Diary of a Naturalista: Addendum: SEE LINK!

I came across this article and from the title I was expecting something laughable and indeed it was.  Check out #7, because that pertains most to us naturalistas but I couldn't help but laugh.  Is it true?  I wrote a whole blog about dating and men and talked a lot about black men's response to my hair so I won't go into that again.  I laugh at it but I guess it may be true for some black men... but I don't think those are the ones I'd be interested in anyway, so I'd probably just say good riddance.  But read the entire thing.  You'll get a good chuckle at least or maybe just shake your head. 


Perception of Us Among Us: A Recent Incident

I meant to post on this for awhile. Its at the point where while I'm nursing baby, I literally imagine what I will post word for word and if only I had that mind-Jedi thing, there would be lots of posts written from my head, but alas I actually have to find the time to sit down with my computer and type that ish out.
Its kind of a response to a post my sister wrote about what "white people" may think about our hair. I can't remember the title of the post to quote it word for word so forgive me if I'm politically incorrect in the description of the post (for those who are bothered). And its not really a response but its along the same thread of how others view Blacks -except this incident I happened upon isn't an 'other' view of us but a 'us' view of us. Here goes:
My boyfriend is white. I tell you this only because its central to the story. And so my son, is bi-racial. This too is key - somewhat.
So I went for my typical evening walk with my bf and my little boy, the other evening. Baby is in stroller, and I am walking along wearing a hat (to cover my twists) and big earrings (to TRY and look semi-cute regardless). My bf is pushing the stroller when this little 'brown-skinned' boy who lives across the street is standing around with who I assume is his grandmother (older woman) and another little 'brown-skinned' boy. The boy  who appears no more than about 7 or 8, yells from across the street 'I wanna see the baby' and immediately skates over on that scooter thing the kids ride these days.
The other little 'brown-skinned' boy (but darker), who appears about the same age, follows him. He comes over, looks at baby, who is very very light-skinned (I only point this out because it's central to the story as well) and say: 'Aww, how cute'.
Then he turns to my bf and says, 'but what are you doing with HER?' (He pointed to me). Of course I look around me to see who  'HER' is, because I am appalled by the emphasis on her and equally appalled at his brazen-ness in addressing me, an adult, the way he did. My bf (who annoyed me even validating this kid's question with a response) says the typical, 'she's my gf , I love her, yadda yadda,' and the boy replies: 'But he's white (pointing to baby), you're white, and she's......brown (you imagine how the 'brown' was actually said, and if you can't, let me place it into proper context for you: The 'brown' hit me in the face like, let's say, a palm leaf (not fun, feels rough, kind of annoying, but no serious harm done). I swear though, he made a face when he said 'brown.'
 The incredulity of the whole conversation made me laugh but it was actually kind of sad that he thought this way. I said to him: 'But YOU'RE brown," and no lie, this little brown-skinned boy with some crazy things growing out of his head that might be dreads (hair was such a crazy mix of long and short kinkiness, I could not tell) looked me straight in the eye and (with his very dark-skinned friend beside him) said: 'I'm not brown, I'm almost white.'

(Now later my bf would tell me the little boy actually said 'my grandma said I'm almost white' but I don't remember the 'my grandma said' part). Could be though that his response sent me into a mild delirium (out of surprise) because I swear I became disoriented and couldn't remember if I was actually where I was, or in some alternate universe, I was so taken-aback.
For some unclear reason, I thought to rationalize with him, so he could see the flaw in his thinking: I said to him, 'what about your friend? Isn't he brown?'  But I quickly realize this was a futile pursuit on my part when his response was to ramble on about his friend falling and cutting himself. What did I expect after all? I mean I was talking to an 8 year old 'brown-skinned' Black boy, who thinks he is 'almost white.'

Did I already say I just found it immensely sad? How could this little Black boy, want to be someone else so badly that he convince himself he IS, or how could a family member be possessed with such self-hate, that she allow this boy to identify himself as 'almost' some other, as opposed to having him be proud of who he IS. And then to emphasize the distorted world he lives in, he placed me, who is the same complexion as him exactly, in the category of brown, whilst unable to see he is the same color.
I would joke about it later to my bf that if he had seen my hair he might have expressed double disdain! And not just said '..but she's...brown!' but may have remarked 'but she's...brown....AND she has kinky hair!!'
'Cuz if he is 'almost white,' then I'm SURE his hair is also, 'almost straight.'

Hair Update and my Twists Regimen

So what have I been doing with my hair of late?
My hair has been in a series of twists, twistouts and messy 'fros. I wish I had pics to post but its so hard to find the time these days.
Anyway, here's the scoop:
I have been experimenting with different size twists and have found that smaller twists last longer. But with a newborn, I no longer have the time for really small twists (when done well, they used to last two weeks, seriously) so now I can only manage the big twists which unfortunately for me, don't last more than two or three days max! Do you guys have any idea what I can do to make my bigger twistouts last longer? Or does it come with the bigger twists?
To get my twists defined and shiny here is what I have been doing:
-wash my hair in braids with dudu-osun shampoo (if hair was out then I dampen my hair, apply my co-wash/daily conditioner, detangle section by section and braid each detangled section)
-condition with my brahmi-ginseng conditioner (homemade) and let sit for about 5 minutes (I'd love to do longer but again, with a baby I have to rush rush rush)
-apply deep conditioner - Phyto, work through hair while still in braids and rinse
-apply kinky curly leave-in and castor oil to each section I unravel, comb through/detangle and re-braid the section
-once hair dries (I allow about a day for that), I twist with my homemade mix (will provide link to the post that has the recipe soon) or with Qhemet Biologics Heavy Cream or with just shea butter/coconut oil/palm kernel oil mix.
-Everyday the twists are in, I seal in  moisture with castor oil or jojoba oil. Once my hair is in twistouts, I re-moisturize with a Phyto cream that has Quinoa oil in it (its in a white tube, I will post the exact name soon but the stuff is good and it smells awesome).

I am also looking for a new deep conditioner. I am running out of the one I currently have, Phyto. And in the name of using only natural-based products on my hair, I don't think I'll re-stock as the Phyto deep conditioner has silicones in it which aren't the worst things in the world but are known to dry out hair and since I'm prone to dry hair, I will stay away.
I have been hearing good things about Karen's Body Beautiful line in general. The only thing that makes me hesitate is the products are a bit pricey but if I can  get my hands on the deep conditioner, I would definitely try it. In the meantime, I'll finish the Phyto that I do have right now.
I have never been length-obsessed but I have, of late, felt more eager for my hair to grow longer as its in what I think is this awkward stage - far from a cute twa but not long enough to put in a ponytail.
So that's what I've been up to. I will definitely try to put up more posts going forward.

What do white people really think about black hair??

I work with a lot of Caucasions, between my patients and my co-workers.  Since starting my natural journey, my hair has been a source of wonder for lack of a better word.  That doesn't surprise me, as it it still a wonder to myself.  Being still in my experimentation stage (I have to admit, i don't have this natural thing quite figured out just yet), I have rocked many a different hairstyle to work, although I try to keep it as professional as possible.  I started out with my afro puff, then moved on to twist outs, then I had long waist length box braids for awhile, bantu knot-outs ... you name it I've tried it.  I've had more than my share of bad hair days... days when I experimented with style expecting a certain result and when I wake up on Monday morning and undo it, it's something completely different.  Of course, I have to go to work and there's no time to fix it so I just gotta roll with it.  Needless to say, I've had many self-conscious days.
By and large the comments from my white patients and co workers have been good.  They LOVED the box braids.  It turned out many of them thought it was my real hair.  And I wonder how can anyone logically think they are real when just a week before I had a short afro puff?  How can hair grow 3 feet over the course of a weekend.  This one completely perplexed me!
I had rave reviews of my twist outs as well and my afro puffs would get the occasional, "how cute" comment. 
Well yesterday at work I had one of my wackier patients ask me if I ever wear extensions.  I replied that I have occasionally.  She says she has been thinking about getting some extensions, the long curly kind.  I told her it would suit her, hoping the conversation would end there.  Then she starts to talk about how she likes to switch up her hairstyles often.  She tells me she's noticed that I wear my hair different almost every time she sees me (which is probably true), then she goes on to say  "... but you have to, because you're black".  I wasn't sure what that meant and didn't really care to ask so I left it at that and tried to sneak away but she kept on talking.
"Have you seen the movie 'Good Hair?' "
I groaned inaudibly because I know how it is when white people get a peek at something that is an insight into black people and things that are unique to them.  They sometimes take their own perspective on it and think of it as another way black people are inferior or at least different.  I replied no.  She tells me how funny the movie was because of Chris Rock's commentary and how she feels "so sorry for you black people because of all the stuff you have to do to your hair". 
I reply that many black women choose to do things to their hair, they don't have to.  Just then someone called me and I made a quick exit and was very relieved to get out of that conversation because I hate having to educate ignorant people although maybe it is my duty as an intelligent black woman.  But I was perplexed about that for awhile.  Do white people really feel sorry for us??  I'm not sure how others feel but pity to me is the sister of scorn.  Maybe that's a little strong, but when someone pities someone it almost always comes with a feeling of superiority.  I could be wrong though.
I felt the need to tell somebody because although disturbing, it was also amusing.  So I tell my one black female coworker about what I just experienced and she just shrugs.  Which made me think maybe she is one of those black women who don't identify herself with other black women as a collective... the "she's not talking about me" phenomenon but I"m very sure she was.  
Now, what my patient said wasn't outright racist or even overtly offensive and maybe I read too much into it.  Actually I didn't really think of it much again until now as I write this blog but it has left an imprint on my subconscious.  The longer I have natural hair the more I identify with what it means to be a black woman and feel the need to defend us as a collective.  So I learned something new about how white women view us but more importantly I learned something new about myself and the ways I've grown since being on this "natural journey".