Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Musings About My Hair

Two Saturdays ago, I did something I've not done in 16 years - I stopped putting relaxer in my hair. Now I know I have readers who aren't black but oblige me for a few minutes. Only another sister knows what a black woman goes through with her hair. And since I've had some torturous experiences with my hair from a little girl whether through hot comb from my Mom when they took me to the Motherland - their country which made her out of sorts with what to do with with my hair.

Then we found a way to get it done right but based on my Dad's job, we moved a lot, which made me have adventures not just in culture shocks but in hair-raising experiences. I remembered when I was ten years old, a woman braided my long locs so hard I couldn't sleep during the weekend. I was more than willing when my mom decided to cut the whole thing off. That began my scissors-happy adventure with my hair any time I got in a bind.

But I didn't cut the hair only as rebellion but when most folks don't know how to handle your "unique" head of hair, you lose faith. I can go on about various adventures. I remember one of five years ago when my hair stylist wasn't available but told one of his colleagues to take care of me when I showed up for the appointment. I knew something was wrong when the guy kept going inside to find yet another product to tame my hair. Then I looked in the mirror and this brother kept putting more oil on the already greasy-laden hair but with no gloss. My oily face was showing signs of not my internal oil glands but the one coming from a can.

I was so mad when I left the "chic" salon, I didn't give the guy the regular generous tip I leave for my stylist. So we've gone five years and I still have ups and downs with the way I want my hair to look. I thought to myself over that weekend - why not natural? What! I put relaxer in my hair in the first place because of all the stuff I've gone through; thinking it will be a better manageability.

After debating with myself, I finally had the gots to take the leap. I went to a "hair cuttery" salon and asked for a black stylist. When the stylist came, I took off my hat and told her what I wanted done by cutting my hair way short and taking off the hair color experimentation I did in April. It was an emotional experience as the layers of hair kept falling off. Afterwards, I looked like a different girl in the mirror - one ten years younger and the lady smiled and said "to new adventures." "Thanks" I replied.

But I've had to do some crash training on maintaining this new (natural) head of hair. I spoke with a friend of mine over the weekend about my new look and I was so happy when she sent this link called "urbancurlz" via e-mail. Paul McCartney was right - "I get by with a little help from my friends." I've devoured the website for 15 minutes and I will be a frequent visitor as I face the new adventures with my hair.

Tags: Black women's hair