I don’t remember the exact moment when I first labeled my hair as unmanageable. I just remember the constant reminders. Like the time when my mom split the blow dryer in half, while blow drying my hair. Or the struggles the stylist had when she gave me my first relaxer at age 10. I KNEW that my hair was definitely unmanageable, when at a Dominican salon the stylist said, “Duro! Duro! Malo! Malo!” Need a translation? She said my hair was, “Hard! Hard! Bad! Bad!” Then she proceeded to have a full conversation with a male client about how bad my hair was. She didn’t stop until I told her I clearly understood EVERYTHING she was saying.
So, of course my hair was unmanageable. It was the reason why I tried unsuccessfully to go natural so many times. The fear of my thick, dense, kinky hair halted each of those journeys. It took some time for me to finally stop labeling my hair as unmanageable. But in time I did. It was only then that, I was able to find the true root of the problem. Dryness. Dryness will make your hair brittle. It will make it less pliable. It will make it feel unmanageable. Once I came to that realization, everything changed.
Change Your Frame of Thinking
Our hair isn’t bad or unmanageable. It’s just different. Our hair cannot be handled the same way as other hair types. Instead of thinking our hair as the problem, we have to think it’s our styling that is the problem. To be more specific, we have to focus on our moisture problem. One of the main reasons, why the “natural hair movement” has so much steam is because of this. The accessibility of information on the internet has not only changed the way we view our hair, but how we treat it as well.
Water is the Key to Moisture
Back in the day, whenever my mother styled my hair, she used grease. Dax grease, to be exact. You remember the one in the green jar? We never spritzed or steamed my hair. Nor did we focus on water-based leave-ins and moisturizers. In fact, water rarely touched my hair — except for wash day, which I dreaded. Water is the ultimate moisturizer. And because our hair has so many curls and kinks — and it’s hard to reach the ends — we need lots of it. So drink up. Start with water when you moisturize. Follow the LOC method or LCO method. [Whichever, you prefer.] L = Liquid O = Oil C= Cream.
Water is the Key to Manageability
As a child –without water — my hair styling session involved a lot of hair pulling, crying and breakage. Today, that is not the case. If my hair feels stiff, I simply pull out my spritz bottle or steam it in the shower. Whenever I detangle my hair, it is in the shower under running water. It always amazes me how quickly stiff, dry hair that is standing straight up in the air can be transformed into buttery, soft hair by adding water.
So, if you have been labeling your hair as unmanageable, stop it today. It is counterproductive. Start to think about how you can combat dryness… especially during these forthcoming winter months.