This post is a culmination of the many hair conversations I've had with white and non-black brown people in my nine and a half years in Knoxville. You guys sure have a lot of questions about black hair! Sometimes the conversations have been awkward and other times, just plain amusing.
I'm honored that you trusted me enough to ask. I've smiled each time someone has asked to touch my hair. We're all learning together, yes? And I've frowned each time folks have tried to bounce stuff off my 'fro. Er, that's a no-no.
For friends and acquaintances who just never got up the courage to ask, this post is for you. Wonder no more :)
(I confess that this post is a bit strange to write. Hair is one of those sensitive topics for women. But hey, what's life without a little transparency?)
At any given time, I'm sporting one of three hairstyles: a pulled back afro, double strand twists or a head of defined curls.
This is the way my hair grows out of my head. My hair basically grows up because the curls are so tight.
When I walk out into public, however, it looks like this: pulled back with a ribbon.
I gave up perms and braids in college following a series of conversations with my white boyfriend at the time. He was very curious, which prompted me to think hard about why I styled my hair the way I did. A period of introspection made me realize that I didn't really like my hair. Psalm 139:13-14 came home to me in a fresh way and was a great reminder that God made no mistakes in the way that he made me -- my hair included. In fact, he delighted in every one of my features, which is why he gave them to me.
I've been wearing my hair naturally since then. And I love it.
Low maintenance is key to everything I do, including my hair. Washing, conditioning, trimming and twisting my hair (more on this in a second) are about the only things I do.
When I get tired of wearing my hair pulled back in an afro, I get it twisted, which loosens the curls. Twists are like braids, but they're two strands instead of three. This is probably the only time my hair hangs down. It stays straight for about two seconds. It's so curly that once humidity gets a hold of it, it shrinks.
I keep this style for a little while and then untwist them. The neat thing about twists are that they make my curls more defined and they look like this: