Tutu's hairEvery now and then there's that one girl who isn't on a hair journey; does little or nothing in the way of hair care, maybe even does some things that would leave us hair enthusiasts cringing; but has long and healthy looking hair.
In my life that girl is Tutu. I remember first year in Uni, a few weeks in, when I helped her take down her braids and saw her free hair for the first time. I was wowed. All her rants of "watch how you cut o! My hair is long!" now made sense. This was long hair, and it was fuuuull. I had considered my hair long until then. From then on, whenever someone said to me "your hair is long", I'd say "thank you, but you should see my friend Tutu's".
Now bear in mind, I was the one particular about hair care- I would always have the entire range of whatever hair care brand I was using- relaxer kit, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, styling creme, sheen spray. Granted I was doing A LOT of things wrong, using wrong products... but I didn't know that then, and I was also doing some things right- not overlapping relaxer and washing it out quickly (thanks to my sensitive scalp), deep conditioning weekly, keeping my scalp clean by washing twice a week, no tight braids etc.
Tutu on the other hand, would go to the salon every now and then, use any lye relaxer and keep it in for *gasp* up to an hour without incident, wash with horrible salon shampoo ( I shall not name the common brands) and quick condition with the same brand. Then they would slather on some petroleum jelly mess posing as hair cream and she would come back whipping long, beautiful hair. She did not own or want any hair products.
Time went by and every single one of us by 4th year at least, had experienced damage and lost health and length. All except Tutu. Her growth rate is crazy. She only ever lost length to scissor-happy stylists and by her next relaxer in 6 weeks, the hair would be even longer!
You can see how this would convince anybody that you need special hair genes to grow long hair. Well I was convinced. I stopped taking care of my hair, thinking "It would do as it pleases anyway". Bad decision. Not everyone can, like Tutu, get away with being nonchalant about their hair. I had always had dry hair but this was it. Hair was dry as a desert, breaking off like no tomorrow, uneven and dull. That was when I cut it to chin length as I said in my first post.
Fast forward 2 years after my dance with the scissors, I got waist length hair. Yes I'm returning to natural but I first proved to myself I could do it while relaxed.
My point is this: Yes, there are girls with long hair who don't even have to try. Does it mean no one else can have long healthy hair? No. What I didn't understand then was that everyone's hair is different, just as our faces are different. You figure out what your hair needs and you do it and your hair flourishes. That's it. Tutu and I have very different hair types and needs. She has thick, oily type strands that are resilient and abuse-resistant. I have medium, dry hair that relies heavily on moisture and tlc to thrive.
I have now come to the end of my speech :p
Here's Tutu's hair lately:
Bra strap length (BSL) with no effort at all. And yes she's a full Nigerian, yoruba girl.
I've tried to promote healthy hair practices to her but she keeps saying she doesn't have the patience. Sigh. I did whip up something for her though. Next post.