Just like I said I would, I took out my weave, this morning and it was so painful! My hair was knotted and I lost so much hair. I didn’t expect to feel as much emotion as I did because I am normally removed from this process. The less I think about the less it hurts and I just look forward to my new weave. However, today just bowled me over, I was so angry with myself for allowing this to happen, all these years of abuse to my hair! Normally I would not be caught without my hair “did” but today I just felt so free to just be me in all my natural glory! Well just a little bit of growth but natural glory nonetheless. I’m not even transitioning anymore, over the weekend I am doing it! THE BIG CHOP! It got me thinking and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.
Why won’t my hair grow?
This is to me as I am sure too many other readers is an area of concern. Being black women, hair has always been a “sensitive” issue. After years and years of quite literally “traumatizing” my own hair, I have come to a valid realization. Not enough is said or taught to young black women; much less, mothers and grandmothers on how to really care for hair in all its natural or even relaxed glory (which I am NEVER doing again). On any given day, turn on a mainstream TV channel and what do you find? Hair products and advertisements for Type 1A hair. It's gotten to a point where even if you do come across media centered on black hair, most likely the face of that campaign is wearing a weave. It’s ridiculous if you ask me.
Another point I wonder about is why do we not see black news reporters rocking their type 4 hair in all its natural glory? I remember reading an article about a news anchor that was laid off or something to that effect for wearing her hair in cornrows and another back in the 70’s for wearing an Afro.
Why are we so ashamed to wear our hair in its natural form? I see a movement of people going against the norm and kudos to Solange for liberating herself and all the other ladies on Mane and Chic. But, why are black women always first to throw insults at their own hair? Why do we go around calling each other 'nappy haired Bi*tches'? Just like we call each other ni**ers? It’s okay if we do it amongst ourselves right? WRONG! SO VERY WRONG! By doing that, we are promoting this sense of self-hate that so many of us harbor, most of the time without even realizing. I mean yeah we laugh when we’re together, but can you honestly say that that has never stung you? And that you had to take it with a pinch of salt? How many times after saying it have you thought, “What am I doing? This is wrong”, but find yourself repeating those very same words to another person?
I always laugh at the intro to the “Brown Skin Lady” song by Mos Def. If you have not heard it, in the dialog two men are talking about women, one brings up, “I like them light skinned with good hair”. He then goes on to say, “I’m conditioned, even my conditioning is conditioned" and he is not referring to his hair ladies. It’s funny because it’s so true.
Isn’t it about time we STOPPED! I mean our ancestors, great grandmothers and even grandmas went through that struggle to liberate us today, but is this what we call liberation? I think not! It is not liberation to be afraid that your man will see your hair in its natural form, or that your girls will make fun of your (dare I say) nappy hair? Or having to defend your decision to go natural or get dreads as if you have contracted some foreign killer disease.
Therefore, the question I want to pose is “What is liberation?” What does it mean? (Not in a dictionary sense, but your own personal definition) Where do you take part in this liberation?
I was watching a video blog of this lady, 35 years old, who had to cut off all her hair because of all the damage she had done to it over the years. It was so bad that her hair line had receded so much that even the sides of her hair line had not just thinned, but they were literally gone, she now has to go through all kinds of remedies and treatments in the hopes of getting it back. As I watched, I couldn’t help but think this could be me. Hell, this is me! In a few years time if I don’t stop this madness or my mom or my friend or my niece. We are so caught up in this culture of vanity at any cost. Why does it have to take a major event for us to appreciate ourselves?