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Waterproofing Your Hair

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Confessions of a Nouveau natural woman

"Workout Wonders And Waterproofing" by Dre Brown

Prior to my curly-crossover, I struggled with a recurring nightmare. The thought of it still gives me goose bumps: I’d find myself at an extravagant pool party, the sun beating down on me as I comfortably recline on a cozy poolside lounge. Beautiful partygoers surround me. All are smiling, toasting tropical drinks, laughing, and life feels lovely. The DJ suddenly switches the soundtrack to my jam; and in seconds I hop to my feet in celebration, but somehow lose my balance. In slow motion I careen head–first into the water. Devastation ensues. “MY HAIR!” I scream as I emerge from the pool...party’s over!

Scarier than waking up in a cold sweat, is the truth that this night terror is all too popular amongst my relaxer-reliant sistas. To many of us RELAXER + WATER EXPOSURE = TRAGEDY.

Beginning my natural hair journey at the start of last summer was nothing short of divine intervention. I soon discovered that my curls would afford me not only a more restful night’s sleep, but also the freedom to do other things I’d fretted over in my silky straight past. Would this fantasy last?

With the summer came my (and just about everyone else’s) eagerness to get a hot new swimsuit and a beach body to boot. I thought of the necessary spin classes and treadmill marathons it would take to tone-up, and I shuddered, remembering how I’d make just about any excuse to skip the gym so the inevitable sweat wouldn’t ruin my ‘do.

But I quickly returned to reality, reassured as I recalled how my new curls seemed to come alive when introduced to moisture. So, I strapped on my sneaks, put a fresh assortment of “Sasha Fierce” anthems on my iPod, and got physical! Gym visit after gym visit I grew more courageous. I found myself laughing in the face of my increasing stair-stepper resistance, and all of a sudden the daily web deal offering a month of Bikram yoga started sounding far less like torture than it would have just months before.

Now as I start a new summer season with the same agenda, I look forward to following my tiring, drench-inducing workouts with some of the best sleep I’ve ever had. Because, with no more fear of water-wielding monsters under my bed, Mr. Sandman and I are finally on good terms...

Check back next week for Part 5 of Dre's "Confessions Of A Nouveau Natural Woman" saga: "Tapping Into the Curl Caucus"

Did you miss Part 1 of Dre's journey to natural hair—when she shaved her head? "The Bold, The Bald, and The Beautiful"

Or how about Parts 2 and 3, when Dre reveals her favorite products for natural hair in "Don't Sweat The Technique" or analyzes her hair from the male persepective in "From Cutie To Queen"

Driven to infuse each encounter with joy-inducing laughter, Dre Brown (before and after her run-in with the clippers, left) seeks to offer those she reaches both something for the eye and for the soul. Based out of New York City, Dre splits her time between makeup artistry, hair styling, strategic marketing, writing and entrepreneurship. Follow her exploits on her blog: a Dre in The Life