I've read comments via Twitter and other websites about natural hair trending as a fad. It came up again recently and a good friend came to the defense of natural hair wearers by simply stating "...if anything it's a MOVEMENT...". Well said. I can understand the impression that this suddenly explosive natural hair scene may give. It looks like every other black woman is jumping on the bandwagon. The annoying question is: How many of us will go back to relaxers after the fad is over?

Yes, I believe some women will go back to the creamy crack. That's just part of the journey for most of us including myself for a brief period. Some may forever return to relaxers. To each her own. What "going natural" is about is getting educated on how to care for and style hair not chemically treated. For the first time, there is a wealth of information on this topic for which Black women have obviously been starving. What naysayers should consider is that many Black women have long since desired to be natural but just did not know what to do with their hair. Think about it, many of us went from plaits to relaxed hair. We often only learned to style bone-straight hair or had someone else maintaining it for us (e.g. stylists). If the products and know how had been available all along, this could very well not be a discussion. So many of us were taught that only chemical straightening could make our hair manageable and beautiful. This movement is liberating Black women from Euro-centric ideas of beauty, extensive and long term hair damage, lost time spent waiting on overbooked stylists, and mental and financial burdens of "getting their hair done".

Next summer, I'll quietly celebrate fifteen years of natural hair. I say quietly because for so many years, I had no community but was a lone soldier converting one Black woman's head of hair at a time. So, the community aspect is refreshing but I'm still finding my place in it and more on a local level. I'm delighted so many of us are embracing our natural hair and believe that for more than a few of us, it's a lifestyle change.

As for me and my hair, it's no fad.
About a month ago, an acquaintance rescued me from my fast swelling natural hair as we enjoyed a free outdoor concert with our fellow local naturals. She has dreads down to her arse and I have free flowing kinky curly shoulder length hair. So, how did she rescue me? She took off her Tomoka's hair twist and tied it around my hair. Now, you're probably wondering how a hair accessory that could hold dreads almost as tall as me could also secure about a three-quarters less hair. It's the ultra flexible copper wire! Not only does the flexibility make these a feasible option for almost any hair length and thickness, they won't damage natural hair. I do have to be careful with the tiny hooked ends of the wire to avoid snagging my hair, but this is a minor issue. So, far I've worn it as a headband and loved it. It's so lightweight and non-headache inducing unlike traditional headbands. The hair twists can be worn in almost any style imaginable, from headband to ponytail holder. Mimi Fleming, the owner and designer of Tomoka's Twists, has crafted such a nice variety of hair accessories that you'll find one for any and every occasion. 

Ms. Fleming is also a gracious business woman. After a couple of visits to the website and discovering her shop was still out of stock of the design I was most interested in, she took the time to find out exactly what I wanted and contacted me when it was available. Small business owners take note of excellent customer service. And I'm not mad at her for having such an in demand product. Even in a recession, I find her prices fairly reasonable. Considering the amount of ponytail holders I go through annually and that I could wear my "curly girl" hair twist EVERY.DAY, the $16 price tag was worth it. 

So, all my natural hair havin', dread lock wearin', curly 'fro pickin' beauties, click over to Tomoka's Twists and support a brown girl and handcrafting artisan. 

Wanna see part two? Head over to my YouTube channel.
This is the third or fourth time-this year- that I've tried a bantu knot out. I just plain ol' don't like it. The curls came out the best they ever have, but there's no length. I'd like for styles that take an entire day of air drying to at least retain my length, not give me poodle curls. The twist n curl does it, a straight roller set does it, but this bantu knot out....uggggh. I'm not going to wash it out this time. Like I said the curls came out pretty nice so, I'm going to see how many days I get outta this and if my curls loosen up well. I'll do an update of course.

What I used and did:
Shampoo: Herbal Essence None of Your Frizzness
Rinsing Conditioner: Garnier Fructis Moisture works conditioner
Leave In Conditioner: Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner
Tool: Denman D4 brush
*Finished with my own whipped mango butter infused with essential oils.

Shampooed my scalp after about 2 months of no poo. Conditioned and rinsed. Added two blobs of the Organix and detangled with Denman. I put my hair in about 16 two strand twists then twisted those into bantu knots. I covered it with a satin scarf and left it up for about 24 hours. See the results below just after taken down on New Year's Day
Teri LaFlesh is my hair idol, hair guru, whatever you wanna call her. She has the most amazing tush length tightly curly hair.  I became a student, if you will, of her website, Tightly Curly around March of this year and it rocked my world and my curls. Once I discovered her blog, Notes of a Former Mushroom Haired Child, I began following it too. So, she announced this week that her book, Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong, is finished and set for release May 2010. Hell ya! I'll probably break routine and review it here instead of on my book blog. Teri is an ingredient junkie so I know to expect tons of information on what's in every naturally curly girl appropriate product. She's also a stickler for how to handle curls- tools, shampooing, etc. Did I say how I excited I am about this book finally being published? Hopefully, I won't have to wait until May to get a copy to review and pour over like a crazed woman. That was a hint to the pre-release book fairies. Alright folks remember to check for Curly Like Me in May 2010 and it's available for pre-order now-- just click the pic.