I’ve had natural hair my whole life but I never knew that I had curls.
My younger cousin Amani has super bouncy, spirally Shirley Temple curls and I wanted mine to be just like hers. Instead I was stuck with super kinky, comb-eating, nappy hair. Shrinkage and I have been fighting a long war the past 18 years.
And I have finally won.
I went through this terrible phase my Freshman year of High School where I let my “friends” convince me that I needed to have my hair straightened like normal girls. When one girl asked who twisted my hair for me and I told her my mother she had the nerve to ask me if I was a dyke. Apparently only dykes got their hair braided the way I did (Offended=UNDERSTATEMENT).
So I straightened my hair. And I burnt the life out it. Every single morning it was me and that flat iron right before school. I remember my mother saying I was going to damage my hair but me thinking I knew everything pushed it aside.
I totally ruined my hair.
Before even knowing what it meant to be natural that’s what I did my Sophomore year. By the halfway point of Junior Year I was fully “natural” including an arsenal of products. Cantu’s Leave- In Conditioner and Twist & Lock Gel saved me until the summer when I started protective styling. I AM THE QUEEN OF BOX BRAIDS AND TWISTS! Now we’re here, about to be a sophomore in college and we have learned a lot.
So, meet Simba!
Yes, my hair is named Simba and with good reason. When you give something personality it comes to life. And Lordddd, did my curls come to life! Simba is very lazy and doesn’t feel the need to hold a curl more than 2-3 days. And he is low porosity which is super important. Simba doesn’t believe in the numbered hair chart (3a,4c, blah blah). He focuses on moisture and the way he gets it.
Being of low porosity means that Simba’s cuticles are really shut tight so he needs heat in order to open them up and let moisture in.
His favorite toy for this is his Q-Redew Hair Steamer and right now he’s loving deep conditioning with Mielle Organics. We’re testing out the waters with protein treatments but so far this one from Aphogee seems to be doing the trick. I don’t usually shampoo but the As I Am Coconut Cowash has donned my shelf for over a year now.
Oh, and I never wrap my head with a towel! A cotton t-shirt is much better as there’s no friction that could damage my already brittle ends.
I style my hair probably twice a week, a twist out on Monday that I extend to Wednesday and then another until wash day on either Sunday or Monday.
It’s taken Simba and I a long time to get to this point but I think we finally understand each other. We’re budding a beautiful relationship, my hair and I.