Your Hairstyle Shouldn’t Hurt: Big Mamma Wasn’t Right About Everything

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Period. For too long stylists, mothers, aunties, and grandmothers have justified unhealthy stress on our scalps due to the fact that some women are “tender headed.” Many of us recall the horror of “wash day” among our childhood memories: combing, brushing, pressing, (burning–you know I’m not lying), head scabs from Just for Me no-lye relaxers, tight braids, “ballies” popping against our scalps, forced pony tails that stretched our hang time to it’s maximum potential.
Yikes! We are STILL recovering our edges, and rehabilitating our coils. And now, 20-sum-odd years later, the epidemic of tension alopecia is STILL plaguing black women because we have been conditioned to believe that “pain” is an inevitable part of the process of beauty. It just goes to show…as much as we LOVE us some Big Mamma..she wasn’t right about EVERYTHING and many women (don’t) have the edges to prove it.
I‘m not judging. I have been there and in fact I am still recovering! And as far as Big Mamma is concerned; she did the BEST she knew how and edges aside–her advice and love has kept me together in my darkest hours. Still, now we KNOW better about some things and painful hairstyles are definitely one of those things!
No matter how tolerant or intolerant your scalp may be to pressure, our bodies have pain receptors to help us understand when we are under attack and our scalps are no different. If your hairstyle is painful that is a sure indication that something is NOT right. We kept silent when big mamma was doing our hair in the kitchen, for free. We are still keeping silent in salons and style seats across American for Beyonce prices!
It’s time to speak up! No lie: I have asked clients, “Is this too tight?” because I could see the tension and the little bumps forming around the perimeter. Do you know what they ALL tell me? “It’s ok.”
PSA: It. Is. NOT. ok! Not at all!
Some women endure for the sake of the sleek appearance of edges pulled from the corners of the universe and the flatness of a sew in or crochet. Some women simply don’t like confrontation. Others, just don’t feel like waiting for the stylist to take down a section of hair and start over. And honestly, you’re a grown woman and you have that freedom of choice. HOWEVER, if you EVER want to wear your REAL hair, with the confidence of a full luxurious scalp then somethings has got to give and IT’S ALL THAT TENSION ON YOUR SCALP.
Unless your plan is to need weave for the rest of your life, stop allowing stylists, your mamma-cousin-sister-friend, to kill your follicles.
So yea, Big Mamma, missed the mark on this one…but just between you and me, I wouldn’t dare say it to her face! 🙂
<3 Nay
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