Hi everyone and welcome!
I'm your host Samourai Shampoo aka SaSha. In this blog, I’m gonna talk mostly about afro natural hair, with some occasional other topics on the side.
Why natural hair you may ask? Well, maybe I should share with you a little bit of backstory first...
I’m an African woman, born and raised in Switzerland in the 80s. I had a pretty decent childhood, with supportive parents who taught me (amongst other things) to be proud of myself and my Rwandan heritage. For a long time, I was the "only black kid" in my school but it never prevented me from making friends and enjoying life. Don't get me wrong though, I had my fair share of racial problems, but this period of my life was mostly cool. However, there was one thing my fellow classmates had that I wished for back then, and it was long, straight and flowing hair. It wasn't an obsession or even a real conscious desire, it was just... there. Like a small voice in my head whispering to my ears how great it would be to have « that » kind of hair.
I remember putting a big towel on my head as a little kid and pretend it was a long and shiny mane. And I also remember wanting to flip my hair like the women in the commercials.
Just like this :
Yeah, I know… I was crushing on a cartoon’s hair... O_o
You could say the predominantly white environment I grew up in (with adds who weren't really catering to minorities’ needs) was at fault. But even if it was definitely a factor, I don't think it was the only one. The truth of the matter is: for 28 years of my life, I thought of my hair as a burden.
I remember the combing and braiding sessions with my mom. If you have hair like me, you know what I'm talking about... She would comb it while telling me that pain was the price to pay to be pretty. What's up with that? You can't be pretty without suffering first? Well, I'm laughing about it now and I know it was her way to calm me down, but as a child, those sessions felt incredibly long and painful. And even though I think that those hours of braiding were actually precious bonding times with her, I only felt at peace when it was all done, knowing that the hairstyle would last (at least) a few months.
In retrospect, I realize the topic of hair was never discussed at home. And I don’t think it’s because my mom didn’t like my hair, or thought it wasn’t pretty. I believe that for her, it just wasn’t a topic worth talking about at the time.
Like a lot of my African girlfriends, I opened my first box of relaxer when I was a preteen. The results were less than spectacular, but I kept on relaxing for the sake of « manageability ». I was relaxing at home by myself, with no knowledge whatsoever. Needless to say, my hair became extra fine and breakage was my middle name for the following 16 years. So… mmmmmh, yeah. No bueno.
Then, in 2009, I got fed up. I had 5 months of untouched new growth and I didn’t want to relax it. Since I had no clue how to take care of the two textures, I decided to chop off the relaxed parts. I didn’t know the first thing about transitioning, conditioning or moisturizing my hair but I was bold (or crazy) enough to do it anyway.
I ain’t gonna lie to you, I cried a lot that day. When I looked in the mirror, I felt ugly and didn't recognize myself. I kept wondering why the hell did I cut my hair?! But fortunately for me, the story didn’t end there. It was hard to find myself feminine at first and that realization bothered me. It was time to change my perception. Of beauty, of my hair, of myself. I was also lucky enough to have people around telling me they liked my short natural do, and I'm grateful for their positive reinforcement and support. So after that I started researching to learn how to take care of my hair, and finally decided to go natural for good in July 2012 when I "big chopped" for the second time.
It’s been more than a year now and truth be told, I’ve never felt better about what grows out of my scalp. It’s not always fun, joy and unicorn tears because natural hair TAKES TIME. But I'm not struggling anymore... and it's a good feeling. Most of all, this natural hair journey is the reason behind this blog. It is SO awesome that I decided to start this new adventure to share it with you. So I hope you'll join and I hope you'll enjoy!
Peace, love and welcome to y’all,