|Looking sex-ay on wash day with my towel and busted tank top|
I was doing observations and tutoring in schools for the education program I am in and it became a little bit of a struggle between feeling a need to tame the beast to look professional and presentable and being all honey badger about it (as in . . . ). Within the peculiar institution of The School, the Frederick Douglass (my hair's go-to look) has indeed become associated with Dangerous Negro-ness. I felt real conflict about how my decisions potentially affected how I was perceived by teachers and administrators. (Students were all "right on!," lovers of the 'fro but who cares about what they think right?)
I tried the organized somewhat legitimately curly look . . .
|Flat twisted roots twisted bantu knot out|
. . . and that was fine. Ultimately, it proved to be a little too fuss and bother. I was getting up at five am for my student teaching assignment and when it looked less than perfect, I felt some kind of way about it. Thankfully, my hair is now long enough for a decent back of the head bun--and i don't even need a sock to fill that sucker out thankyouverymuch. I did that for a while and was lazy enough to put it in a bun on a Sunday and leave it that way until a couple of Sundays later. Yes, a couple.
Ultimately, that was not really working for me since letting bobby pins slowly rust in your hair is probably not a good look. And oh yeah, I started working out which meant I was sweating a lot more and my hair was uh, less than fresh. No one ever noticed but me, not even Wes, but still. It was gross and I couldn't deal.
So finally I said fuck it. I downgraded my standards to "intentional". (That means that whatever happened, I wanted my hair to look like I meant it to look that way) I went back to washing my damn hair regularly with damn shampoo and using whatever tools and tricks I could learn from YouTube and the internet to meet my particular needs.
1. I want it dry.
2. I want it stretched.
3. I want it to stay moisturized for at least a week.
I'm whatever as far as styling goes. If I have the time and want to play, numbers 1-3 will have me ready to go.
Right now, I accomplish 1 and 2 by washing my hair in 12-14 big twists and squeezing as much water as possible out with a towel. Then I let it air dry for a bit before adding any leave in conditioner. I basically let it get to a point where water droplets stop forming. Then I separate my big twists, apply conditioner and styler and re-twist into two smaller twists. I generally end up with 24-28 twists.
|1. SheaMoisture Curl and Shine Conditioning Milk; 2. Curls Coconut Curlada Conditioner; 3. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Deep Cleaning Shampoo; 4. SheaMoisture Curl and Shine Curl Enhancing Smoothie|
I let that marinate. Depending on where I'm going and whether or not a hat or scarf is appropriate, I leave my hair twisted for as long as possible. Eventually I take them down and shake out my hair. I might stick a bobby pin on the part that likes to stick straight up. I wear it out for a few days, keeping it stretched by spritzing at night with a little water and putting it in two high ponies.