Oddly enough, some time after writing “Please Don’t Shame Me Into Going Natural” I became obsessed with “natural hair.” I literally viewed just under 200 pages of the holy grail of curl celebrating blogs Curly Essence which I found through Refinery 29.
I started to regret having ever gotten a relaxer (even though at the time it was my mom’s choice and I sort of felt like it was a rite of passage. Sorry to spoil it but it was no big assimilating to White societal pressure or crying in the mirror saying I wasn’t beautiful without a relaxer. One day I just got one, and I thought it looked dope. I was in middle school.)
For anyone who does not know, a relaxer is a chemical treatment that straightens curls making it easier for anyone who straightens their hair often. They are permanent and can be dangerous if not applied correctly. Now that we’ve got our knowledge on, let’s get to the ‘fro.
After just under 200 pages worth of curl envy, I started thinking of how I could fake the funk. In the past I had curly weaves and didn’t like them, but it was one of those things where EVERYBODY liked it, so you sort of have it in the back of your mind, “I should try this again later.”
While searching for how to fake natural hair on Youtube, the results were pretty thin. The options were straw sets (using straws as teeny weenie curling rods) curly weaves, or Bantu knots. I went for the knots. On the upside, I knew this would be a good time to take a break from heat styling and the same ol’ ponytails.
My first trial was a mess. I did too many knots. The result was sort of a wet looking wavy, stringy, thing. I wanted BIG. So the next go’ round I did two Bantu knots (which are twisted buns essentially) and placed them on the top of my head like Miley Cyrus. I put in a little deep conditioner and sprayed with a tiny bit of water to add more texture and frizz. It came out super cool, not a REAL Afro, but I liked it. I had to tease it a bit to keep it from falling flat but fluffing it throughout the day was kinda fun to do. (That’s me fluffing above, lol)
The first day I stepped out with my fake fro (which was really just fluffed up waves) I went to the gas station and two dudes were watching me. Right when I had prepared my best mean mug face one said, “You have really nice hair.”
I’ve been complimented before (not a LOT, but ya know) this was different. It was more about the type of hair than my style, which was interesting. Kinda shows you how people REALLY care about hair. On another day, I was out with a friend who brought a buddy, the buddy asked if I was Hawaiian, Brazilian, or all these other exotic varieties. When my friend told him my father is Central American, he said, “Well you can totally tell, with that hair!”
I thought, “You can’t tell anything, silly foo-foo head, this is still a relaxed style not my natural coily, very BLACK hair, which I would have to essentially go bald and start all over again to get back! Take that ya lil detective!” (That’s called the BIG CHOP, by the way, when a girl cuts off all her relaxed hair, to grow a head full of natural, unprocessed, unrelaxed hair.)
There’s no way around it, the hair made me feel bold. On some days I could get it fluffed just right and it would be huge. And in a weird way, people sort of respect you more with natural hair. It’s hard to explain (start your knots right now and you’ll feel me tomorrow)
On the flip side, I had someone ask if they could touch my hair which has never happened since it’s usually straight. And the questions about what I was mixed with sort of got annoying. There’s a weird vibe that comes along with that question that suggests if you’re good looking you couldn’t POSSIBLY be just Black.
The hair also went well with my new #cozy vibe. Big hair, a slip dress and slides are the perfect “Hey I’m fashiony but I also just threw this on because I’m soo cool” statement. To put a cherry on top, it was one helluva time saver. I did the buns at night and carefully uncoiled them in the morning or while driving to work. It was pretty easy but after a while I started to miss my sleek low ponytail (which allows for more makeup, on my face at least.)
For now it seems as though I have the best of both worlds. I still like having my relaxer for my sleek ponytails and low buns but now I know the magical recipe to get a fake Afro. (Now all I need is the recipe to get people to stop asking if they can touch it!)
***If you guys want me to show you step by step how I did this, I will. (I sorta owe you all cuz these pics suck. I didn’t think I would write about this and didn’t take any high res images. Womp womp)