Miseducation. This is the title I use to describe the period when I did not respect my hair. I’m talking about the times when I ripped through my hair with a comb instead of gently untangling the knots with my fingers. The myths I believed about washing your hair too often. Braids that were too tight or left in for too long. The lack of knowledge about the damaging effects of sulfates in shampoos. And of course RELAXERS.
This past summer I was doing research on afro-textured hair and I came across YouTube. Well, actually a video post on YouTube about a woman who had been growing her natural hair for thirteen years. It was only in the past three years she discovered the knowledge for achieving healthy hair growth. In the video she showed the progress of her hair from hovering for the longest while at the nape of her neck to mid-back length. And there were other “Naturals” floating around YouTube and other forums and blogs achieving their growth goals. No there was no magic “Grow it” product that you can purchase for $9.99. Rather it was the beginning of my education in the chemistry of afro-textured hair and how to care for it.
I wanted to leap, jump and touch the sky. Finally! Was it possible that I could pass on a beauty ethic to future generations? Would they embrace their curls with a clear understanding about how to respect the integrity of these coily strands?