My hair once looked like these:
When I got grown, I was happy to wear my hair the way I wanted to, and took it to the hilt. When I was a child, I vowed that I would wear my hair the way I wanted to as soon as I could. This heart decision happened at four, when I was standing in my hall mirror watching my natural hair dry; my hairdresser wasn’t available that week so my hair was being done at home. “Oooo, ma, can’t I keep it,” I said as I admired my impending Afro, but my mama declared “Un, un. We gonna press that nappy” head. And press we did. Every two weeks where I also got two ponytails and a bang. Once, when I was five, I convinced my hairdresser to style me three ponytails instead of my regular two and a bang. My mother wasn’t having it. Two ponytails and a bang was how she could manage my hair in between two week appointments so when she arrived to pick me up she had Mrs. Barrow restyle my hair, after putting me in my place for deciding what I would do with my hair, and I wasn’t paying for it, and I was the child and the nerve I had…..
So from a young age I have wanted to wear my hair the way I wanted to wear my hair, and natural was at the top of the list. The pressing comb traumatized me, and I have always thought there was nothing wrong with kinky hair, even when my 5th grade boy nemesis said my hair was hard, and in 7th grade my arch girl rival (who I thought was my friend, BTW) compared her long flowing hair to my cropped mushroom by asking “How long is your hair?” as she stretched a few locks of mine while tousling hers. These incidents set the foundation for me eventually having pride in my hair. I was determined to do what I wanted to do and never let a mama, a Ronald or a Lauren make me feel bad for how I decided to wear my hair. I, like many of us women with hair woes, obsessed over my look, would pout when I didn’t like it and would try a new look just to stand out from my last style and among other women. God challenged me about this hair pride when I began wearing my hair locked 17 years ago. I’ll tell you about that the next time. In the meantime, does my story sound familiar? What are your hair war stories? I invite you to comment and look forward to the dialogue.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith