Sunday, January 8, 2017

Life Of Li.Ree | Accepting Natural (15 years After GOING NATURAL)

Hello Dahlings!

To all of my black female readers out there you may have heard of or already be part of the GOING-NATURAL Trend. Girls and women across the nation (and quite possibly all over the World) are kicking boxed/salon perms a/k/a Relaxers to the curb and re-embracing the God-Given textures of their 'Natural' hair.

For some women anti-relaxing was an Empowerment choice, but for me it was a 13 year old girl going-bald choice.

Okay, not literally bald, but my hair was coming out in clumps and patches. And breaking off at a ridiculously alarming rate. I went from graduating Elementary School with long, strong, thick and healthy hair...



to Entering the 8th grade like this.


No matter who did it and what type of Relaxer or technique that they used, my hair just never responded well to them. Point blank period.

My last relaxer was a week before I started the 8th grade. My hair was freshly permed and looked GREAT (and in thin but straight) for the first week of school. Then came the following weeks, and when my hair started suffering from creamy-crack withdrawals...I just let it suffer. The last stylist who did my hair was a one-time shot, and my mom and I decided that it was best to just put the relaxers behind me.

I went back to basics. WAAAAAY BACK! To tabletop stoves, brass hot combs and Blue Magic. When I finally started going to a salon again, it was to a small store-front shop owned and operated by two elder black women, one of Afro-Caribbean (Ms. I) and the other of African American (Ms. E)descent. I & E Beauty Salon.

Between late Middle School, High School, College and even well into Adulthood, Ms. E (hot) pressed my hair with a manually heated brass hot comb and Blue Magic hair grease.
Yes, the Natural-Hair purist/Elitist will start yammering on about how bad X,Y and Z is for your hair and BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!

But I kind of get the feeling that those are the very same girls that used to tease me back in high school because my edges weren't 'straight', my hair looked frizzy in Florida's humidity and "Ooooh Chile' she need a perm".
Now GOING NATURAL is all the rage, and (as I've been told many times before) "I'm doing it Wrong!"





But here I am in my mid/late twenties and for the first time in 15 years I am without a hairstylist. Ms. E unexpectedly retired last year, and I had NO CLUE HOW TO DO MY OWN HAIR (as in start to finish)!

Over-time I have learned the Do's and Don'ts of Flat-Ironing and Pressing my own hair, but while trying to survive in Florida's unpredictable summer rains and unbelievable summer heat I had a epiphany...

Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Rained On.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Humidity Frizzes It.
Burn it Alive.
Rained On.

WHY THE HECK AM I WORKING AGAINST MY HAIR???

Then one fateful day...My Flat Iron stopped working.
And I haven't thoroughly straightened my hair since.
Initially, I would heat up my brass hot comb and flatten it out from root to ears (post-blow drying).
Then I got to the point where I would just blow dry it and somewhat running the hot comp along my edges.
Then came the blow drying and pulling it back in a bun technique.
And now.

I've just gotten to a point where I'm tired of forcing my hair to be a certain way. I've been Natural without actually Accepting the Natural Texture and Curl pattern of my hair.
Its so funny, over the years I would always admire my curls after a fresh wash and deep condition. The banish them into oblivion with endless amounts of torturous heat styling.

I've gotten to the point in my life where I am embracing my curly hair more and finding new innovative ways to style it into cute Pinup Inspired do's.
Although, I obviously still follow my, hot comb/flat iron from root to ears post-blow drying & hot rollers method often, my curly hair is making more and more appearances in my daily life!

So, What Do I Put In My Hair to Make It Curly?







No seriously, any store bought conditioner after a wash and go will do (for me at least).

Besides a sleek or messy bun, if I want to look a bit more pinup, this is one of my favorite WASH-AND-GO styles.

The Tutorial is up on my YouTube channel.

Love Always,
Li.Ree


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