Black women share feelings on their hair

caines | 9/6/2012, 5:30 a.m.

She loves it, she loves it not

So is it love or not? When some Black women speak of their hair they tell of a time it broughtunspeakable joy and other times when it caused pain that left them speechless. Often, it seems as if they are describing a love-hate relationship. Local Black hair care experts and Black women discuss hair style preferences and reveal how they truly feel about their natural hair texture. "I don't hate the natural state of my hair," Quashanda Martin, a recent University of Florida graduate, said, laughing. "But it's upkeep has often given me feelings of pain and horror." She remembers her childhood days, when styling her puffy hair in its natural texture bought her to tears. At the age of 10, she got her hair chemically-straightened and has been doing so ever since then. She loves her 20-inch straightened hair. She said having her hair relaxed has made it more manageable and easier to maintain. Now she either wraps her hair and wears it down or puts it in a ponytail. Lutze Segu, Barry University graduate student, found that getting her hair relaxed was more painful than styling her natural hair texture. "It burned the middle of my scalp," Segu said. "making it impossible to comb or brush through my hair." Since her early high school years, she has worn her hair in its natural state in braids or a low cut fade. She said that another reason she prefers natural hair is because it requires less time to style. Segu said her natural hair journey has it peaks and valleys and she considers cutting all of her hair off every day. "I would like to say it's just hair; it's not that serious," Segu said. "But unfortunately everyone has made it so serious that at times, it appeases me from loving what grows on the top of my head." Mone't Howard, hair care specialist and makeup artist, believes trends, career paths and men have a huge influence on how women style their hair. "They figure it's not in or he may not like my hair," Howard said. But she said she has met a lot of men who find women with natural hair appealing. Simone Hylton, natural hair care specialist and co-owner of Natural Trendsetters, said a lot of women don't know that natural hair can be glamorous and stylish. She has clients who have had natural hair for years and covers it with weave so that no one sees it. She said some of her clients believe they aren't capable of growing beautiful natural hair, like other Black women. But she has noticed that more women are becoming more educated on styling and maintaining their natural hair. Were learning to love and embrace our texture in its natural state, but ideally we really dont (love it), Hylton said. Across the board, the majority doesnt. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com