"I heard you make hair products."
My first thought was, "How in the HELL did SHE know?!"
Let me explain my reaction. I don't talk about hair at work unless I'm asked. My coworker is loc'd, so naturally we don't talk TOO much about hair. I'm not that knowledgeable about loc maintenance, so I wouldn't feel qualified in doling out advice. I work with three other naturals, but again, most small talk isn't about hair or anything like that.
I realized that apparently someone close to me started running his mouth(my father, lol), who told someone else(one of the doctors) that I dabble in product making, which then traveled down a grapevine, leading back to me. LOL!
Anyway, I then started going into some of the things I've made, or make; explaining the ingredients and their purposes. One of my coworkers there is a guy whose hair is likely APL(maybe longer), as he wears it cornrowed(and very nicely, might I add) and he was actually interested in what I had to say. We talked about maintenance, shampoo, stuff like that and then my female coworker mentioned how a dirty scalp helps with hair growth. I had to explain to her that hair has growth cycles, and that you'll find that while the average growth per month is at 1/2 an inch(more during warmer months), that hair is always growing, regardless of what you think you're doing to help it topically, even with somewhat bad habits. I also explained that some people have an optimal level of growth. Meaning, some people will only reach a certain length of healthy hair. That may translate into shoulder-length, or much longer.
This is where genetics comes into play.
Hair growth(and retaining said growth) is mostly attributed to health, genetics and maintenance. Dirty scalps have nothing to do with growth. This is a common misconception floating around in the AA community.
My coworker was surprised and was like, "I never learned this stuff in beauty school." Not surprised at just the dirty scalp revelation, but just in some of the other things I was talking about as well.
Her statement saddened me, because if someone is studying to go into cosmetology, and they're not teaching the basics as I was explaining it, means that we have many "professionals" who are just as uninformed. This was one of the reasons I wanted to blog about natural hair. I'm by NO MEANS an expert, and I'll never portray myself as such. But what I am is a seeker of knowledge. I love learning and I love learning about [natural] hair. As long as the desire is there, I will continue to blog about all that I've learned and all that I will continue to learn.