The Mane Attraction

About Cynthia

Cynthia about me.JPG

It's all about the Mane baby!

I, Cynthia Swilley-Washington, like most girls with coarse hair, coming of age in the '70's, looked forward to getting my hair pressed in the kitchen for picture day and Easter Sunday and subsequently, when my parents gave me the okay, getting a relaxer that would allow me to swing, flip and feather my hair like the girls on television.  In my early twenties, my hair began to thin and I started to question the pros of getting a relaxer every twelve weeks versus the "benefits".  Mind you, most women have to get "touch-ups" every six weeks.  My visits were less frequent, not because I had, um, well "good hair"; but because my hair is thinner.  No, the actual strands are thin and delicate.

Pros
My locks are straightened
It's more accepted by the general public
Manageability
Easier to style (matter of perspective)
Breakage

Cons
Risking chemical damage to my skin, scalp and hair
$65 or more every six weeks ('90's prices)
Diminished versatility
"Undoing" what God has given me
Potential thinning
Contributing to the "steroetype" that ethnic hair is unprofessional or for a lack of better words "cute"

It was decided..."what the heck, I'll give it a try.  I can ALWAYS go back and get another relaxer.  My stylist will definitely accept my money."  As time went by, a universal acknowledgement for the beauty diversity brings developed and subsequently/consequently I developed an appreciation for my naturally coiled tresses.  Here I am relaxer free, since 2000, and happy to be nappy!  While I recognize that it's not for everyone, it has, evidently, worked well for me.  Trust me, I understand why some women decide to keep their relaxers.  I have been through as many trials and tribulations trying to learn to care for my natural hair as I did when I was making a bi-weekly trek to the stylist.  One of my most costly lessons, in terms of hair loss, was finding that products that use mineral oil and petroleum products as the primary ingredients contribute to thinning hair and female baldness due to clogging of follicles and scalp.  Mind you, as you, hopefully, get older, the effects are not as easy to reverse.

Excuse me while I circle back to a prior comment...I do have "good hair".  If you have hair...IT IS GOOD!!!!  If God gave you coiled, nappy, curly, wavy, straight, fine, coarse or chemically-straightened hair, it is God-given.  I decided to Thank Him, enjoy, style and nurture my gift. 

My goal is to share ALL the knowledge I have obtained over the last nine years with everyone who is "Mane conscious"

Come to fotki.com to view my photo gallery.

Peace and Love

Cynt

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