I've falling in love with Shea Moisture's products. I think it might become the line I use regularly. A bit pricey, but my hair has not responded to *anything* the way it has to those products. If I keep getting the results I've been getting (softness, shine, elasticity) they will definitely be my staple.
What's been the most interesting is seeing the different kinds of people that are natural and discovering that some people go natural as a sign of superiority. I do understand it, but it was just not a thought I'd even considered until I realized what I was seeing. I see a lot of women that are clearly doing it to exert their superior knowledge about hair and overall intelligence. And I do think there is intelligence in it, but the fact that people are doing it to be "better" than others is disturbing. And then you see them become hyper-vigilant about other shit that might be seen as unintelligent or even Black. Like they "correct" their grammar and speak in these affected ways and talk about shit that you can tell is a sign they are trynna compensate for something. It all reads like "I may be nappy, but I'm still smart" or "my hair may look this way, but don't lump me with THOSE Blacks." The politics of it are both fascinating and frightening.
It's been interesting hearing the different hair tales, as well. Like many of the women I've been watching/reading did not perm until they were in their late teens or early 20's. And they had the opportunity to see the actual texture of their hair and be familiar with it. I had my first perm at like age 10 or 11. And before that I had a permanent seat in the hot comb chair every few weeks. So the only time I even knew what my hair's natural texture felt like was after it got washed. And I had nothing but negative experiences with that. After it was washed my mother would dry it and comb it out and that was absolutely excruciating. Then she ran the hot comb through it and despite the combing out that was painful as hell too. She did not know how to deal with naturally kinky hair so she just attacked my head. To her credit, my mother did try to make it less painful. She had this regular comb/hotcomb combo method that was designed to make straightening my hair less painful and that did help. But she still treated my hair how she viewed it, which was like it was "unmanageable" and "difficult." And it told me that the only way to deal with my hair type involves pain and laborsome grueling. At some point I realized that this was not true. That I didn't have to be in pain to deal with my hair's natural state and it didn't have to be this laborsome task (at least not MORE laborsome than the series of stuff I went through in order to get straighter hair). But I still had no clue how do to manipulate it, so despite the occasional thoughts about going natural it still seemed like just that, a thought, with me having little to no idea how to put it into action.
I envy the women that had some connection to their hair at an earlier age. I wish I'd been taught different things about my hair. My mother, much as I love her, had some warped issues about it. She felt she had "good hair." Apparently it was naturally pretty straight. I honestly, always saw it as falling out and thinned. So even as a young kid I think I was developing my own views about how hair "should" be or what "healthy hair" was.
All that aside, it would have been nice to have some experience with my hair in it's natural state before now. I am glad I'm doing this, but transitioning is a bit frustrating. The styles I want to do would work better if all of my hair were natural. And it becomes easy to just think "fuck it I'll flat iron it all to straight" since I clearly can't make it all natural. But I know that applying heat all the time is one of the reasons my hair constantly breaks off (It's no longer as long as it was in pics I took just a couple years back). I think I have a little over an inch of new growth. I'm not sure how long my transition will be, but I anticipate it'll be well over a year, maybe more than two. We'll see. Despite the frustration I am enjoying connecting to my hair.