SERRIAH L. JOHNSON'S BLOGUMENTARY
Straight Forward Facts & Resources on How to
Maintain and Manage the Health of Natural Hair
Maintain and Manage the Health of Natural Hair
When I started my Natural Hair Journey it was 1993 and I was a Senior in High School. I remember vividly sitting on the city bus and recognizing that I was the only black female wearing my own hair. Everyone had either a weave or braid extensions, but no black girls were wearing their own hair. I thought to myself...."There is really something wrong with this picture".
At that time I had a relaxer and wasn't really thinking about going natural, but something was stirring in me and I felt like I was the only one asking myself this question. Very soon after, that internal question grew from why is no one was wearing their own hair to why is no one wearing their own texture. At that point I decided that I was going to grow my perm out, and I did. I fell in love with my natural hair, even though I was the only kinky girl around.
I could go into the politics of natural hair at this point, but I'd rather share with you the Brown Beauties who served as my Hair Inspirations and gave me the strength to stand alone through my college years in Baltimore, where my Natural Hair Care career began, into my early adulthood.
The woman that took me under her wing during my first summer in Baltimore, and laid the foundation for my natural hair care career.
Lauryn "L Boogie" Hill
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh
My Own Natural Swag - Serriah L. Johnson
Who Has Served As Your Hair Inspirations Throughout Your Journey?
Many first time clients come to me with a horror story about their previous experience of receiving a cut from another stylist that they felt was a "HACK JOB". They explain how the cut looked great in the salon, but when they blew dried their hair they found that it was uneven throughout. I would always ask, "How did you intend on wearing your hair, straight or curly?" The answer, 9 times out of 10, was BOTH. There lies the problem. Most of these clients went to get a cut with the notion that the cut should fit their hair's shape when it's both straight and curly. But for most kinky, coily and curly hair, the varying textures throughout the head do not allow the curls to fall at a consistent enough length, throughout, to match the natural fall of the hair when it is straight.
Remember, when wearing your natural curl pattern you will have varying textures throughout your head which will cause your curls to drop at different lengths, depending on what degree your texture changes throughout. Most of us have 3 to 4 varying hair textures. The crown tends to be looser, the back below the occipital bone tends to be tighter, and the perimeters tend to have their own funky thing going on. So if your stylist blow dries and/or straightens your hair to give you a trim or cut her/his visual perspective will be based on how your hair naturally falls when it is straight, without consideration of your natural varying textures. So when you wet your hair to rock your curls, your hair has no shape and will appear uneven because of how your varying textures find their own place to fall, whI checked differs frim the stright naTuran fall. I hope that makes sense to you.
The same is true for the contrary. If your stylists cuts your hair in its curly state, s/he is cutting based on the visual perspective of where your curls naturally sit. Being that looser curls fall longer than tighter curls, your hair will appear uneven once you attempt to wear your hair straight.
So the question is, can you have the best of both worlds when it comes to cuts. Some can say yes, but most will have to say no. And for those who have a great degree of difference in your varying textures, you will simply frustrate yourself in your natural journey attempting to force your hair to fit into a mold that it doesn't belong.
My suggestion always is to pick a side (straight or naturally curly), determine your hair goal based on your choice, make styling selections that align with your hair goal and once you made it to that goal decide if that's the side you want to stay with. Why not bounce back and forth.
See that's #TheBeautyofKINKYHAIRFREEDOM.
As the standards of beauty for African American women shift from the oldfangled monument of long straight hair to modern day natural beauty, short hair is becoming more and more recognized as a beautiful styling option. And with the common knowledge that going natural is a healthier approach to hair care, sporting a short cut is an option that many take to facilitate their decision to pursue healthy hair with a stylish edge. There are many reasons that cause women to cut their hair. Some women find that by cutting their tresses they now look 5-10 years young. Others appreciate the low maintenance that short hair cuts offer and feel as if they have been set free from the drudgery of trying to maintain longer hair. Then there are those who enjoy changing things up a bit, and find that cutting their hair gives them a fresh, refined and stunning look. So in this entry lets explore some of the reasons you may consider a short hair cut as your styling option.
The first group of naturals that I would like to address are those who find that your life schedule does not allow you the time needed to properly care for your hair. With the normal nightly routine of moisturizing and twisting or the morning routine of a basic wash and go, most naturals require at least 30 minutes daily to prep and style their hair and two hours weekly to treat and condition their hair. And many of those who would rather have a stylist care for their hair struggle with adding salon time into their work, family and social life. So, whether you DIY hair care at home or you are one who visits the salon routinely, all hair requires time an attention to build and maintain health; especially Natural Hair. Realistically speaking, most naturals do not have this time in their schedule to allocate to hair care. So, if these issues sound all too familiar, you may want to consider setting your self free with a short cut. The maintenance and styling time of a short style may cut your hair care time by 75%.
The next group I want to bring to light are those who are ready for a new look to match a new phase in their life. Co Co Shanel once said that “A woman who just cut her hair is about to change the world”. And I’ve seen it time and time again. What better way to express that you are letting go of the old to make room for the new? And there is a certain boldness that women with sharp, short cuts carry. Its this effortless chic that speaks volumes of confidence. So if you fit into this category, I suggest that you do your research on which style best speaks or your new phase in life and that you can keep up with. You should then find a stylist who specializes in cutting textured hair and has a portfolio that exhibits the skill and knowledge to achieve your desired.
Last but not least, I want to speak to the “Last Resorters”. These are those who, due to extreme damage, must cut their hair to new hair to grow in even and healthy. If you fall into this group be encouraged. You are giving your hair a well deserved fresh start. And with patience, you will reap the reward of healthy tresses that will not have to be installed, touched up or braided down to look good.
So whether you are seeking convenience or a cutting edge look, consider a short cut as a means to reset your style.