Before I started this blog I made sure to listen to India Arie’s track with the same title, ‘I am not my hair.’ You can listen too.
Hair… What is hair and why do we have it? If you want a Google response then try this…
“Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. Attitudes towards hair, such as hairstyles and hair removal, vary widely across different cultures and historical periods, but it is often used to indicate a person’s personal beliefs or social position, such as their age, gender, or religion.”
“any of the fine threadlike strands growing from the skin of humans, mammals, and some other animals.”
So we know for sure it is a part of all of us. Hair serves different purposes depending on where it is. Hair on our skin helps with warmth, our brows and lashes protect our eyes, nostril hairs are to keep particles out, and even pubic hair which in some instance signifies maturity. But I want to address the hair on our heads.
In some cultures, it requires you to style your hair a particular way. The length and style of your hair is also used to identify your sex. Hair textures and sometimes color identify your race. But in today’s day there is so much emphasis placed on hair that we have lost our identity in that regard.
At around four my mom relaxed my hair and a couple years later it all broke off. It grew back even kinkier, and in society kinky hair is ‘bad hair’. I have the type of hair that makes my head hurts when it’s being combed, the type that breaks combs, the type that Jamaican’s call ‘pepper seed’ when it’s rolled up. And the best ‘cure’ for kinky hair is to get it straightened or pressed.
When I was ten my mom relaxed my hair again and 18 years later it’s still being done. I’ve gone through it all with this hair. It grows and breaks, I color it and it breaks. I cut it and it grows back, then it breaks and I cut it again. I wear a wig and it’s too hot, I’ve worn weaves and it itches, I’ve done braids and liked it, sometimes not so much. It all led me to one conclusion, that apart from breaking combs and it hurting to get it combed, I have no other issue with my natural hair. So why put ourselves through the torture of chemical burns, split ends, curling iron marks, bad colors, damaged textures, ridiculously long weaves, extremely tight and heavy extensions and never ending itching? And anyone who says weaves are comfortable is lying, because I’ve seen and done the ghetto scratch (when your finger doesn’t fit to scratch the itchy area so you beat your head into a coma)… yes, the head patting.
There is no denying that when my weave is freshly done, and those 14 inches flow down my back all shiny, I feel like a superstar. Get my face beat (make up) and put on a cute outfit and I feel sexy and confident. But I want to learn to appreciate me in my natural form and feel sexy that way too. I want to know that if I can’t afford to relax or extend, then my kinky hair can still be styled and I still feel like the superstar I am inside. It’s a personal journey that I want to take and it’s going to be tough because I’ve been at the hair game 18 years strong, and I don’t know if I’m able to last long on this new path. Plus I’ve tried it before and a couple months in, my head began to hurt, and the pain reminded me why I have a weave or relaxer in.
Another reason why I want to do this is because I don’t want to lose my identity. I am a black woman with kinky hair, of African descent. And not until I love that, which I truly am, no amount of cover up can change what I am underneath it all. Another thing too, I see this craze over Brazilian, Peruvian, Malaysian etc hair. People are using it to define others. I remember being at the nail shop when a guy made a comment that if a girl’s extensions aren’t Brazilian or any of the others mentioned, then she’s not a ‘hot girl’. I was like wtf… so now it’s left up to hair to determine how great we are and how hot we can be? Smh Plus, I will NOT be spending them crazy ass money on hair, I got bills to pay lol.
To my ladies in your weave, you rock it well and big ups to you. Most of you guys look absolutely amazing and beautiful when you’re all done up. My sista’s are some superstars!!!
But I want to do this one for me… because I am more than what is on the outside. I am not my hair!
I AM MS DADRIAN… BE BLESSED!