It Is Only Hair! (2) Natural hair is not necessarily better; processed hair is not necessarily horrible…

If you know me, you know that hair is my thing!  Nope…not a stylist; just your average “product and salon junkie” lol.  For the past 12+ yrs, I have trusted my tresses to the one and only Kelly Jay…a friend of mine who is INSANE on the hair tip.  She has been in the hair care industry for 15 or so yrs, so the girl knows what she’s talking about.  The other Beautiful thing about my great and talented friend? She comes from a line of stylists, and they all work in the same salon…Grandmother Eula, Mom Regina, and Kelly! A Family affair!

Ok let’s get into it. In all honesty, I get sick and tired of the “newly natural” ladies telling me how wrong I am for getting a relaxer. So, when I went in for my weekly appointment with Kelly, we discussed the myths about natural and processed hair. “It all depends on the hair”, says Kelly. “Whether natural or processed, ends will split”. So then I asked about maintenance of natural hair–more maintenance required? “Depends on how you wear your natural hair. If you like to get your natural hair straightened, then yes. With processed hair, you’re only relaxing the new growth and trimming the dead ends”. Mom Regina, while providing a shampoo to her client, chimed in with a very interesting point…”all hair is dead; once it grows out of your scalp, it’s dead. Your hair has no nerve endings, so you don’t feel it when it’s cut”.*brows raised* Huh! So true…if we felt hair cuts and trims? I’m SURE we would need anesthesia.

Noooooooow to one of the most discussed topics regarding hair…weave/extensions. Everywhere you TURN, SOMEONE has a good, bad or indifferent weave. I personally am not a fan, but I don’t care WHO gets a weave; you still have some care involved in that as well. “Sew-ins are good”, per Kelly, “but they need to be removed at least every two months–your own hair still has to be maintained. Leaving sew-ins longer than two months can actually damage YOUR hair, causing the hair to become matted, etc”. So you mean to tell me…people actually leave a weave in LONGER than two months? The look she gave me when I asked her THAT question was priceless…but the most amazing thing is, when the damaged hair owner comes in to Kelly, they want an instant repair. She went on to say that “quick weaves” and bonding are also fine, but the proper products are needed to REMOVE the hair…ok low key, weaves frighten me and cause me a great deal of stress lol. Moving riiiiiiight along…!

I couldn’t end my hair convo without talking to the Queen…that being Mrs. Eula (might I add, she is also a comedian)! So I asked how long she had been doing hair; her answer? “100 yrs”–see…pure comedy. She advises that the shampoo is the best treatment for the hair because it helps to maintain, as this is the beginning of the style; What many don’t know about Mrs. Eula is that when she had a shop over on 61st and King Dr for 25 yrs, hers was one of the first shops to do relaxers in Chicago, and people would come from all over Chicago to get them from her. #BlackHerStory

**All three agree that you should visit your stylist at least every 7-10 days, but every 14 days is fine and is actually more common…everyone’s budget isn’t the same.  However a licensed professional “knows hair”…so let them maintain yours.**

To conclude, if you can recall, the common thread? MAINTENANCE. If you don’t maintain your natural OR processed hair…well…you won’t have much hair left to maintain. Take your weaves out on time, keep your ends trimmed, and remember…natural isn’t necessarily “better”, and processed isn’t necessarily “horrible”. What’s “better” is well-maintained hair; what’s “horrible” is having a lack of care and concern for your tresses. Oh…and my shameless plug for my girl…find her on under “Kelly Jay” for appointments and photos of her artistry…she’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad…what can I say!Aaaaaaaaand even I may have a few styles on there…ok yeah I do…ha!!



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 2ndClassCitizen
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 08:14:41

    Two things:1. It is not "only" hair. For most women, and especially black women, it is their crowning glory; a coronet worthy of receiving the highest percentage of the annual royal budget over any other non-essential. In fact, I can hear any black woman reading this say, “oh, it’s essential!”. Point being, the attachment women have to their hair surmounts the emotional and carries into the psychological. It affects how they feel, how they move, what they wear, how their day is going to proceed, and even what they say. Which leads me to…2. The tremendous significance of a women’s hair transforms it from mere aesthetic to an ideology. This means how you wear and care for your hair is now a part of a self-defining philosophy. We see the evidence of this in how the decision to go natural or be relaxed becomes who’s better than whom. Read better: realer, “down”-er, blacker, healthier, smarter, more informed, more intellectual. You do, in fact, no shade no tea Ms. Arie, become your hair by the standard of people/women who believe they are theirs. And with that, like all things that we believe define a person and their character, comes value judgments .So, if it were only hair, this conversation would be irrelevant. But, your words are more relevant than you know and perhaps can create an honest dialogue about why Mrs. Viola Davis makes headlines for NOT wearing a wig, and Mrs. Wendy Williams felt the need to respond by letting us know she will never be caught without one.


  2. ELLEWordsInc
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 08:47:47

    Ha! I love this…you are absolutely correct! Let me start by saying that the title of my article comes from the name of a salon that I used to work in, whenever I was home from college on breaks…shop name? "It's Only Hair"…so that was more or less a play on words aaaaaaaaaaaaand ALSO to let women know that yes, hair is a serious matter, but it's not one to get all up in arms about–personal preference is just that…PERSONAL. In all honesty, I am one of those Black women who view my hair as my crowning glory and, just like the rest of "me", I take care of it and VERY well. When I look good, I feel GREAT. And it's all done to please me. It's just frustrating that other women feel the need to sling a barrage of unsolicited comments/opinions regarding what others should do w THEIR OWN hair. "It's Only Hair"–folks be easy. Mrs. Viola Davis–one who #prefers not to wear a wig. Mrs. Wendy Williams–one who #prefers to never be seen without one. Ms. Lauran Smith–a woman who #prefers the "creamy crack", and will prooooooooobably get it until I've grown tired of it; all women with the right to their preference…and it's still "Only Hair". Thanks for your comments honey!!


  3. Pari Sade'
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 03:23:39

    Great article girl!!!! I enjoyed every bit of it!! #GreatRead


  4. ELLEWordsInc
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 06:16:05

    Thanks sooooo much for the read honey!! And I love your hair! ;0)


  5. Natalie of Shoed-In
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 14:08:07

    Oh Lauran!! This post is right up my alley! As Rev. Ozzie would say, you sweeping 'round my doorstep! LOL…I, as a "newly-natural" woman soon to be "formerly-natural" lol, believe that it is only hair and I believe what one does with their hair is not a reflection of how great a friend they'll be or how intelligent they are. In fact, what I have learned since being natural, like you said, is that I feel more pressure and judgement from the natural girls to stay natural and "be happy to be nappy" and so on and so forth than from any other group of people. They go on to act as though being natural changes how you're perceived. I've been told that now that I'm natural, I'll find myself "eating healthier and exercising more"…huh!? Just cause I don't have a perm?? I still eat how I want to eat and I hop up on a treadmill every now and then but I ain't no Jillian Michaels lol…I believe you're going to continue to be who you are regardless of your hair. If you're healthy, it won't be because you ain't been to the shop in 6 months. If you are a clean person who likes to look good, you'll do that regardless of a perm or natural. You'll rock WHATEVER hairstyle to your very best. Natural girls act as if all of a sudden you are newly-intelligent and worthy of the utmost respect because you're natural but you get no love for being permed. I know some ig'nant natural girls and some brilliant relaxed girls. Respect is given by those who HAVE it to give! You don't just get it because you think you deserve it. Just because your hair is one way or another does not determine if someone will respect you more. I've seen natural girls get both respected and disrespected. Same for the relaxed ladies…….ok I'm rambling now…anywhooo, honestly I cut my hair 'cause that was how I felt at that moment…now I'm ready to relax it again…hair is forever growing, therefore it's forever changing…I intend to grow and change with it 'cause I flow with my mood, not anyone else's opinions of me……..thanks for this post 😉


  6. Thru Thick N Thin
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 19:27:02

    I love this Los Angeles! Keep it up!


  7. ELLEWordsInc
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 08:22:05

    Thank you! Thanks for reading!


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