Why I still use the same regiment after transitioning from natural hair to a perm

Photo by Mawuli Adjabeng

Photo by Mawuli Adjabeng

So people who know me now, do not know that I had natural hair for about 5 years before i decided to have a perm. And while my natural hair journey started accidentally, it was the best 5 years ever. I still can’t give you a good reason why I transitioned. But I did. Till this day, I am still apologizing to so many friends who went natural because of me. I AM SORRY!!!

It’s been about 2 and half years since I got a perm and I wish with all my heart I could have some nappy hair but I don’t think I’m mentally ready. So I try to keep a good healthy hair no matter what context it is in. I decided to maintain permed hair now using my natural hair regiment just for the hell of it and the results have not disappointed...

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My homemade concoctions!

This has been my all time saving grace girls! I co-wash bi-weekly with heated coconut oil or shea-butter, avocado, aloe vera, a cantu conditioner and some water.  There have been a few times I haves used mangoes and the smell afterwards has been divine! Not only is my permed hair more voluminous than in previous years when I had permed hair, I have more length and almost zero split -ends. 

Me at my favorite neighborhood salon! Those small salons are the most patient, trust me

Me at my favorite neighborhood salon! Those small salons are the most patient, trust me


Moderate with chemicals and heat :

We all know perming your hair means you are exposed to all kinds of checmicals. I know, girls I know. I miss my coily curls more than ever.  I keep the perm date intervals as wide as I possibly can; Four months between perms. I also make sure that I co-wash very often keeping in as much moisture at the base as much as possible. Doing that means, my new growth still remains moist and easy to comb through until i am ready to relax my hair again. I also make sure  I keep heat to a minimum. More often than not, I still let the natural light and air dry out my co-washed hair. After all if i need to go out, there's nothing a roughly -tied bun can't fix.


Protective hairstyles :

Listen, owning wigs has  been life-changer. Not only do they get EVERYTHING else moving faster but I am able to keep my hair from all the heat, and chemicals for a while. You are likely to see my in a wig-cap or in a head wrap. Nothing too tight however. (A girl needs them edges) The truth is HAIR needs to be let free to grow at it's own pace, with good moisture and minimum heat. So far the results have been great.

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I think I realized early that, hair needs food. There really isn't that much difference between good hair treatment for natural hair and permed hair.  Ok, maybe there is. But the essential elements needed for health hair doesn't change just because the texture isn't the same. The conversations around the politics of hair is of course, much more complex than that.

But the point I am making is that african hair has the gift of diversity. It is malleable and open to so many different things. It is beautiful. The important thing is to love our hair in it's natural state as well as all the other contexts it exists in.