“Don’t touch your hair for five minutes. Go!” That’s the challenge I give my mother since she went natural earlier this year. Mom loves her hair and constantly touches it (a few times she didn’t make it to five minutes). She’s not alone. For some of us neo-naturals, our kinks and curls are like new discoveries after years of straightening. And our fingers are itching to explore the treasure on top. I remember friends in college always twisting their hair during early stages of their locking journey. And I’m proudly guilty of playing in my mane as well. Since I’ve put down the pressing comb, my fingers seem to be dancing in my afro and twists non-stop.
A few months ago I sent my hot comb and pressing cream on a long vacation. My hair needed a break from the heat and I needed a break from pressing it. I got a few ideas for styles from Prettydimples01 Youtube channel. Her hair is much thicker than mine and she’s a professional stylist. When I tried to mimic her styles with my bathroom-beautician skills and semi-thick strands…well, just imagine the catastrophe for yourself. I had to tweak her styling methods for my own texture. This meant a lot of experimentation. There wasn’t much need for a brush and comb. My fingers were doing the work. I’ve been using a hot comb for a least 25 years. That’s most of my life. So while I had straight-hair styling down, I was in the beginners class of Natural Hair 101. The more I played with my hair, the deeper I fell in love with not how it looked, but felt. I noticed its softness through manual teasing to make it poofy. I could feel its bushiness under my fingernails while massaging my scalp with rosemary oil. Even combing out the little kink balls shedding from my hair ends was fascinating. It was as if my fingers touched my hair for the very first time.
My first natural style were two-strand twists. I overindulged on shea butter and locking gel. The result wasn’t pretty, but droopy. My twists looked and felt sad. I gave the style another go, less gel and no shea butter, and my twists curled up like a smile. I stood in front of the mirror, pulled a twist and boing, it snapped right back to my head. My little twists have springiness and should I dare say, energy. I didn’t know my hair could go boing, but I liked feeling the springiness. Many times when I’m working or doing nothing, I catch myself pulling at them.
Two weeks later I took down my twists and picked my hair in an afro. I noticed it starting to get dry. Although I put the shea butter away after my droopy twists, I rubbed some in my ‘fro to give my hair life. My hair turned into cotton candy. It was soooooo fluffy and thick. I let my fingers lose themselves in the meadow on my head. Once again I was pleasantly surprised by the texture and the look. I always thought my hair wasn’t thick enough for an afro. Not only is my hair thick enough, but soft with a little bounce.
Since sporting my first afro I’ve said a little thank you to God. All of these years I’ve been straightening my hair and not fully appreciating my God-given texture. That’s not to say I’ll never press my hair again because I like the versatility of black hair. But it will be a while before I do. I’m having fun discovering cute ways to style my hair, minus the heat. Embracing my natural beauty a little more feels good. And so does my hair.
No! I freakin' love my curl short twa. Ever since I was 7, my hair was permed and straightened and I never new the awesomeness that is my natural hair. Now I pretty much have my fingers in my hair even when I'm asleep. XD lol
@Cocoa Fly–Honey, I know what you mean! My weirdness is what draws people to me, though; so I guess it's a good thing! And why not share the joy?!?! This hair does some amazing things and I wanna let the world know it! Haha!
@ Madame Geerings–I also told a friend to feel my hair. But the funny thing is this was our first time seeing each other in years. Maybe it was weird but I didn't care. LOL. I wanted to share the joy/ 🙂
I can't! I bc-ed everything but an inch and a half at the end of April. I just could not keep my hands out of the curly amazing-ness sprouting from the top of my head. Even now, almost seven months, I still find myself with a hand (or two 🙂 in my hair if I'm bored in class or just spacing out. And I know it sounds a little weird, but I kind of want a select few of my friends to put a hand up there too 🙂 I LOVE MY HAIR!
@ Anonymous who wrote: "I can't help it and don't even try." I heard that! 🙂 Life is too short not to love ourselves and appreciate even the small things that give us joy.
@ Anonymous who wrote "They would always ask first, so it was me who allowed them to touch it. After awhile I stopped letting people and almost felt selfish for doing so."
Don't feel selfish b/c you don't want people to touch any part of your body, even your hair. I haven't had that problem yet. Maybe because where I live so many black people sport natural hairstyles.
@ Kimberlan–I love hearing about a man indulging in his lady's natural hair. Very romantic.
@Kimberlan: People can't seem to keep their hands out of my hair too. At first, I was okay with it, and then it started to bug me. They would always ask first, so it was me who allowed them to touch it. After awhile I stopped letting people and almost felt selfish for doing so. hah.
Honestly, I've never liked doing my own hair. To this day I still don't. However, I was never allowed to go to the shop and would rather spend hours in front of the mirror than pay someone to do it. Stubbornness and the broke that comes with paying your way through school. Tangent, sorry. 🙂 I usually only play with the left & back side of my hair (the kitchen). Instead of trying to stop myself, I just started giving the right side equal love. 🙂
I can, but other can't especially my boyfriend(I'm not pointing any elbows or cursors, Bandera! LOL). He's addicted, but I can always depend on him to give me my daily scalp massage, I think he enjoys it more that I. Though family members, friends, even strangers in the elevator seem to always find way, I feel I can't be selfish…
What I do is, After I've been "groped", that is…LOL I keep a small 2oz spritzer with a 1:3 mix of Grape Seed oil and Aloe Vera Juice in my bag, I give it a good shake, then spray over my length. Then I take my fingers, holding then like a flatiron, and smooth the already clumped curls. The ones that got separated, I just grab a section of hair and twirl it over my index finger (usually in a barrel roll, my hair is too long to do a spiral roll). The mix works like cuticle sealant and keeps the frizzies away.
Hello my name is Val and I can't keep my fingers out of my hair!! Lol!
I big chopped on July 11th of this year and my hair grew faster than I expected it to. I do two strand twists often and still…I can't stop touching it! I love how it feels after I moisten it…so soft!! I use plain old water( sometimes w/some peppermint oil) and shea butter to keep it moisturized and its wonderful. I just love the way my hair feels….
I try not to touch my hair during the day. Ive been natural for >10yrs and when I first BC'd I used to touch my hair like crazy. I still love the way it feels in my hands,but I limit myself to finger combing and scalp massages in the evening. It feels so good to luxuriate in the texture and it has helped with hair growth. I know I'm sounding like a weirdo! Lol.Pampering oneself through scalp massage is so relaxing though.
As a child, I would suck my thumb and twirl my hair at the same time. As an adult, I still continue to twirl my hair and rub my fingers against the smoothness of the twirl. Needless to say, since I BC'd in May of this year, I still play in my hair, while I'm at work, driving in the car and while watching TV at night. By the time I go to bed, I have all these little twirly curls in the same manner as if I were starting locs. The next morning I spray my hair with my concoction that includes jojoba oil, aloe vera gel, and the revitalizing spray from Beautiful Curls, finger comb my hair and begin the hair play all over again. I can't help it and don't even try.
@ Porsche-I've only been wearing my hair like this for just under 3 months. It feels like your fingers and hair are meeting for the first time. I almost feel like a toddler who wants to touch everything because they're new to the world. My hair in its natural texture feels new to me.
@ Anonymous who wrote, "I can't stop touching my hair! I actually discovered I wanted to go natural through touch."
I love that!
@Micaiahty–Glad you like my post. I have the hand-hair bug too. 🙂
@Hair Politik–Isn't it nice to know you're not alone. 🙂 I noticed people with locs touching their hair but it didn't dawn on me that people with other natural styles do the same thing too.
This is my exact problem, I'm touching it, washing it, twisting it, I need it to get away from me so I need some kinky twist. I fear that Im a high high manipulator and that may impede on retaining length though I dont see abnormal shedding or breakage.
Clearly, this is an epidemic amongst naturals!
I too, cannot keep my hands out my hair. I pull and twirl my little kinks to no end. It's addictive.
I'm only 4 months into my transition and I can't stop touching my new growth lol
It's interesting because my first couple of months being natural included some serious hand in head syndrome lol. However, now that my hair is past shoulder length, I tend to only touch it when it's out or looks weird but I also try to be aware of the touching just to ensure I can retain some length. I would suggest, if possible, protective styles to help control the hand in hair problem.
My boyfriend is CONSTANTLY smacking my hands out of my hair and telling me to leave it alone. I wear it in the finger curls and I am constantly pulling the curls for the boing effect! Now that I have found the ideal products for my type of hair(4a), it is so soft and nice to touch. I don't say anything to him when he's pulling and playing in HIS locks!!!;-)
Love this post and question. I also love my hair and can not keep my hands out of it.
I cannot, but for retention's sake, I am forcing myself to get better.lol. I have been wearing protective styles for half the week and "out" for the other half. So far, so good!
Nope…and I've long since stopped trying. 🙂 When I'm "in public" I try not to mess it up too much, but once I'm home, the gloves are (literally) off.
No, I can't keep my hands out my hair. On the days my hair is oozing with moisture I find myself stroking my hair – just enuf not to mess up my do.
i love my hair too, but i thought i couldn't keep my hands out of it because i just was always touching my hair. even when it was relaxed i would always find myself running my hands through it and twirling it.
Thanks for the post! I thought I was the only one that had this problem.
This is soooo me- I love my hair- I love touching it and pulling it and twirling it; its crazy how obsessed i am with it. So I started my own personal protective styling challenge in August, thinking it would help me not touch it so much, but I even mess with it while its twisted or bunned. It's like I just need to touch it, lol (that didn't really sound right, LOL!)
I keep my hair in braid extensions because I love to play in it so much. When it is in two strand twists, I "boing" them all the time. It's best to hide myself from myself. Lol!
(playing in my hair as i write this) Hi My name is Ty and I love to twirl my hair>>>>>It's bad… so bad that I put my hair in protective styles so that my fingers can't mess with it. LOL
so I end up twisting my hair, taking it down so that I can twist it again!! Yeah, I know I have hand to hair diease, but I LOVE IT! Each day, i learn something different about my hair, each day it looks totally different the the previous day, I look forward to seeing what it is going to do…Twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots..etc..
It is something about the texture…Especially after a henna treatment, my hair feels like doll hair.. I cant explain it, other than it is such a beautiful, natural feeling.. Love your post and UNDERSTAND 100&!
I can't stop touching my hair! I actually discovered I wanted to go natural through touch. The thick, healthy texture of my natural part felt "alive to the touch", whereas I could not recognize the relaxed part as mine. I could feel the difference. My hair now feels like an organic part of my body, not like something I'm wearing. Difficult to explain.