Before reading the body of the email I already knew exactly what my friend needed, not because I'm clairvoyant, but because I have so many gal pals and even strangers ask me for advice on how to manage rebelliously curly hair.
My friend is African American and has decided to bid farewell to her hair relaxer and go natural. (Yay!) Unfortunately, neither her friends nor her hairdresser are being supportive. But she's sticking to her guns and she's turned to me for help.
What do you do with your hair? she asked.
I decided to post some hair tips here on Georgia Mae because I know there are other curly girls out there with the same struggles.
Most mornings I wet my hair while I'm in the shower. (If it feels a little dry I'll condition it too. I shampoo my hair at least once a week.) To fight frizz I apply Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk. I comb it through and then apply Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Frizz Control Smoothing Balm.
My hair tends to get extra frizzy near the hairline, so I pull my hair back (these days with a stylish scarf) for a little while to stretch the root and then let my hair air dry.
Other products in my stash include John Frieda Secret Weapon and Mixed Chicks Leave-In Condition, which are both good for restoring softness and shine to your hair when it's dry, and Tea Tree Oil, which is good for dry scalp.
Remember that deciding not to get a relaxer anymore does not mean you can never wear your hair straight again. For special occasions or just when I want a different look I'll get my hair smoothed out at a salon. (I have A LOT of hair and I don't have the patience, upper body strength or expensive Paul Mitchell flat iron to straighten my hair myself.)
You see when you go natural you can have the best of both worlds!
And the next time someone tries to tell you that you need a relaxer try telling them this (the piece below is a poem I wrote after one of my uncles suggested I get a perm):
My Hair Doesn't Need To "Relax"
One day I realized
My curls were not uptight
And that's the day my scalp
Always itching for attention
Decided to chill out
My ends that had split up
Decided to work things out
And I decided to let them reach for each other
Reach for my waist
While I danced in the rain
Glory running wet down my back
Since every woman's head of hair is different I'd love for any other gals out there with curly or natural hair to chime in with some tips too in the comments section.