Back to the Basics
My mother became a natural hair care specialist (unbeknownst to her) in December 1971, when my sister (Tiffany) was born. Tiffany came into this world with a head full of beautiful hair, which continued to grow and become dense with each day. My mother adorn my sister with cute age appropriate hair styles which consisted of ponytails, braids, twists, etc. If there was a braided style that my mother could not achieve, then she would enlist the help of my cousin Marlene. Marlene was very patient and creative when it came to braiding, and later became successful in the hair industry as a cosmetologist. She was my mother's lifesaver for years, especially when I cam along seven years later.
What I don't think my mother knew at the time was that the braided and twisted styles that she so tirelessly created on our crowns were protective styles, and were more beneficial than convenient. I remember getting my hair done twice a day when it was not braided. My mother would put my hair in ponytails during the day, and at night she would take the ponytails down and plait my hair in the sections already parted out from the previous style. This made for convenience in the morning when it came to styling my hair. The purpose of the plaits were to protect my hair from the ponytail holders that I wore during the day, and to keep my hair moisturized during the night.
I myself have been natural since 2011, and the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..." has rang truth all throughout my journey. Protecting our tresses is the number one key to the overall health of our hair. As often as possible, we should adorn our heads with protective styles. Protective styles includes braids, twists, plaits, any style with our natural hair where your ends are tucked and protected. Other protective styles include crochet styles, braid extensions and sew-in installations. With these styles you must be extra careful, and remember to not leave them in too long, make sure that there is not a lot of tension on your scalp, and care for your scalp on a weekly basis. The more often you keep your hair protected, especially during cold seasons, the happier your hair will be. Let's get back to the basics and protect our tresses.