Hey all!

This is my first post, but I've been doing research on this site for ages! I'm 24, and I've been natural for a long time. I attached some photos where you can see my shrunken hair, and my straightened hair (the straight one with the yellow shirt was just two days ago).

I'm extremely passionate about my hair--aren't we all? But after reading around, I've been noticing that many naturals or "new" naturals have been shutting down people thinking about texlaxing, or getting a Keratin. I understand that it's a damaging, permanent chemical process. But to tell someone who clearly has issues and difficulties with their hair to just keep on keepin' on, and to just use YouTube to find out more about how to take care of their hair, is just defeating the purpose of even commenting.

I've been natural for so long, and no, it isn't easy. It doesn't make me happy, or like I'm changing the world by being natural. My hair is LONG, I started from almost a buzz (I was "accidentally" big chopped at a white hair salon) and now my hair is to my mid-lower back after cutting off about 3 inches for evenness. I pride myself in the patience and care I've taken to achieve my length. I only apply heat once or twice a year to check my length, and have worn protective "tied-down" styles since I was born. Even after straightening, I tie it back down. (I am mixed, white/black, with 4B hair) And I'm not proud to wear a fro. It's been ingrained in me since I was a child that I need my hair fixed, relaxed, straightened, or covered up to go into public--and that's what I've done my entire life.

So, onwards from that, when my hair gets wet, it mats up. I have one pic with my hair wet that was taken 5 years ago, the last time I dared to get my hair wet, and leave the shower to take a pic without it being detangled, braided or twisted in the shower before getting out. Right after that picture, I tried to manage it and ended up getting back in the shower for 30 mins just to stop it from sticking, locking, and matting up (it's instantaneous).

There's another pic where my hair is long, and I'm wearing a red sportsbra. It's lightly curled-looking, but that was last summer (1-2 times a year!) after being straightened and tied down for week. I have a prepoo in there, of olive oil, and some light conditioners and butters. I wish my hair was like that ALL THE TIME. But alas, the moment water touched it, it shrunk the 75% and I spent the next 75 minutes trying to detangle it in the shower.

I just straightened my hair again, the protective styles (twists, usually tied down) tend to let my ends rub on fabric or just get dry from... well, not being touched. I hate touching my hair, for fear of messing up whatever's going on up there. But the moment I put the iron down I started counting the minutes before it would need to be washed again, and I'd have to wait another 6+ months to have manageable, non-matting, hair.

So I'm considering some sort of texturizer, some sort of ANYTHING to cut down my detangling time, my stress time, everything. I could CRY, I feel so ugly when my hair is in a fro, for the entire time it's wet and I'm trying to pull it back together. It's been 10 years of being natural, growing my hair long (no, I wont cut it) and I almost feel ashamed to want to go back to a process, like the last 10 years would've been for nothing. Though, without going natural and wearing protective styles, I would never have gained this length.

And when I say I feel ugly, I live in a very rural, very white area. I was the first black person to graduate from a high school in the entire COUNTY. My husband is white--Finnish, and I have no family left of my own. When I do twists, people think "cool!" but if I do anything else (big braids to get it tied down quickly before running out of the house, or trying to soak it with conditioner long enough to use a tangle teezer in sections to PULL IT BACK--ultimately ending up with a big solid mass of matted hair, and more hair breakage) I've had people look at me like... what's the black girl think she's doing?

I've had a male friend, walk up to me in public, where I WORK and ask me "What's going on with your hair?" I've had local white stylists parade me around to their stylist-students to check out black hair, and have had, by the same stylist, a walmart plastic bag thrown over my head in order to get me under the dryer because her hair caps didn't fit. I've had stylists make jokes about my hair, make me a spectacle, and just flat out walk away from my hair and send me on my way because it was past 3 hours.

It's like my hair is my main source of pride, but also the ONE thing that makes me feel terrible about myself, and embarrassed to go outside (thankfully, I work at home now).

I just need some sort of.. sympathy, support, please?

**Note, apparently I might not be 4B! I'm in there somewhere though... Suggest some other types... I'm the only who's seen and touched my hair since the bc, who knows some stuff about naturals!
~My salvation lies in your love... Alexi Murdoch~

Last edited by bharjala; 02-23-2012 at 04:30 PM.