair – currently I’m in a protective style challenge, conditioning challenge and healthy ends challenge.

    I tend to stay away from trying ‘retro’ products (those specifically for pets or geared for personal hygiene) and I do research on suggested essential oils and homemade products.

    I also have a hair blog – and take pictures of my various styles and product testing adventures – I wear my ‘addicted to hair’ title with pride :o)

    Thanks for mentioning the article Afrobella ;o)

  5. Thanks for the list! I would affectionately add NaturallyCurly.com to that list, specifically the 4a forum in the CurlTalk section. This site and MotownGirl have really been my go-to locations online for advice, tips, techniques, etc. And I know that a number of ladies who frequent naturallycurly.com are also Afrobella readers. :)

  6. I have to say that while I am not the ultimate “natural Nazi” (coined by SouthernTease @ Mane and Chic), I definitely have an ongoing affair with my hair. I’m an active member of LHCF and BHM, and I actually have you to thank for that, bella! It was here that I found an article on cowashing, and from there I went to Macherieamour’s blog, and then on to LHCF. Now I have a fotki, a hair blog, I mean the list goes on. I BC’d last June, and my hair is flourishing more than ever.

    Like Laquita stated, I haven’t been in ALL the challenges, as there are way too many, but there are a few that I really like, such as the spring/summer cowashing challenge and the different length check-ins, just because it’s fun to track my progress and see how far I have come.

    The Coarse Hair Diaries and Mane and Chic are two blogs that I frequent, especially the latter — a blog that talks about hair AND fashion? Count me in!

  7. This makes me so so so happy!! When I first decided to go natural in college, motowngirl.com was just starting (which I loved) and there wasn’t much else out there in the world wide web.

    I relaxed it, after college, and now I’m natural again for the last year and a half. With all the support available online and in my personal life, being natural is sooooo much easier than it was 7 years ago!

    I’m going to check out the ones I’ve never seen before. Thanks!!

  8. Wait! Does being on that list make me one of the hair obsessed? I guess so, huh? LOL! But yes, we love our hair, and I think the greater mission driving all of us is to get others to fall in love with their hair too! :o)

  9. Some great sites are Black girl with long hair, The Coarse Hair Diary, Keep it Kinky, Little Golden Lamb, and Urban Curlz. Sorry I don’t have time to put in the links, but you could probably Google them :)

  10. I just started loving my hair this year. I got tired of the shedding, the breaking and the dry scalp. So I decided to concentrate on health. First I went to healthy textures for general how to, then they started charging. I then found Hairlicious and that has been my savior!! If I could learn how to wrap my hair at night, I’d be a happy bella!!

  11. Thanks for all those links and I LOVE the pic! Fierce! Anywho, I love my hair, but I don’t measure it all that. When I started growing my hair out from my short natural, I kind of kept track of growth via pictures. That was fun, but I stopped after a few months. I keep saying I’m going to get into mixing my own stuff, but still haven’t gotten around to it. Oh and I super duper co-sign the deep conditioning thing! I am all about that. Deep conditioning makes all the difference when it comes to my fro. I just blogged about my “happy hair” last week in a post about my Sunday rituals.

  12. I have been natural for almost 10 years now and have loved every second of it! Thanks for the links!

    I am currently on my second set of locs and I wanted to give a mention on a website that has been around for ages, since I first started my locs last time.

    http://dreadconnection.faithweb.com

    She now has a new website that I love even more because it includes holistic health, more insights and her writings…

    http://www.holisticlocs.com – I can’t wait to see more of her updated loc info/pics.

    Great work Afrobella!

  13. Thanks for the links, bella! As far as my hair addiction goes, I’m not sure exactly where I stand, lol. I do everything related to my hair myself, including mixing a lot of my own products and following a regime complete with vitamins and plenty of water. However, I’m also open to drugstore finds (guess who JUST bought that Cantu Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment?! Love love love it!). I don’t take pics or measure my hair because it grows like wildfire and that’s all the confirmation I need. I don’t do hair challenges, but I do try to incorporate some of the methods in my routine (stretching my relaxer, protecting the ends, etc.). And I love looking at photos of other bellas’ progress, but would never make a fotki/youtube/etc. production of my own. So maybe it’s a mild obsession – I like the sound of that.

  14. paradisebird says:

    i love to follow some of the blogs mentioned above but i did not take part in any of the challenges. i often check the product reviews but in general i do not buy much products (mostly because they are not available over here ;-)).
    and from time to time i stay away from all these blogs just to concentrate on my own hair and celebrate what i have and not wanting another bellas crown of glory. that is what real love means to me. and in this term-yes i have an ongoing love affair with my hair.

  15. I reakkt discovered natural hair blogs about 4 months ago and I am so addicted. But they work and they help. My hair is on it’s way to being a healthy natural instead of just natural. I’m currently doing the protective style challenge and I’m loving the results.

  16. I am DEFINITELY obsessed with my hair, always have been. I’m a member of two of those hair forums, I read natural hair blogs, I have a fotki hair album documenting my journey through pictures, I research and mix products, etc.

  17. I absolutely am loving that there are blogs out ther catering to the African hair in us. I, too, will be starting a blog focusing on the fact that we do not “go natural”, we only go PERManent, relaxed, straightened, etc… Natural hair has always been with us, even thru the chemicals that we put on it.

  18. Honey Brown Sugar is another good, informative blog! And Wes has AMAZING tresses!

    http://www.honeybrownsugar.com/

  19. This year will mark 10 years that I’ve been online participating in hair discussions. I think it’s safe to say that I have always been “obsessed” with the black hair culture as it pertains to black women’s self-image and self-esteem. For definitely the first 4 of those 10 years, and maybe for a few more years after that (when I was locked), those discussions were what I focused on. I was a bit of a product junkie in those early days as well, but I cured myself of that eventually. I also had my own site for a while but took it down because I was too much of a perfectionist.

    Since going back to loose hair 2 years ago, I find that I’m learning a lot more about styling techniques as well as better overall hair care. I only got a hair album (when I was locked) because people kept asking to see my hair; now it’s on Fotki but I don’t update it very often. I’m kinda-sorta-but-not-really on a hair challenge, and my regimen is very much KISS; I’m not trying every product in creation.

    In short, compared to the majority of the population, including most black women, I’m probably hair-obsessed. But compared to many of the sisters I see on hair boards, I’m pretty lackadaisical. ;)

  20. LayJ – I am KICKING myself that I didn’t link Wes right away! I knew I missed a few really really great hair and beauty blogs. I edited the post to add Honey Brown Sugar. Thanks for reminding me!

  21. Today is my 8th month nappyversary and yes, I am completely obsessed with my hair! I subscribe to several forums, and follow countless numbers of natural hair blogs. Let’s not mention Youtube….Youtube natural divas are priceless! Your forums, websites, blogs, pictures, and videos have been inexplicably helpful. Though I’m “hair obsessed”, I am yet to try any of the challenges, but I am acomplete and total product junkie. I’ve been really trying to stick to all natural products, but it’s really hard. Truth be told, if someone says it’s good and really works for a particular type of hair, hey, I’ll try it!

  22. All great sites! I follow CurlyNikki and Honey Brown Sugar religiously. With the help of these sites, I’ve gained a lot of confidence to stop heat styling my hair and to wear it natural. I also started my own blog, crownnglory.blogspot.com, which I talk about hair among other things and to chart my progress of nursing my hair back to health. It’s like therapy, lol.

  23. BuenaventuraAvenue says:

    Hmm… on the spectrum of hair obsessed-ness, I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. Maybe 57% obsessed.

    When I first found hair websites, the wealth of information made me want to try any and everything. Now I know the products and techniques that work for me and I’m not changing them unless they stop working. I now know that banding when washing, Denman brush only while damp, and not picking apart my curls all day long prevents tangling and single strand knots. I now know that my hair doesn’t care what type of shampoo I use but it likes Aussie Moist for deep conditioning, Nexxus Humectress for moisture, and coconut oil for sealing.

    The bulk of my obsessedness comes in with my little neurotic quirks. I still take lots of pictures of my hair and I measure it with a ruler once or twice a month (6 inches at the longest point lol). I’m subscribed to lots of hair channels on Youtube. Many of the blogs I read are written by black women who talk about their natural hair from time to time. I’d spend hours on Fotki if I didn’t force myself to avoid it for academic reasons.

  24. trinigul says:

    I don’t think it’s an obsession. Others may think I need a 12-step. But I love reading about other Black women loving, appreciating and taking care of themselves. This then led to me trying their tips. It’s not my fault there are so many great tips (and products) out there. You all don’t wanna see my Anita Grant bill. LAHD!!

  25. I have always struggled with my hair. It’s strong and kinky and because i have a lot of it just combing it is a workout but having stumbled upon this website a while ago, I decided to go natural properly. The websites mentioned here were a great support for ideas and health issues – especially napturality & Motown girl. I haven’t been as present on the blogosphere lately but am really encouraged to see lots of others have sprung up.
    Thanks for the links Bella =)
    At a time when my hair is long and getting unmanageable again, you’ve more than likely stopped me having it relaxed out of desperation.
    Hair obsession here i come again.

  26. Tdotcurlie says:

    I am 8 months into being back to my natural self and loving it. Currently obsessed with ayurvedic powders and treatments. I could sit around all day and troll different blogs and sites gaining info and seeing other peoples journeys. Now that my hair seems to be taking on a life of it’s own, i feel honoured when other people ask me for my tips and advice on getting healthier hair.

  27. Tdotcurlie says:

    Afrobella was the first site I found and now I hit up most sites on your list. LOVE the world wide web!!!! Keep up the good work guys!!!!

  28. What a great post! I’m partially obsessed myself, but I think it came slowly over time. When I went natural over seven years ago there really wasn’t much to choose from in terms of help and guidance…i had to rely on my overpriced hairdresser for advice. Today though…I mean from all the youtubers, hair bloggers and hair forums out there…I think NOW more than ever is the best time to begin the natural process because you’ll come away with the utmost confidence to carry it through to the end…the sheer amount of information that’s available today is soooo encouraging and I think that’s why so many of us latch on and follow these journeys…to me it’s just plain ol fun;-)!

    check out just a few:
    http://diaryofakinkycurlytransition.blogspot.com/
    http://naturallyleslie.blogspot.com/
    http://blackstrands.wordpress.com/

  29. Very!

    I started my hair journey 01-17-09. I did it because I have two beautiful daughters that I want to make sure they have pride and knowledge about how to care for their hair. I check hairlista, hairlicious, and k.i.s.s. (blogger, not ning) everyday.

    I now read ingrediant lables, I wash at least once a week…before it was just once a month. That’s how my mother did her hair…so why would I do it any different? And I make sure I give whole, true advice to my girls, as well as options. In my day, being natural was NOT an option. If I only could know now back then.

  30. Mane & Chic didn’t coin the term Natural Nazi… she says on her blog she didn’t even know what it was until a reader said it the other day. Mane & Chic and Honey Brown Sugar are my favs.

  31. Aunty Gemma asks if you know anything about Urbanbella from Atlanta?

  32. I think I used to be obsessed. I don’t measure anymore since I’m at bra-strap length. Although I want to be waist length, I don’t focus too much on it.

    I am all about K.I.S.S. I keep track of how often I condition and shampoo.

    I really enjoy the hair advice from YouTube naturals and relaxed heads, it keeps my hands out of my own hair.

  33. topseekrit says:

    I love my napptural hair! I just can’t stand dealing with it which is one of the reasons I’m getting locs. Even when my hair was relaxed I hated the maintenance of it and don’t get me started about hairdresers! Ugh!

    I stay connected with other nappturals though through sites, blogs, and YouTube; It’s inspiring.

  34. Dreadlocks says:

    Any good dreadlocks site? I’ve long 8 year old dreads. Or should I start one myself…?

  35. First off… I love th epic you chose to lead this article!

    My Love affair with MY hair is something serious, I have been chemical free for 2+ years now minus the occassional color treatment currently Amber red.

    I love my hair becasue it is completely versitle and move to my every whim and thought, I can be kinky curly one day and silky straight the next and I offtn do this. My hair is more manageable, healthy, shinny, and happy! And I creadit that to my strong will of not listing to my friedns saying ” Gilr you need a perm or something” I love me and they way Iam, and when they start losing they hair and it keeps breaking off I just run my fingers through my curly lokcs and smile and say, ” Gilr you need to get off that creamy crack” LOL

    Thanks for letting me comment Bella!
    Have a New Day Everyday,
    StyleIs 20/20

  36. I used to be hair obsessed when i was transitioning and newly natural. Motowngirl and Fotki were indispensable! i was able to track other people’s hair growth, products used and hairstyles. it gave me an idea of what my hair would look like when i was completely natural.

    now i’m not obsessed at all, just in love. i’m sticking to the products i use until they don’t work anymore. i wash my hair twice a month. i detangle my hair twice a month but alternating weeks after washing. i like my hair conditioned really well before i detangle.

    my holy grail products: suave naturals coconut conditioner, coconut oil, tui oil, and cantu leave in repair conditioner. i use these products everyday. co-wash with suave and coconut oil, shake off excess water, apply a small amount of cantu then add tui oil after it’s dry. that’s it!

  37. There’s also glamazini.com (formerly roshini.net)

  38. I luuuuuv my natural mane.

    Click on my name and you’ll find an article I wrote on Examiner.com about my nappyness. The article is called “Taking Back the N-Word.”

  39. there are so many awesome natural hair sites!

    a few I love are:

    http://afroniquelyyou.com
    http://leaveinthekinks.blogspot.com/
    http://lecoil.com and so many other great ones…ohh yeh and:
    http://mynhcg.com

    :)

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