Updated: Jun 18, 2019
“Girl, you got that good hair!” “I know you’re Black, but what else are you mixed with, you got those defined curls?” “All that hair you have and you just cover it up!” “I thought when you had your hair straightened, that it was a weave!” How I feel about my hair you ask? I can’t reduce my feelings down to one descriptor. My relationship with my hair has been a journey, an odyssey if you will. From a young girl who rocked braids during the summers to sitting at my grandmother’s feet as she finessed whatever style came to mind, my hair has gone through phases of being manipulated by other people to being mine, all mine. Whatever I want to do with it, I do. #NowIDoWhatIWant! From the greases and heavy pomades my grandmother used to put in my hair that would break me out, to the lighter weight products and essential oils that now caress my strands I have come a long way. My mom could only do a few styles on our hair when we were little. Her hairstyling repertoire fell short in comparison to my Nana’s. Thus, she would send us to our grandmother’s house to get the royal treatment. On days where Nana was too busy and mom was out of town, it was my Dad’s turn to do our hair. He would stick our heads under the faucet and just brush what he could into a high ponytail that ended up looking like I’d just survived a zombie apocalypse. We used to get our hair straightened for special occasions. It was a coming of age thing and privilege to be transformed into someone who was magazine cover ready. Nights before Easter Sunday sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen as she ran the hot comb through my kinky tresses. Hearing the sizzle of my hair combined with the greases my Nana put in it as my natural texture got sizzled to straightness and obedience. Fast forward to the present day. I only get my hair straightened when I need a trim. It’s an occurrence I genuinely don’t want, but my value for hair health reigns strong, so every 3 months I take a routine weekend visit to the salon. My stylist washes, conditions, blow dries and flat irons, and trims my hair. I love the results but I don’t feel like me. My natural hair is everything to me. I feel most beautiful, confident, empowered and royal when my hair is in its natural state. You would never know that because most days it hides under a headscarf or a hat. I believe in protecting my crown. In the Bible, in the book of Genesis 2:2-3, the word reads “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” After church, I rush home to get started on the long and arduous process. No rest at all on the seventh day. An almost 4 hour process of washing, detangling, clarifying, conditioning, deep conditioning and styling for the week ahead is my weekly Sunday routine. Some weeks I dread it, others I look forward to the resetting and refreshing the process will bring about. I strategically set up my laptop and hair tools/products in the bathroom as I let whatever seems interesting on Netflix play in the background. How I feel about my hair you ask? It is a daily journey, a lifelong journey. Every stop along the way teaches me something new. One thing I know for sure though is that I fall deeper in love with my Afro-centricity. Cornrows, poetic justice braids, twists, Bantu knots, slick backs, baby hairs, edges on fleek, a wash and go... Whatever the case may be, I’ve realized that when I empower my crown, I give other brown faces the permission to do the same.