What’s your Hair-story?

Credit to Flickr : Indigofera.com

As I’m slowly uncovering more Black female bloggers on the web, I’m noticing that most of them have a post dedicated to their hair. So I’ve been interested in this myself, though my relationship with my hair isn’t quite as long-lasting as other people’s. Like most black girls, my mother starting perming my hair when I was very young. My hair was straight for much of my childhood, and the only thing I really knew about my hair was that I had a lot of it and it wasn’t ANY fun to comb.

The perm my mother used often burned my scalp and I was constantly instructed to not scratch beforehand – apparently this enhanced the potential for burning. Thinking back on it, I wonder why it didn’t seem unreasonable or torturous to put something that burns onto your scalp.

But this isn’t to necessarily to bash my mother; in a lot of ways, straight hair is much easier to maintain (easier to comb for sure) and the shiny, smoothness of it is difficult to deny. In under thirty minutes, I had long, silky soft hair for about two weeks. Unlike some other posts I’ve read, I didn’t develop a deep yearning to maintain straight hair.

In fact, my hair proved to be a never-ending party of frustration and misery as my mother forcibly sent me to the salon well into my high school years. Although I enjoyed the temporary state of my hair, any emotional high from the experience evaporated once my hair returned to its natural, puffy state.

By the time I got to college, I was happily not doing my hair. I felt self-conscious with my daily pony-tails, but I generally paid it little attention. In fact, for about two years, I wore a head scarf pretty much every day.

So where is this story going? Well, in short – I hate hair. Okay, hate is probably a strong word, but I find hair to be over exaggerated and not worth an iota of the effort that people put into it. Even after I got my locs, I went to the salon once my entire final year at college. I just didn’t get it, what the big deal was with hair. Unlike other black girls, I didn’t get a lot of attention for my straight hair – in fact, very few people noticed. But with my natural hair, I got significantly more compliments. Maybe having locs suits me better. I feel more comfortable, more me.

People don’t really understand my hair, how locs work or what I need to do to maintain them – but that’s okay. Because at the end of the day, it’s my head, my body and I’m the only one who needs to be pleased with its outcome. So I’m glad I have my locs, even though my mother keeps asking me if I still have them, or if I still plan to keep them.

The answer is HELL YEAH.

So? What’s your hair-story?

4 thoughts on “What’s your Hair-story?

  1. It’s about the priorities we have regarding our individual sense of beauty.

    Hair is, after all, just hair. I read a story in the Sartorialist about a woman photographed with gorgeous, long brunette hair.

    The author asked the woman about her hair and commented how gorgeous it was. She responded, “It’s a gift.”

    She explained that she was a cancer survivor. As a result of her chemotherapy, she lost all of her hair. Once she was done with treatment, she vowed to never cut her hair again.

    For some, perhaps, the things that make us feel beautiful can also make us feel strong – and be a testament to that strength.

    • Wow, that’s pretty amazing!

      For a really, really long time I never understood how people could take pride in something that, for the most part, they didn’t have a part in creating. Like, having nice colored eyes, being a certain height or being blessed with a nice singing voice. But, I think it’s not so much about being happy about genetics, but in what makes a person feel more whole. My hair makes me feel more whole, so I guess it must be the same for other people as well.

      Thanks for commenting 😀

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