Monday, March 19, 2018

The Clean on Dirt

I absolutely love blogging. I love the excuse to read, research and learn. I love to take the information I read about and share it with others. Blogging is pretty cool! Blogging gives writers a chance to share their love of reading and writing for the sheer delight of it. I'm gonna use my love of reading to share with you a little bit about the truth on dirty hair.

Dirty hair is a very very touchy topic. As a matter of fact, talking about dirty or unclean, anything can be difficult. However, when you work in a business that requires you to clean and be clean, guess what? You can do it! So, here goes the clean on dirt.

Now, this blog is not limited to or is focused on women of color and women with textured hair only. But-ter-umm, the practice of not washing hair for weeks to months at a time is a practice that is predominantly used by women of color and women with textured hair. Why? Well, my research leads me to the answer that slavery is the culprit. Damn it! I know.

Kemsit, Nubian Queen of Kemet Pharaoh Mentuhotep II
(2061-2019 B.C). Queen Kemsit having 
her hair beautified by her servants.
Slavery is always going to be more difficult talk about than other topics because it evokes pain on the descendants of slaves and the descendants of the colonizers (thank you Shuri of Black Panther for bringing light to the word). There is nothing good about slavery. The effects of slavery have stained America forever and there is no way of avoiding the topic whenever America is discussed in the past, present or future. Unfortunately, even when it comes to dirty hair, the topic of slavery is responsible for yet another difficult topic in the making of America.

Now, getting to the point of dirty hair. It is to my understanding as a cosmetologist, there is a school of thought that has been passed down in some cultures of African American families and families of people with textured hair (some people with textured hair do not consider themselves Africans or descendants from Africa. But that is another blog) that textured hair should not be cleaned as often as people who do not have texture. The other school of thought is...the less texture (curly, kinky, wavy or Afro) one has in their hair, the more "they" can wash their hair. As an African kid raised in America, I was raised to shampoo and condition my hair weekly or more, especially during the summer when we went swimming. And my hair looked like Chaka Khan on steroids when I was a kid! So that captures a just a few scenarios around cleaning textured hair.

Well, the practice of not washing textured hair frequently is not a good one. It is no secret that when one of the most inhumane conquistador of all times, Christopher Columbus explored the sea to find the shortest route from Europe to Asia, he obviously had no sense of direction or what he was doing because he ended up in America. History tells us that according to his own journal in his own writing that he enslaved 6 natives on the first day upon them welcoming him and his cronies on their island. He wrote, "they make good servants." And within 60 years, that crook and his cronies physically enslaved thousands of Africans and killed some 250,000 indigenous people (Tainos)  with guess what? Rape, torture, lynching, disease and you guessed it, FILTH.  And from there, the White lie that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 to discover America began. To think some 526 years later, the American world leader proudly summons masses of people to do what? "Make America great again." Meaning?

Understand that when the slave trade began, they did not do so with slaves. No, Boo Boo Kitty, they did so with Africans who were stolen and captured. When they stole the Africans, they did what any typical thief does when they steal, they take what they need. And typical of any thief, they do not bring other things along that are of no use to them in the selling of their stolen items. Just ask any thief. When a person steals clothes, they don't steal the soap powder and the iron to care for the stolen goods. When a thief steals a car, he does not steal the gas to fuel it or the garage door opener to park it. No, he takes whatever he deems of value to sell on the black market. That was slavery. Slavery was not only about stealing Africans, it was very much about selling Africans as slaves. The slaves were not things; they were African people who were moms, dads, teachers, priests, chiefs, daughters, sons, grandmas, mathematicians, architects, scientists, doctors and more. So, when the Europeans stole these Africans from their homes to enslave them for sale for labor, trust me when I tell you, African hair care was not on the roster and neither was their soap.

Alata Samina or Ose Dudu a.k.a black soap
Soap was not on the roster because Europeans did not use it. We know that Greeks love to claim the fame of every damn thing. Let the Greeks tell it they are responsible for geometry, history, numbers and writing. That is not true. Claiming and owning or starting are three different things. When you read the history of cleaning (even on the internet), Google and the peeps who do that thing called "algorithms" would have the average scroller to believe that the Greeks invented and set the standard on civilization, including cleaning some time during the era of 300 BCE. And you know what? They're right. But guess what else those algorithms capture? If you search for it the right way? They reveal that meanwhile back in ancient Kemet (Egypt) on the Nile between the period of 9000 BCE to 300 BCE, way before the Roman Empire, Africans were hunting, gathering and growing their own food. They had dynasties, spirituality, writing and pyramids. They were sustaining on their own. It was the Greeks, Romans and Persians who entered into Egypt for help. They were in the "Dark Ages" the Medieval times. They had very little going on and needed help desperately.  Oh and soap may I unapologetically add! African and African American scholars such as John G. Jackson, Cheikh Anta Diop, Dr. Ben Yosef Johchannan, Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Anthony T. Browder, are writers on the history of ancient Kemet who all attest in their books that the birthplace of mankind and the start of civilization  began in the interior of Africa along the Nile Valley.

It is imperative for all people, regardless of age, sex, race, nationality, and texture of hair to know that cleanliness began in Africa. No such practice of not cleaning self and hair is in the history or practice of Africans and people with textured hair. Not cleaning hair as needed is a practice forced on enslaved Africans by Europeans slave masters and colonizers alike. Unfortunately, enslaved Africans were forced to drop and disown their lineage and lifestyle as Africans. They were demoted to labels and titles such as Negroes, Blacks, people of color and minorities.  As a result of that kind of mind control, rape and physical abuse that the enslaved Africans endured caused a "loss" of mind and their ability to identify with their homeland and lifestyle as Africans for hundreds of years afterwards to the present moment of me typing this blog.

Thus began the tragic practice and belief that descendants from enslaved Africans now called Blacks, people of color and minorities can not wash and comb our hair like Whites or people with less texture in their hair. In addition to creating soap, varying excavations of ancient ruins reveal that Africans even carved and made combs out of animal bones and wood. Today many believe that "Goody,"  "Diane," and "Dupont" invented combs. They did not.
The iconic ‘fist’ comb from the
1970s and a 5500 year old
comb from Abydos Egypt.
Taken at the origins of
the afro comb exhibition.
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge 2013

Now we know that Europeans did not civilize the world as we know it.  Nor are they the creators and soap. We can now reveal just how the ancient Africans along the Nile created soap. Simple, they did so with the use of essential oils, plants, flowers, and vegetables! Soap in different parts of Africa is also known as Ose (black) Dudu (soap), Du Du Osun, Alata Samina, and Anago Samina. These different names for soap were the original cleansing products of choice for ages to follow. These soaps were not only for cleansing the body, they were also used for cleaning hair. Just as they were good for both during ancient times, they are also good for both now. Nothing against Dove, Caress, Lever and the likes; but Africans invented soap.

Again, the practice of washing hair and scalp every two weeks or months on out, is one that got its origins from slavery. Our ancestors from Africa knew the power of little and tiny; hence microbes. They knew bacteria was harmful and could kill, so cleaning was vital and essential. Cleaning the body along with the hair and scalp is something that is done daily, to three, or to once a week. The choice, of course, is yours. It is your body and your hair. You are free to do as you please.

Understand, that if you are touting yourself as a person who enjoys the freedom of "natural hair" and textured hair, as well as a person who enjoys the freedom of letting it (hair) be; do so in the knowing that "natural hair" is not limited to people of color or people with textured hair; it is everyone and everybody who has a scalp or and hair. This blog points to the interior of Africa along the Nile is where mankind started and where the African diaspora began. Understand that the scalp and every texture of hair need to be cleaned within 7 days. Failure to do so results in advanced hair loss, hair damage, hair breakage, balding and thinning. It also increases the financial gain of every hair care company you can imagine.

Co-washing, washing hair every two weeks, washing hair every month, dirt makes hair grow, and growing dandruff are simply more myths and lies planted in the heads of the descendants of European slave owners and colonizers. Unknowingly, the enslaved Africans passed the lies and practice to their children out of igorance and necessity. Washing hair with soap and water is the most popular way to clean hair. However, it is not the only way. You can also clean your hair and scalp with essential oils or an antiseptic using a cotton ball or white face cloth daily to control the growth of bacteria on the scalp and hair.

That is "the clean" on "the dirt" about hair.  The lies of Blacks and people with textured not having to wash their hair weekly or waiting every two weeks to clean their hair and scalp is not the way of us as a people according to history before slavery. It is nothing to brag and tout about as a practice of status, class, decorum, and hygiene for anybody regardless the race. What it is, is a preference. If that is your preference, it is your preference. The clean on dirt is not to make America great again by not washing your hair.

Love, peace and hair grease!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Inner You

What type of a blogger would I be if I did not write a blog about the outgoing year and the incoming year? Yes, there is something about the end of those 365 days that makes people want to do 365 more! As a cosmetologist, I can not think of a better way to make wanting to live those additional 365 days again more fulfilling than looking good. 

The National Cancer Society has a program to help women feel beautiful as they recover from various forms of cancer called, "Look Good. Feel Better." I can not think of a better mantra for life in the upcoming 2018 new year. It is true. When we look good, we actually do feel better. The interesting part about looking good is sometimes we can actually look uberly attractive and physically fit outwardly; but inwardly we do not feel the same. On the contrary, mentally we can feel fantastic; yet, esthetically and physically we look a hot mess. To rectify this conundrum, women opt to change their hair. They do so because it yields great feelings and looks great. However, this  resolve yields topsy tervy results which typically goes two directions. In the one direction the result is hate. If their hair doesn't turn out right, they either hate their hair and blame the hair product. In the other direction the result is love. They love either love their hair and love the product. Either way, the objective is truly to look good to feel better or to feel better because they look good. If this type of recourse sounds familiar to you or a loved one, then this blog is for you!

One of the most interesting things I find about working in the beauty industry is how much people want to be beautiful. I kind of liking my experiences to that request to that of someone who works in the ministry or spiritual realm. People got to ministers and spiritual coaches asking for blessing and prayers when they are already full of them. God, Spirit, Universe (or whatever name you have for your higher power) has everything already made in perfection. I know this sounds cliché. But it is not cliché. It is an absolute spiritual and physical fact. Consider two things. First beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Second, everything comes from within; everything. So feeling good within automatically puts and end to the "want."

Beauty is like art. What one person thinks is junk and scribble; others see it as art. What sees as ugly, fat and jiggly; others see it as perfection. I encourage every one to operate their mental faculties from the mindset of knowing. Know that you are already beautiful. Rather your have a head full of hair or your hair is balding. Own your own type of beauty versus wanting it. 

In relation to beauty, there are many things we can do with and to our beauty. We can alter our beauty or we can leave our beauty as is and proceed. Either way, we have a divine mind called choice to do as we please.

Today beauty has turned into something with two very interesting sides. On one side of the token there is a popular notion called "natural beauty." On the other side, some call it "altered beauty." Now days we have much coming at us to persuade us to choose a side. But, one has to admit the side of the coin that alters beauty is constantly being tossed again with the hopes to not alter. The one thing in beauty that people like to alter the most is hair. People like to alter their hair with water to reshape the state of if to do things like make it curly, puffy, frizzy, curly or straight. Then there are those who like to alter their hair with tools to cut it or decorations to adorn it. Others like to enhance that by adding heat via irons, dryers and the sun. There are also others who like to enhance the beauty of their hair by altering it with chemicals to change the color or and texture. Whatever the choice of alterations, guess what? You can always have the choice to alter it again.

Thoughts are more toxic than any relaxer.
The thing I find interesting about these varying options to alter it is the negative attention given to those who opt to chemically alter their hair. If a person chooses to alter their hair with chemicals they are often warned of the dangers of chemical alterations. People are warned against internal damages to the body, hair loss, hair damage and in some cases death. Yes, I've read and listened to many school of thoughts that are utterly totally and completely against anything synthetic/manmade on hair and the body.

I am no doctor by any stretch of the imagination nor am I any sort of spiritual or wholistic guru who is affluent in the knowledge of either area. However, I am of the genetic makeup from a supreme being. So with that fact, here is the knowledge bestowed in me from my supreme maker that gives me the credibility to respond. 

Everything comes from within. Nothing comes from without. If you use any chemical on your hair and you become ill, trust me; you were ill before you even reached for the box; before  the chemical was applied. Chemicals are energy like illnesses. They all come from someone's mastermind. If the mind generates sick and ill intent thoughts; so it shall be manifested in the external. Chemical application comes with warnings just like bad thoughts. There is a contingency to both modalities. 

I can think of nothing more toxic than a person who personifies, represents and promotes that the external is responsible for the internal. Nothing in beauty could be further from the truth. When you add anything external to an internal that is compromised, predisposed or is at risk, then consideration to what you choose to use externally should be considered with scrutiny.

My mom had this to say about surface beauty, "Beauty is skin deep. But, ugly is to the bone." In other words, a toxic mentality permeates. However, one chooses to alter their hair or image is a very personal decision. What is toxic to one person may not be toxic to the other. Everything is not for everybody. As we adorn ourselves externally, get to know ourselves internally. Discover what is really on the inside that you want the world to see daily. If you wanna fry it, dye it and lay it to the side; in the infamous words of the Rapper Debonair, Shock Gee - "Do what you like."   
Just grab 'em in the biscuit!

And for those who insist that chemicals or altering one's beauty beyond their view or opinion of how it should be done, understand that it is their energy of judging, their undertone of excessive persuasion and harsh words that begins the formation of the toxic thoughts that makes women, girls, teens and men sick from within long before any man made chemical touches and enters the body externally. 

The human body is amazing. Contrary to popular belief the human body wants to be alive. The divine made us so intricately well that it has organs that are designed to rid the body of toxins and even regenerate themselves to keep us living strong healthy lives. If and when the body becomes toxic, please know that you have the power of your mind through choices to change behaviors and affirm healing thoughts that will manifest any kind of healing. You know; what some people call miracles! 

The new year is approaching. Use this magical time to truly begin something beautiful in your mind. While you do have the option to do this at any and every moment in your life, feel free to use the incoming year and date of January 1, 2018 to do so.

According to numerologist Simone Matthews, of, she writes this about numerology, "Numerology is a most ancient and mystical art form for understanding our own personal cycles of growth & evolution AND becoming conscious of ourselves in the greater context of planetary & cosmic evolution." As for the meaning of the new year 2018, she goes on to write this edifying passage to translate the meaning of the master number 11, "Firstly… in a Universal 11 Year we have the FREEDOM to really SEE ourselves from a greater level of awareness or consciousness.  Just like looking at our reflection in the water, we are drawn during 2018 to take a good hard look at areas in our life where we have held ourselves back, stayed small for fear of rejection, or limited our growth for fear of failure.  What do you ‘see’ when you take a deep introspective look at your life in this  moment, what is the universe reflecting back to you in this Universal 11 Year." To get more information on this topic, please visit her website. It is awesome.

There is only one you. When the maker made you, he broke the mode. Everyone has a divine mind that allows them to only create from within.  How you want to create or alter your beauty including hair is a part of that divine mind of choice. Even if you relax it, color it, loc it, braid it, cut it off, sew it on or glue it on, it is your prerogative to do so. If and when folk go to express their opinions about it; that's ok! They have the choice to use their divine minds for whatever they like or dislike.

Tap into the inner you. Continue to ask your supreme source how you can you express your beauty. Use that information to express yourself and should you choose; your beautiful hair.