I moved away from straightening my natural hair a few years ago. It has now been five years since I last straightened my hair and I do not miss it.
Naturally kinky-curly hair is already vulnerable to variables like the weather. I am always asking myself "Is it windy today?" "Cold and dry?" "Well, what’s the humidity like?" "Rain?"
I love my hair, but sometimes it's too much!
I am fairly lazy when it comes to styling. I care more about keeping my hair moisturized and tangle free, than I do about changing my hairstyle on the regular. I just don’t have the time or inclination.
Keeping up a temporary straight style means I have to be careful of my edges every time I wash my face. Not only that, I still have to wrap it and tuck it away, so that I can avoid re-applying heat to sections that have reverted. It feels like I have to walk on eggshells with how careful you have to be with straightened hair. It’s too high maintenance!
It's also why I created simple and multi-purpose products like the Curl, Please! Curling Custard, I wanted styling to be quick and easy no matter the style or the curl.
The ends of my hair split faster when I flat iron it than the sun does in a British winter.
So, now that I don't straighten it, I don’t have to get as many inches of my hair cut off. Nor do I have to cut it as often. I might still apply heat 1-2 times a year for a stretched look, but if I do, I use a lower heat setting and the tension method. I will also apply a small amount of Leave Me Be Leave-in Conditioner because we are not forgoing hydration over here!
Whenever I would straighten my hair, right away I would be flexin' in the mirror and looking like
But then a couple days later, I would be bored and missing the volume that comes with my natural curls. I would be questioning why I even bothered at all.
This may seem brattish of me, but...
I grew to hate getting compliments on my straight hair from people who otherwise never said anything about my curls. I would think "oh NOW I’m attractive to you?" "Oh NOW my hair is acceptable?"
Among the worst comments would be: “Oh, you straightened your hair! You should wear it like that more often!” At moments like that, I would internally scream in Black Power Fiist, while smiling on the outside like "as God is my witness, you gone take this Black birthright on my head because I ain’t goin nowhere."
No, I don't think I am allowing others to dictate how I wear my hair. I realized I just don't care that much about the straightness of my hair for the reasons mentioned above.
When I first noticed that I wasn’t so eager to straighten my hair anymore, I searched myself for my original motivations. Sure, I used to think that straight hair was sleek, or formal hair (those white European beauty ideals were super entrenched, y’all), and thus would straighten my hair for special occasions. But there were other, more superficial reasons. I realized that I was primarily straightening my hair to revel in my length once or twice a year. But... micro braiding my hair once a year gives me the same opportunity, and is way more flexible!
Micro-braiding gives me all of the length straightening would afford, minus the split ends and high maintenance. It lasts a lot longer, too. The only drawback is the amount of time it takes for installation and take down (~30 hours). However, those 30 hours in exchange for 8-10 weeks of wear is pretty good in my book.
What about you? Do you like straightening your hair, or are you meh on it?