HAIR (Woman’s arch-nemesis) & her side kick PRODUCT:
I am the average woman. My hair isn’t “long” [checking the  THICK option tho!]. I don’t have those Ananda Lewis curls [though I loved the
way she wore her hair! Such a beautiful person/woman]. I, like most women, have gone through great lengths for the look I want.
We watch, talk, purchase, tease, tame, train, torture, snap, pet, coat, swell, clean, cleanse and pre-poo our hair. The hair industry and the AISLES of hair care products show how dear to us, our hair is. Your hair tells a lot about you, even if you don’t want it to. I thought about this, as I went through my own set up to wash my hair “salon style” in my kitchen sink. Oh that was interesting.
As an engineer, I started thinking about the benefits of all these things that I do to my hair. I make sure that I take my vitamins, oil my scalp with my super secret potion, pre-poo, moisturize daily … all of this as I remember. If I’m traveling for work, this whole thing is subject to get thrown off by the longer hours. BUT the question I asked was, with all the knowledge that we have, which is much greater than previous generations, is our hair any better off?
With the advances of products – tourmaline, ion dryers, seam-free combs, boar bristle brushes, silicone attachments, oil infused conditioners, protein enriched shampoos – does the general state of hair reflect all this “knowledge!?”
To me, I say a whopping no. As many products come out with new ingredients, companies find cheaper carrier ingredients. They find new trends to market to us. Women find better ways to make more healthiful products at home, annnnd, styles get more damaging. Don’t believe me? Who remembers the early years of the curling iron, AND remembers the people who used them DAILY? (I raise my hand guiltily) People choose harsher colors – I know someone who is a beach blonde, but was born almost jet black – or choose styles that look good but aren’t the easiest on the tresses.
Me? I have natural hair, but I’ve heat damaged my tresses in the past. I’ve had color damage. And in my relaxed days, I’ve been guilty of over processing my hair. (shrugs). The cipher of getting better “hair” so the world sees me as better is never ending. And in the next edition, I’m going to tackle the notorious waist length weave.
Just kidding. As you look around many places in our society, to be completely “made up,” seems to involve hair practices that aren’t totally healthy for people who want to retain as much hair and be fly (without weave or hard chemical processes). As huge as the natural movement has grown, so has the weave/artificial hair industry (artificial meaning anything you didn’t grow on your head). I wear weave, so I’m NOT bashing weave. It’s a great alternative style and can become a healthy staple, if used properly. Will we ever reach a state of equilibrium? Or will the culture of “grow it now” and “if I can’t grow it, I can buy it,” or “color me baaaddd” just continue to dictate the way we treat our tresses?