I know it sounds simple but it’s true. Growing up with relaxer I knew water to be the enemy unless I was washing my hair….
It’s raining – “Ah man… I don’t have an umbrella I’m just gonna wait under this shelter and let it die down before I make a sprint to the car.”
Want to go swimming? – “Are you crazy? I have perm in my hair…chlorine and perm don’t mix!”
Want to work out today? – “Nah, the sweat is gonna make my perm come out quicker. Besides do you see my new growth, I don’t need it getting any harder.”
So logically, when I went natural and heard it was good to spray my hair with water I was hesitant. I don’t know why, but it took me a while to accept that water was a good thing for my hair. I had to unlearn what I learned and rewire my thinking to accept it and see the benefit…funny how are minds work eh?
In fact, now that I think about it, the relaxer was like a jacked up rule book; don’t get your hair wet, don’t scratch your head before you perm, don’t go swimming, don’t work out before the perm cuz your hair will sweat and burn your scalp… and the list goes on and on. I digressed. But really, for any of you new naturalista’s coming out of transition know that water is your friend.
Sometimes we need to unlearn what we’ve learned so we can then learn
– lessons from Mark Batterson
When I had a relaxer, I loved getting my hair wet, because it stayed straight! My mother and grandmother were the ones that informed me that water was damaging to my relaxed tresses. I was told my hair would fall out, it would get split ends, etc. imagine the joy I took in telling my mother that water is crucial to natural hair! I love getting my hair wet!
I remember being a kid and being SOOO heart broken when during the summer (I lived in a mostly white area and went to a similar school) I wasn't allowed to swim with the other kids to keep my mom mom from having to re-do my hair. Now I swim all summer because I can lol.
Water is my friend, but then I need to do something with my hair when I am done. I can not just spray my hair with water and go because it will puff up in 20 minutes.
Check those hairstyles : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfhL8x1ysXI
Water is fabulous. I love it! I carry a water spritz bottle just to refresh.
I remember when I had just coloured my relaxed hair and went swimming a day after. my hair just looked sad and my hair stylist was so mad at me for not knowing that chlorine wasnt good for the colour. so glad that is all behind me now.
There is so much truth to this article! I love it! There is no better feeling than walking into the rain while everyone else huddles under shelter somewhere!!!
Funny! I was just telling my friend the same thing!!! I didnt have a perm, but I LOVED the flat iron and hot comb which did a doozy on my hair! :-/
I literally feel really good that when it is raining I don't need an umbrella. Also, in the shower I let the steam give me moisture no shower cap needed. Love it
You took the words out of my mouth, Toni! I actually made the decision to go natural because I wanted to be able to get my hair wet (working out and swimming) without looking at the activities as a hassle because I'd have to do my hair afterwards.
I think the issue about water and relaxed hair or sweating and relaxed hair–at least for me this was the case–is that, if out in the rain too often or sweating up a storm nearly every day, the relaxer would grow out at a faster rate. I wasn't too big on ponytail or bun styles; I wrapped my hair each night so that I could wear it out. So, if you're looking for your hair to hang straight and not have to be relaxed sooner than anticipated, sweating and rain could have a negative effect on relaxed hair.
I mean, I'm an active person, so I never let my relaxer get in the way of swimming or going to the gym, but I did feel that I used relaxers more often as a result.
In some ways, I still feel similarly about water and my hair. I'm glad that I've given up the relaxers, but I'm still not excited about being caught out in the rain. I will mist my hair with water, of course, but do I go without an umbrella when it's raining out? Nope.
@3rdxsthecharm, @Monaia, @Nicthommi water was my enemy when I was permed because I usually kept my hair short. When I had longer hair it wasn't a problem because I could pull it back in a ponytail. However, when I had short hair, it would totally lose whatever style it had and I had to take the time to redo my hair — which meant starting from shampoo, condition, blowdry, flat iron, etc. Too much work!
I'm transitioning, so I look forward to the days when I don't have to run from water. I feel you when you say water was the enemy. I never wore my hair "straight" per se or a ponytail, but I liked to wear my hair in the voluminous body curl look. Any drop of water be it rain, sweat, or humidity would either make my hair frizzy or make my curls fall. So in order to get it back to my desired look (especially if I had more than two weeks of new growth), I would have to put heat on my hair. Now not only was I straightening my hair, but I was putting heat on dirty hair. That along with the fact that I'm an avid exerciser caused me to decide to put the flat iron away. I'm now six months into my transition and I'm happy that I can workout without the burden of thinking about my new growth reverting.
I would go weeks without washing my hair when I had a relaxer. It was just too much work to get it straight again (plus I'm lazy)…So it was weird at first when I went natural to wash my hair 1-2 times a week but now I love it! I never realized how much my hair LOVES water.
Yeah, I don't get it either. Water never bothered my hair when I had a relaxer, but getting your hair wet or even just damp will RUIN a twist out style. And even if you're wearing your hair in a wash & go style, if you don't seal or add a leave in conditioner, your style can be ruined when you get it wet.
Seriously, I don't get how people with relaxers run from the rain and are afraid to get wet. That was NEVER my relaxer experience. I'd say just the opposite. I thought working out and getting wet (excluding chlorine in the pool) was the easiest thing ever. I could wash my hair, condition it, and pull it into a ponytail or bun. On weekends, I'd throw in some conditioner and pull my ponytail out of the back of a baseball hat. Then I could set it or whatever later.
Pressing and flat ironing don't mix with working out but what were people afraid of with fully relaxed hair? Was that some kind of old wive's tale or something? And I never had my hair relaxed very hard, so my hair was still pretty fluffy.
I like my natural hair just fine but I can say that working out with it every day is a challenge b/c I NEVER know what it is going to look like when I take it down (I wear it in twists under a scarf). It took a while to figure out what was best b/c it is ALWAYS damp by the end of my workout, and even now I'm kind of spoiled b/c I don't have to rush STRAIGHT into work and let it airdry a bit first. But I have days when this turns out well, and days when it is awful.
With a relaxer, any bad hair day was solved with a bun and a scarf worn on my edges until I got out of the car. I had a perfect bun every time.
@3rdxsthecharm I totally agree with you. You took the words right out of my mouth.
I love the fact that I can get my hair wet now with no problems!!! I actually love the feeling when it rains unexpectedly on my hair and I end up at the party looking even hotter than before because the rain added an extra uummpphh to my hair lol!!! …. email@example.com
omg, i love this post! just this past friday i was rocking a twist out and when i saw it was raining i was super excited! my hair loves rainy days! while folks were running and ducking i was strolling in the rain thinking "this is just what my hair needed!" lol~
I don't get it. Why do people with relaxers run from the rain? When I had a relaxer, I didn't mind my hair getting wet because it stayed straight. Now if my hair was pressed/hot combed when it was natural then I would have to run from humidity since it will turn back to a frizzy state if it gets wet. But I never had that problem when I had a relaxer. (shrugs)
It took me three years to learn and understand that water is my best friend. Even after I was told water is good for my hair, I was unsure how to use it, how often to use it, or how much to use, when do I use it ( (if people was just referring to washing my hair). No one seem to be able to explain (or willing to share) this process to me. I learned all these things through trial and error. Now I can say with confidence that water is good for my hair.
It is AMAZING how spraying a mist of water, followed up by oils can totally reset and refresh the hair. Water is essentially the best moisturizer for natural hair. I notice when I spray water on my hair (concentrating on the ends) and seal at least every other night, I have far less single strand knots.
This is so true! It's a lesson I am slowly but surely learning. I feared water like the plague when I had permed hair, but during my transition it has truly become my best friend. And I love that with every drop of water my hair is like brand new again…talk about aqua vita.