I’ve seen too many posts to count from ladies complaining that they have no support from their family or friends, that they are surrounded by doubters and naysayers, and that their friends/family make fun of their methods and turn their noses up at the products they use.
However, in another equally popular hair forum question, when asked “Do you share your hair growth ‘secrets’ with people in real life?” most women say no. They give a range of reasons why they do not but the most perplexing answer, that is actually frequently given, is when ladies say “what secrets?”. As if all the information available in the online hair community is common practice, widespread and well known.
Now, I know there is no “secret” to growing hair, but certainly the methods and knowledge available on forums and blogs to having healthy African American hair are not common sense otherwise the need for such websites would not exist! If it was something “everybody just knows” then why haven’t we (as a race) always had long, healthy hair?
I have to wonder how many of these SAME ladies secretly enjoy the doubt and isolation of others just so they can swang their hair at them in a couple of years? Do these women feel like it is totally worth it to endure being made fun of now only to be the one with the last laugh later when they have gorgeous (relaxed OR natural) healthy long hair?
This reminds me of ladies who post their updates with beautiful waist length hair and when asked what they do – or to share their regimen respond with “Hahaha, thanks ladies. Really, I don’t do much. I just co-wash with a cheapie conditioner whenever I feel like it and mostly bun.” *Side eye* That may be true for a precious few, but I can guarantee for most women there is more to even the simplest of hair regimens. Do they moisturize and seal? Deep condition? Clarify? Has their regimen always been that simple, or did they have to do more to actually achieve the length and now are just maintaining it? Do they trim regularly? There is so much information left out! Some ladies will probe for more details whereas I just click the ‘close’ button on such threads.
When I see these absurdly vague, and I suspect mostly untrue responses, it does make me wonder. If you aren’t giving up the goods so to speak even on a hair forum where everyone has the same common goal, then you most certainly aren’t giving people in your real life who are not exposed to the online hair community the detail they need to achieve long, healthy hair.
Do some ladies want to be the only black women in their immediate circle to have long healthy hair? When I was a little girl and teenager, it was very common to see a woman (friend or stranger) whose hair always looked great and ask her where she got her hair done. I remember a lot of times the woman would not tell you. Sometimes they would give you the run-around “Oh, some place downtown….I can’t think of the name right now, but remind me and I’ll get it for you” but even after repeated reminding, the name of the person or salon is never revealed.
Other times the woman would just straight out tell you “I don’t tell people who does my hair.” When I see people say they don’t give out the names of their favorite online resources for hair information, or that they do not reveal the details of their regimens even when asked – I wonder if this same attitude of “I’m not telling” is the reason why.
As for me, I always share as much knowledge as I deem appropriate when someone inquires about my hair. If they say they like a particular style, I respond with appreciation and provide information on how I achieved the look. For example just yesterday someone at church remarked how much they liked my curls and I said, “thank you! I used the grey and purple flexirods*” because I knew that person does her own hair and would know exactly what I was talking about.
I have introduced numerous friends to online forums (several of which have joined), various hair vloggers, and one of my friends even created a YouTube channel of her own. Some friends just purchase some of the products I suggest, others begin doing braid/bantu knot outs after seeing mine, and my family just began reading some of my posts.
Not everybody is going to go in as hard in the haircare game as I do, and that is okay. All I do is provide as much info as the person is interested in hearing. We can ALL have healthy – and if we desire – long hair, no need to be stingy with the information!