Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When Are You Straightening Your Hair?

I dropped the bombshell a couple of months ago that I took the "relaxer" off my hair. The reason behind this had nothing to do with reconnecting with my "roots" just practical reasons of like not dropping $100 everytime I needed to get my hair done or wondering what the heck to do with my hair two to three weeks later - it grows so quickly. And as much as some friends and family think I'm one of the few ladies of color who doesn't give a damn about my hair (I do, I just don't want to spend four to five hours in a salon), I believe folks should let me be on what I want to do with my hair.

Why do folks think just because I'm wearing my hair in its natural state, it means I'm lacking of some sort in the "beauty" department? Granted, for a few weeks after I made the radical choice of chopping most of my hair including any signs of "relaxer", I went through a grieving process - after all, this was a 16-year love affair I just ended. And my senses were more heightened to any sister I saw on TV or on the streets with a fab relaxed look. But then I got over it!

I'm feeling more at home in my coarse (yet soft to the touch), multi-cultural/tribal curly head of hair. Some days are good hair days and some days, let's just say it's a "tangled mess." I recently went to get the ends trimmed. A black lady who was at the barbershop the day I made the bold move (but didn't cut my hair) did the honors of trimming. She just kept feeling my hair and saying "OMG, it is so soft and very curly. . ." What was she expecting! I felt like Akeem in "Coming To America" as she kept palming my head while asking what kind of products I used. Should I tell her I use "tomatoes and berry juice" like Akeem(psyche). Seriously, what's wrong with negroes?

But then she asked me when I'm going to put the relaxer back in my head. What's wrong with what I have I thought to myself. I told her I don't know yet. She was surprised and asked if I considered some texturizer. I told her I don't like it. Here's what I don't get with incessant ways of her (and others) asking me when I'll change my current look.

Do I not fit a certain mode of acceptance? Newsflash: I've never been part of a mode of beauty - I don't seek it. I believe what makes each individual beautiful is his/her uniqueness. But the ironic thing is the folks who really appreciate the "new" do are white ladies. Imagine that? A couple of them who knew me at a corporate building said they liked the look; one said she preferred this new me. Not so with some "sisters" wondering what I'm trying to prove - absolutely nothing to you.

Actually, the only one I prove anything to is the one I see in the mirror. Can I get the hair to be flexible? Sometimes (like I am). But on other days, just like me it wants to do its own thing and no spraying of magic potion (though I'm still seeking one that will be just right for my kind of hair) will change that. And you know what, that's cool too. Perhaps one day I'll go back to my relaxing ways; I never say never. It wouldn't change my philosophy about beauty if I do but I'm getting comfortable (and patient) seeing this side of me. I just wish others will learn to embrace this side too.

Tags: Hair Matters