I’m reflecting on the changes I have gone through with my hair, and I can honestly say, I’m quite sure that I have done it all. I have permanently and semi-permanently dyed my hair blonde, red, jet black, and brown, to name a few colors. I have permed, pressed, weaved, cut and curled my hair. All of my hair had fallen off, and then it all grew back. I had gotten a bald spot that never grew back (from a perm that went horribly wrong when I was a kid). I have worn wigs, twists and chiney bumps. I have had box braids, micro braids, kinky twists, Senegalese twists, corn rows, designed braids, and I’ve used so many different types of hair. I have had the yaky perm, 100% Human hair by Sensational, hunted down beauty supply stores for that good Harlem hair (who knows about that good Harlem and Remy hair… say heeeeeeey, alriiiiight), and thrown fits because a package of hair said 100% human, but was definitely synthetic mixed. I have done full head sown in my head. I’ve smelled hair, felt hair to see if I liked the texture, and used synthetic Free Tress Bulk (which is some goooooood synthetic hair). I have had Indian hair, “Spanish curls”, and hair that I didn’t even know where it came from. I spent MONEY on buying hair, hair products that were over rated, like Carol’s Daughter (womp womp womp womp womp… why you trippin’…) and I have even had a few hair episodes. I have had bad hair styles, bad dye jobs that left my head more tender to the touch than a finger tip that was burned by a hot glue gun. I’ve been burned or burned myself with flat irons, chemicals, hot combs, curling irons and glue. I’ve had to rip hair out that was attached to bonding glue that held my weave together.
Call me a true Jamaican, but I looooooove a good weave!
I’m not done.
I’ve gotten scabs and burn marks in my scalp, I’ve been late to church, cancelled dates because my hair wasn’t in, or done, skipped eating just so that I could save up to get my hair done, and not gotten in pools or gone to water parks because my hair would get wet. I’ve done 8 inches, 12 inches, and 18 inches. Hell, I’ve even done 20 inches, knowing good and well that my hair was not that long, trying to play it off just because my Momma is the product of two bi-racial parents and my Daddy got that Chinese and Caucasian blood! Get the hell outta here!
I couldn’t keep up the charade anymore. On October 22nd of this year, I got tired as hell man! I got tired of the wind blowing my cover, and showing my edges to the world. If you’re a good friend of mine, I’m sure you’ve heard me yell “my edges” many a time! Haaaaaa! I got tired of people not being able to run their fingers through my head without getting a nail caught on a damn track. Lord knows I got tired of breaking my own nails in a track! He knows I was tired of walking around with a wig brush to comb out the tangles every ten minutes. Oh He knows I got tired trying to sweep up after myself because hair GETS EVERYWHERE! I got tired of the way I would have to curl my hair so that no one could tell that it wasn’t my hair they were looking at, totally. Ha!
When my hair texture started getting course and rough, I knew it was time to say goodbye to that damn hot comb that was frying out my hair.
Now here’s the deal. I definitely locked my hair because of the above reasons stated, but the primary reason was because I love locks. I think they are so beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to lock my hair since I was a wee girl, listening to Bob Marley and The Wailers. I love locks, but I was tired. Can you blame me though?
My hair had been natural for so many years, and yet, I was still damaging it with a flat iron. I had to have the baby hairs straight, or else I would feel as if my hair was not perfect. That was ridiculous.
Now I have to say, just because I’m locking, that doesn’t mean I think this is the only way we should do our hair. This was MY DECISION, and I would never condemn anyone that perms, weaves, cuts, dyes or slicks down their hair with super hold gel into spiked up mohawks. It’s all good baby because it’s all hair. It’s not that serious. Real, fake, clipped on, glued, or sown in… that ish is just some damn hair… protein, fiber folicles and what not… hey! I’m no scientist! Don’t judge me! You know what’s more important than hair? Love. Love, loving, and being loved. Compassion, being gentle to a homeless person, giving a compliment instead of a slick comment, and less hate. I wish people would see what it took me so long to see.
Visualize with me a world where people concentrated more on helping other people suffering from various cancers, sexually transmitted diseases, mental disorders and physcally challanged people. What if the money we invested in hair and trying to look like celebrities was given to help forward research for children that suffer from leukemia or towards organizations that promote the healthy mental growth of young girls and women? Sometimes, it’s nice to even make a sacrifice for the betterment of someone else. Hair is not everything.
In this society, I’m seeing that the emphasis on hair is huge! For black women, there are so many struggles with hair. We seem to get it from every angle. Forget society for a second! Let’s talk about men! Men have so many expectations of what our hair is supposed to look like, and most of them will tell you. I’ve gotten the whole “I like the way Beyonce has her hair. It’s long, blonde and straight”. I’ve responded many a times with “niggah (excuse my rawness today) that ain’t her real hair! Let’s get it together! You can’t run your hands up in that, or pull on it so be easy please!” I’ve gotten the whole “Halle Berry and Keri Hilson got that sexy short do. I like that”. I’m sure I’ve responded with something along the lines of “yeah ok! If you like weavy wonder, wigalicious hair, go buy me that wig on the manican at the beauty supply store. I believe that one was called Ms. Keri Baaaaaaaaabaaaaaay!” Ha!
Then the funny thing about what these men want is that they are totally clueless! Like what the hell! If you really think that sistahs hair grew over night from a bob to a Brazilian bombshell, hair grazing ass cheeks, then by all means, go get that. Buy it at the beauty supply. I believe that one was called “Fake- As- Hell- This- Ain’t- My- Hair- And- Never- Will- Be”. These same men then go on to complain about not being able to pull on the hair or run their fingers in it. Well guess what boo boo? That’s the price women pay in order to look extra hot and glamourous, but it’s not real.
I had to get real with myself. I had to do this for me. I was doing my hair to please society, and to be in the norm, but I was so unhappy because of the stress my hair was causing me. I wanted to be glamorous every day, but there was a price. I was getting “hollered” at and all the “yo ma can I talk to you for a minute”, but I was getting that because of the FAKE HAIR ON MY HEAD AND THE IMAGE I WAS PUTTING OUT! If I had stepped outside after washing my hair, trust and believe that I would have gotten a look, but not a good one. I started feeling like an ugly troll whenever I took my tracks out, or washed my natural hair and couldn’t straighten my mane. It really started bothering me that I had developed this complex. I didn’t want to step into anybody’s lounge without my hair looking “glamorous”.
Now you’re in Carmen’s World. Picture getting up early, but still being late, because your hair is just not curling right. Picture this: the hair you spent too much money, and an hour on the night before being totally ruined to heat, rain, snow, whatever. Picture refusing to take pictures because you sweat your hair out and you can see your real hair from your weave.
It’s time to end this crap. However you have your hair, if you’re happy, I’m happy, but if you’re not, it’s time to figure out what you can do. I’ve been taught, since I was a young child, that black is gorgeous, and hair is hair. I know that the media and society has caused me to change, to believe that “when your hair is nappy, white people are not happy”. Who gives a flying (insert expletive here)? Know why you’re doing your hair the way you are. You should be trying to please yourself, and not others, and certainly not these clueless men (I love you men… smooches)! I took the power back on 10.22.2010. I got the power! Ow!
I hope you guys have enjoyed seeing my transformation from just this year alone. Most of these pics are from this year, and they show the various stages I’ve gone through. I even have pics up of my natural hair, pressed, weaved and dyed. The first pic was of me in Buffalo almost four years ago. All the other pictures were taken this year. The last pic is of me yesterday. None of these pics show my hair when it was permed. Yes, I have changed my hair style almost every two weeks. And even if a few years from now I change my mind, I’m entitled to! I can do that! As long as my hair is far from damage and harsh chemicals, healthy and I am happy, then I’ll be whipping my hair back and forth!
Whip it real hard! Keep your head up and just whip it real good!