I guess that’s good hair. But I never called it that. That’s my hair. I didn’t learn the term good hair until the middle school/high school.
Standing in size order waiting to walk into class on the first day of high school the boy beside me kept staring at me. I kept looking around and looking down at my uniform thinking that there was something wrong until finally he finally spoke: ” Is all that your hair?”
I was never asked that before. Growing up and playing with dolls, they all had hair like me. My mom, and my siblings had hair like me and so did my grandma. I never thought of my hair as something special or unique. Actually, since I was tender headed, most of the time I thought of it as a pain. My grandmother used to tell me, “if you look at your hair too hard it will tangle up.” And it was true, with naturally curly thick hair getting a comb through it was almost impossible without putting in at least three hours of work. Doing my hair was an all day affair. I longed to just be able to wear it straight like my mommy and have it swish and blow in the wind. But, it was a fleeting thought. I never thought my hair was bad, it was just annoying.
After a while I got used to it. People saying things like: “never cut your hair” and “is that all yours?” “Who does your weaves?” The next question is always: “What are you?” I was never fully black to them. My hair could not just be from me but had to be the result of some exotic mix. Black girls were not supposed to have hair like me, and so I could not be just black.
And so growing up my hair defined me. I was never the loud girl, or the bad girl, or the funny girl. I was the tall girl with nice hair and good grades. I wasn’t even described darkskin girl or the brownskin girl, as kids often use in their descriptions, until much later. But for a while it seemed like my hair excused even the color of my skin, until we got older and more people had hair like mine, or at least appeared to.
I vividly recall the day I walked into Domination Hair Salon for what my stylist thought was going to be my ” regular” do.I had been thinking about my next hair move. I was looking the hair magazines and saw a picture of Jada Pinkett Smith with that infamous close crop cut. Ah-ha! that’s it…… I wanted to go natural, and go natural NOW!!! My stylist explained to achieve that look, I would have to do the ” big chop”. I was okay with it and very excited. I’d never seen myself with short hair, let alone no hair. My stylist, tried to give me many hair style options to avoid cutting my hair, from wigs, weaves, to braids (not sure how braids were suppose to give me the look I wanted). After what seem like hours(it probably was 30 minutes), I finally took the situation into my own hands, grabbed the scissors,and cut a huge hunk of my hair from the middle of my head and placed it on her station. All eyes were on me at that moment. NOW, my stylist was in shock. At first she just starred at me with her mouth open. She knew at that point I was S-E-R-I-O-U-S. As she began to work her magic, cutting my hair away, blending, edging me up, it turned into a spectator event. Gasp, Oh no, why are you doing that? what’s wrong? why would you want to look like a boy? “People pay alot of money to have long hair like yours!”, I sat silently, and patiently never responding to the strange looks or the comments. After my hair cut was complete, I looked at myself and I saw a stranger. Your face ” opens” up when you have short hair ( in my case- NO HAIR..lol..lol..). I never realized how big my lips were, or the width my nose, but I wasn’t through yet.. Now I want some color. Yep I wanted to stand out and be fierce. I went for the brighest blond that would look good on me. Let’s say, a new women was born that day- and I became the headliner model for the June hair show debuting my new Au Naturale look.
….. stay tuned