Hair blog- Black and Kinky Speaks!

Hair blog- Black and Kinky Speaks!

By Shantel Myers

A natural hair enthusiast shares her eternal journey of embracing her kinky-curly hair.

“The Product Closet!

I would like to personally introduce you all to my new hair blog, Black and Kinky – www.blackandkinky.blogspot.com!

I bet you didn’t think “black and kinky” would be about hair eh? Food for thought: My definition of “kinky” is a description for super curly-coily hair textures. Someone with kinky-curly hair has really tight spiral curls (see accompanying photo). Now that that’s cleared up, who is Black and Kinky? ME of course! My name is Shantel Myersand this is a simple representation of who I am: I’m black and I have kinky-curly hair!

I’m sure most of you know what it’s like to trim or cut your hair, right? Well, not all of you know what it’s like to cut a total of 12 inches off your hair, going from waist length, silky straight strands to a one inch, kinky-curly afro. That was my experience. Many people ask me why I would do such a thing. Simple: I embrace change. I decided to finally embrace the natural hair texture I was born with. However, the main reason for cutting my hair was because change approached me; my unofficial aunt and hairdresser of 8 years passed away, a family member had surgery, school became overwhelming…I was stressed. You know what some people do when they’re stressed, right? Cutting my hair was really symbolic for me as a way to start over and live my life in a more natural way. I started thinking more positively, I let go of negativity, I set goals and I really started to enjoy life. I’m also a grown adult now.

Now, my transition wasn’t easy; there weren’t any tears but plenty of frustration, boredom and spontaneous hair cutting. But my new outlook on life helped me through it all. A motto I live by is “Real Love = Self Love = Happiness”. Love showed me how to be happy and find the positives in every aspect of my life. It also taught me the value of loving someone for who they are on the inside, not based on appearance.

The best part about having short hair is the ease! I can count on my one hand the number of products I use on my hair. I can sleep more because it only takes between 2 and 10 minutes to do my hair. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars because I only need to go to the salon for a trim every 4 months. There are so many great things that came out of this haircut and the only thing I wish is that I’d cut my hair sooner.

My hair blog will document my crazy experiences growing out my natural hair, learning to love my afro, sharing the different hairstyles I wear, describing the products I use, expressing questions I have, lessons I’ve learned and basically anything and everything related to my beautiful hair. I hope to help, inspire and educate my fellow naturalistas. Enjoy!

Hair Growth: Not just a “mixed” thing. Warning: I get really passionate in this post! 🙂

Everyone’s been commenting on how fast my hair has grown since I cut it in January so I’ll give you my “secret”. I HAVE NO SECRET! Was that a waste of your time? Honestly, I love breaking stereotypes especially ones that don’t make sense. Everyone’s hair grows unless you’re experiencing hair loss from age, damage or a severe breakage condition. Hair grows anywhere between half an inch and one and a half inches every month. The amount it grows varies depending on your individual hair, your genes and how you take care of it!

I’ve concluded that the reason why people always assume that “Black girls’ hair doesn’t grow” is because there is an enormous amount of Black girls who have really short or really damaged hair and wear weaves and extensions to cover their short lengths. I guarantee that these girls are doing  things to their hair that is  stunting its growth. This is not to say that a girl from any other race wouldn’t experience the same damage and stunt in hair growth because she would! What do you think split ends are from?

Damage! Constant heat! Rough handling! Why are Black males able to grow huge Afros, have long braids or why do their fresh haircuts never last long? Because their hair grows because they take care of it! What did we learn? All hair grows but it won’t if you constantly damage it!

I want to bring light to the well-known stereotype that “mixed people” always have nice, long, curly, frizz-free, hair just because they are “mixed” with something other than Black. The health and growth rate of your hair isn’t related to your race. Yes, it is true that your race and ancestry can impact the texture (straight, wavy, curly, coily, kinky) of your hair. For example, my Jamaican and Guyanese family has Portuguese and Indian in us; it is proven that between 60 and 80% of African -Americans do. We can definitely say that my grandmother, my mother and my little cousins’ hair have more of a silkier, Indian texture than a kinky-curly texture and that my hair is really kinky-coily-curly, but again we are describing the impact race has on my hair TEXTURE not the health or growth rate of my hair. Race can be used to describe the texture of someone’s hair but is not related to growth. Hair will grow if it’s healthy.

Growth rate depends on your genes or even how well you treat your hair, not race. Some people naturally have hair that grows faster than others because of their genes. Not everyone’s hair grows FAST but everyone’s hair grows! My hair grows about 1 inch every month so my hair has grown about 7 inches since January. This is simply the growth rate of MY hair and shouldn’t be traced back to my race, compared to anyone else’s hair, used to categorize me as “mixed” or used to stereotype other “mixed” girls, seeing as scientifically, everyone is “mixed” with something. Hair growth is individual!

Your precious hair will grow if you take care of it and the best way to do so is to embrace its natural texture and properly prepare it for when you’re going to alter the texture (like applying a heat guard crème before you straighten or curl it). My hair is growing because I have taken the utmost pride and joy in treating my hair with respect by embracing its natural texture. I don’t force it to do something it was not meant to do. I listen to my hair to know what it needs and when to leave it alone. It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy but I’ve settled into a flexibleyet stable routine that works for ME and only ME. Study your hair, learn what it likes and dislikes, find a routine and stick with it!

I want to stress that hair growth is n0t some best-kept secret or hidden talent. If you look at the core of my hair care regime, you’ll find that: (see column).There are basic steps in taking care for your hair and everyone should be following these steps anyway! In that, I can compare our hair to a plant or even a human! Just like plants and humans, our hair needs water (literally water), food (coconut, Shea Butter, Cocoa,avocado, banana etc.), limited heat (deep conditioning/hot oil treatments), protection (silk scarves and caps when sleeping), tender love, care and patience!!! Your hair will grow if you do all of these things. Wow, we just found the solution to hair growth!

So, in closing, no, my hair doesn’t grow because I’m “mixed”, and no, it doesn’t grow because I’m “lucky”. It grows because my hair has a 1 inch per month growth rate and I follow a simple regime that provides my hair with what it needs to be simply healthy.

Next Issue!

Cleaning out Your (Product) Closet: Knowing which products to love and leave

Thanks for reading!  Shantel1

(Follow Shantel’s blog: www.blackandkinky.blogspot.com)

 Shantel’s tips to hair growth:

  • I use the right products for my hair (products with the right ingredients: some people’s hair loves coconut, others don’t).
  • I wash and condition my hair as needed (I wash/co-wash mine once a week, some people do it once a month).
  • I trim when necessary (I trim every 4 months. I repeat: if you don’t damage your ends, you won’t need to trim often).
  • I give it moisture (by washing, conditioning and using moisturizing styling products).
  • I protect it from harsh elements (I wear hats when necessary and sleep with a silk hair wrap).

 

 

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