Monday, February 18, 2013

Guest Post: The Mis-education of The Black Woman (Part One)

Hey loves! I hope you all had a good weekend.
 
Today's guest post is from the very funky (pun intended) Funbi of Datfunkyfro. She'll speaking on the topic of Natural Hair. This will be a two-part post. The next segment will be posted...soon! :)
 
Let's hear from Funbi...
 
Taking the decision to stay natural can seem utterly ridiculous considering the way of caring for natural hair has been painted out as an impossibility in our society. However, this is one of the many lies black women have been forced to succumb to. Many are discouraged and afraid to even try letting their natural hair grow out because of false popular beliefs that have no factual root whatsoever. It’s time to realize that when it comes to wearing & caring for natural hair, we have to replace ignorance with a fresh kind of knowledge.
 
From an early age, we have been taught to religiously grease our hair, comb it out vigorously & watch out for those unruly new growths before diving for the creamy relaxer to make it behave. As a child, this has been my reality. There was no other way of having it. It was the norm. Then I didn’t question it & I was sure and certain this was the way to go about with my hair. But as I grew up I began to notice a few details: my hair just wouldn’t grow past a certain length. It remained short though my hair grew – I knew this because I always had hair to perm. So what was going on?
 
In my late teens, I discovered that there was a whole new world to taking care of my hair that I had not been handed down to me. I also realized those new growths I was meant to watch out for and set in order with some relaxer was the hair that was meant to grow out of my head, it was given naturally – that was my natural hair. And thus began my natural hair…My journey could be compared to entering a totally new dimension.
 
Deciding to stay natural (to let your natural hair grow out) can seem very scary, daunting and too much work. A lot of women who go ahead with it go back to the relaxer (just like I did on my first natural hair journey). This is because caring for & maintaining natural hair demands a new kind of knowledge. To stay natural, it is vital to arm yourself with information. It requires practices & information you might have lacked while wearing your hair permed. Truth is, to grow healthy natural hair, we need to turn the mis-education we’ve received right from a young age into a proper education.
 
The mis-education has turned natural hair into an impossibility & even nearly foolish. It has encouraged many natural hair myths and thus discourage a lot of black ladies from wearing their hair in it’s natural state. To grow out natural hair, many habits need to be broken and we need to start understanding our hair instead of trying to hide it or alter it.


 
Debunking popular natural hair myths
As I stated earlier the mis-education about our hair has helped given birth to many natural hair myths. Most of them are discouraging to newly naturals or those still considering it. Let me walk you through a few of them and tell you why they are not true.
 
-Natural hair is impossible to manage: This is nothing but the fruit of ignorance. I need not say that natural hair is very manageable. However, if you are thinking of treating natural hair the same way you treated your permed hair then you will be unable to care for it that way. It will not work.
 
-Natural hair is untidy: This is another myth that is closely linked to ignorance but also intertwined to misconception. The misconception comes from the inability of the general public to accept natural hair because of what the media dictates black hair should look like: long, bone straight & silky. Natural hair is not untidy but it can easily look like it because of it’s unique texture.
 
-Natural hair is dry & brittle: because of it’s kinky texture, natural hair is not easily conditioned by the natural oil (sebum) that comes from the scalp. This leaves natural hair easily dry & brittle when uncared for. Straight hair does not have this problem because the sebum easily flows down to the straight strands. To combat this, every natural should practice a healthy & effective moisturizing regimen.
 
-Natural hair takes too much time: this is a big lie because according to my experience, natural hair can even take less time than permed hair. It all depends on coming up with what works for your hair. My washdays are so quick now because I do what works for me and when that’s done, I’m done. Of course, if you want to follow every natural hair “guru” and their regimens then you might have a ton of work of your hands.
 
-Natural hair is too expensive: big misunderstanding closely related to the search for the “right products” after deciding to stay natural. Many find themselves spending a ton of money but this is because they were wrongly informed. You have to know before spending your hard earned cash on highly priced products the basic ingredients your hair needs. Once that’s covered, you won’t fall for every “great product” you hear about. Secondly, after finding the products that work for you, it’s up to you to stick to them and avoid slipping into “product-junkism”. According to my experience, you don’t have to break the bank to stay natural and I have been spending much less on my hair after staying natural.

Stay tuned for Part Two....!
 
Visit the links below to stay connected with Funbi:
 
Are you already a Naturalista or thinking about going Natural?
 
Take care! :)
xoxo
Oluwaseun S.

12 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this post! Encouraging for naturalistas out there like me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been seeing a lot of beautiful natural hair in the blogosphere. I don't know if I ςªŋ go that route permanently. Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Seun,
    Thank you so much for giving me the chance to share.
    God bless you richly dear sister.

    P.S : I hope I can call you Seun ;)

    DatFunkyFro

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. Yes, you can!! :)

      You're definitely welcome. I'm so glad you accepted!! :)

      Delete
  4. Amazing post sweetie

    www.islandchic77.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. One of my best surprise was to realize that natural hair is indeed very manageable and once you learn to accept your hair as it is, you realize how you've wasted so much time relaxing your hair before haha! I love my natural hair and I'm glad I took this decision!
    Great great post!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Enlighting post. One year into my journey *phew* Ko easy mhen

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely lovely post! I like it A LOT. I was one of the mis-educated. I admit! Ignorance is NOT bliss! One of the funniest signs of ignorance in my opinion is when people who KNOW you and see you often suddenly ask if you now have dreds just because you twisted your natural hair. It gets me laughing each time!

    Tell the World

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes,yes,and yes to the natural hair myths. Great post Funbi! and thanks for sharing Seun :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I sure am one of the miseducated...educative post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Loved this post and totally agree!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a beautiful and much needed series! I am from Togo and I've had locs for the past 3 years. Before that, I wore short afros after I had returned to my natural roots from years of relaxers (and braids that were too tight for my poor hairline). I found that at least in my country, the natural hair movement hasn't quite taken off yet. I have found a much larger support community here in the US that back home. So it is so important for other Africa ladies to see their sisters with natural hair - especially if they wish to stay natural but don't know how, and just need some role models.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to leave your thoughts, I really appreciate it.