20 Jan Good Hair
I have always been one of those girls who relaxed their hair. In fact I can’t even tell you what age I started relaxing my hair. The truth is; I was never really given a choice because my mother made the choice for me. I suppose, for a busy, professional working mother – dealing with three girls who refused to comb their hair in the morning – the decision to straighten our tangled, natural locks into something more ‘manageable’ made sense.
The other truth is, I willingly continued with the chemical straightening of my hair into adult hood: because as far as I knew, had heard, was told – natural hair is high maintenance. Relaxed straightened hair, a weave, braids etc have all been sold as better options in ‘manageable’ hair than a natural kinky fro.
Recently, my youngest sister decided to chop it all off and go natural. When asked how I felt about it I am pretty sure I replied diplomatically, giving arguments for why it was a good idea and counter arguments for why it might not be such a good idea. We discussed the possibility that the shape of her head might be too square and spoke about how short hair, shaved or even just cropped, sometimes present some women with the challenge of making sure they look feminine and girly with the short hair. I can’t believe I am referencing a white girl in this post about black hair, but I recall reading an article or quote where Alexa Chung spoke about how when she cut her hair, she always felt like she had to wear really feminine dresses to counter act the short crop she was sporting.
So this brings me to today where I am at a cross roads of sorts regarding my hair. Inspired by this picture of Kathleen Neal Cleaver, a former Black Panther Party member, I was inspired to chop my hair and go natural. I found this picture of her on Le Coil and loved it because there is something very powerful in her hairstyle. There is a sense of knowing that I can’t really describe. With that being said, this new journey, has provided me with challenge of figuring out “how I take care of my hair in its natural state free from chemicals. A journey of research that I am laughing at because it shouldn’t be this way. A lot of un-conditioning is happening.