For those of you who have seen pictures of Nora, that's the hair I grew up with. As I got older, it got darker and wavier. But it's always been super thick. I always wanted curls and tried numerous perms in junior high/early high school. I think I had only one that ever lasted more than a few weeks, and even that wasn't the spirally look I wanted. My hair has just always been too heavy to hold curls. Even for fancy updos and such, it would take a serious amount of hairspray to keep in a curl that was ironed in, and even that would fade out by the end of the night.
Well, if I couldn't have curls, then I wished for stick straight hair so I could pull off certain looks when it was shorter, but that wasn't meant to be, either. Too thick and too wavy. It always just waved upward instead of under, even if blow drying strategically with a round brush.
I've had hair of just about every length. I'd have a vision in my head of what I wanted it to look like and go get a cut, but it never turned out quite like that in reality. Who's known me long enough to remember when I went "Halle Barry short" one summer? That was a pain in the ass to grow out. And also, I do not have Halle's texture so that definitely didn't turn out the way I envisioned.
During that growing out process, I used a lot of hair product to keep it under control. Horrible for my skin, so that made me go styling product free. Have been ever since.
And let's talk color. I dyed it in 12th grade a magnificent shade of red (actually Julie dyed it, but you know what I mean). Red Penny. And that began my love affair with red hair. I did a lot of red. Once in a fit of post-break up craziness, I went black. Then I did a lot more red. Then I moved on to red highlights because I didn't need to worry about roots as much. Eventually, before I was planning on getting pregnant, I had the salon figure out what color my roots actually were and dye it back to that. It had been so long, and in that time, it had gotten a lot darker. So I was rather surprised to discover what color my hair now naturally was.
Then I got pregnant and enjoyed my hair for many months. Then I wasn't pregnant anymore and it was even wavier than it had been before. Then I got an IUD and my hair got even coarser and wavier than it had been before that. Thanks hormones.
And all the while, I kept going to get haircuts with lovely visions in my head of what I wanted it to look like, but it never turned out that way.
Enter the adoption process. Most of you know that we're open to race, and in all likelihood, we'll probably adopt a baby that is not white. So I've been exploring and researching how to take care of natural black hair. Because I would want to keep my child's hair natural. I quit hair styling products years ago and I've never worn much makeup (except that blue eyeliner phase in 7th grade, which was also a bad time for hairspray), so I'm pretty natural myself. I don't even like to blow dry it, but I really need to in the winter. Even then, I will only buy blow dryers that have a warm setting so I don't have to use it on hot.
I have found some fantastic resources online. The Natural Haven, Black Girl with Long Hair, Nubian Tresses, Happy Girl Hair (which is written by an adoptive mom with two twins from Ethiopia who have completely different hair texture). I've gotten some fabulous hair style ideas, some of which you've seen demonstrated on Nora, and I've gotten a really good dose of discussion about loving what nature gave you.
And I really took that discussion to heart, except I seemed to forget to apply it to myself.
I got my hair cut Sunday and I had this vision of what I wanted it to look like. Except that the bottom layer will never be all one length for me because my wavy hair shrinks up in the front when it dries. I made a remark about how hairdressers should account for that shrinkage and grumped that it wasn't what I was thinking of.
And then I looked at it and decided I liked what it was doing anyway. Because this is what my hair does. This is me in my natural state. And if I learn to work with what I have instead of trying to fight it all the time, I'll be much happier. Isn't that what all my favorite hair blogs have been telling me all this time? Oh sure, there are certain styles that will never work on my head. But so what? I can do certain things that others can't do and vice versa. And if I believe that this is good, I can instill that in my children to be happy with what they have, which is something I've been hoping to do anyway by reading and researching. Now it's more likely to happen just because of the example I set.
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