Ok, Ok, Ok. I must admit I am a natural, no chemical, no processing hair snob. Don’t judge me…that’s just who I am. I just do not like chemically processed or straight hair on me. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you browse through my family photo album you will see a couple pics of me with bangs and a flip curl at the end; that’s because my beautician mom found it necessary to “fix” my hair with a press n’ curl for special occasions like school pictures and Easter and the like, but I always hated that look. I just loved the way my natural hair framed by heart-shaped face. I loved the feel of my hair — it always felt so strong and enduring. And, it had so much versatility. I always had the cute hair style. I would shampoo my hair, braid it in tiny braids and then take them out the next day and finger comb my hair. That was the absolute cutest style! I could wear Afro Puffs, braids, cornrows…I could have a different look everyday if I chose.
Then, I loved the freedom natural hair gave me. I never had to worry about it “going back” because it was already where it began. I could ride my bike with abandon, go splashing in the pool, or roller skate to my heart’s content. Whatever I wanted, I could do with reckless abandon. And all I had to do was shampoo my hair, condition it and use my imagination for a nice style.
There was one style that really set my mother off. I diamond parted these sections all over my head, put multi-colored rubber bands to the roots, then double strand twisted each section. It was absolutely adorable! The first time I wore this style, my beautician mother almost had a stroke. I was around 18 years old and she had traveled ahead of me to North Carolina for our annual family reunion. I followed a couple days later by train. Mother met me at the train station with a high school friend who had never met her youngest daughter. Always my strongest advocate, Mother was proud to introduce her former school mate to the daughter she had never met. Well, when I unboarded the train I saw Mother walking towards me smiling and talking to some lady. I waved my arms to get her attention. When she say me, the smile froze on her lips and she stopped in her tracks. Then she turned and headed in the opposite direction. Thinking she hadn’t seen me, I started trotting in my cute platform shoes, twists bouncing in the air, calling, “Mother, Mother.” Finally, she stopped and slowly turned around. When I reached her and gave her a big hug, she whispered in my ear, “What possessed you to wear your hair like that?” A little startled, I responded “That’s how I felt when I got up this morning.” And she replied, “Well you should have kept your a$$ in the bed.” I laughed, always striving to be different, I knew I had achieved my goal. To say my mother and I had differing opinions about hair would be an understatement. We were exactly at opposite ends of the spectrum. She always felt our hair needed “fixin”; I, on the other hand knew it was perfect just the way it was.
So, to recap, I absolutely love natural hair because: 1) I love the way it frames my face; 2) it’s strong and enduring; 3) it is versatile; 4) natural hair gives me freedom; and, 5) my hair is totally unique and different.
I have a million natural hair stories, so stay tuned to read more and feel free to post your own stories. See you next time.