by guest author Melissa Ricks,

For women, our hair is a very important part of who we are. Not for you? Well, I’m sure you spent that extra five minutes today primping and prepping because you really don’t care….NOT. We all care about our hair because it is one of the first things people notice when they see us. It is our crown. But do we put too much emphasis on our hair?

For the sistas it has been a tried and true testament of expression, devotion, career moves and at times dedication. We all sang the lyrics of India Arie “I am not my hair” with great pause and conviction because it allowed us to say “yeah” I am not my hair, I am not your expectations no no, I am not my hair, I am a soul that lives within. Can we really relate to India?

I think back to the days of youth when my mother’s entire goal for two weeks before the next hair washing was “don’t get your hair wet.” I missed out on so many swim days because the 2 hours of wash, blow dry and hot comb just wasn’t worth it. As I got older, I recall going on vacation to the Keyes with my then sweetie, now hubby. Of course one of the first things I did before boarding the plane was get my then permed hair “freshly DID” at the salon. When we hit the beach to my companion’s dismay my first words were “I can’t get my hair wet.”

Today, many sistas have called it quits with the stress of trying to keep the permed tresses straight. Many of us have returned to “Natural.” Is the stress any better? Or is it just different? Recently, I decided that wearing my “do” hair-brush short for the last 10 years was boring. I began growing my hair out. My hubby immediately said “you are trading-in your $15, low maintenance hair-do for a $100, all day in the salon, gonna be hot in the summer, hair do?” I thought to myself, “yeah, why do I want to do this again?” But I continued on my journey. The looks that I received from my corporate co-workers were nothing less than hilarious to me. Each day my bush got bigger, until one day I decided, I will wear a wig to help me through this transition. Well, they loved the wig. But today I am rocking the shoulder length kinky twist, and they are, well…silent.

Sistas, how are we preparing our daughters for the hair journey? I was determined that my daughter was not going to miss out on any fun due to the fear of getting her hair wet. So if the fun includes water, I say go for it! I am very cautious about not using any negative comments as I manage through her thickness. When she wants “shaker hair” (the ability to be able to shake her hair) I spend the time to cornrow and add beads. When I see her pining to have a little more bounce to her hair, I either let her play with my wigs or blow dry her hair out a little. I truly want my daughter to be able to embrace who she is and say with total conviction: My hair….it’s not an issue! It is one of the forms in which I express who I am, but it is not me!

And for our sistas with the not so course texture…well, I know you all have a journey too! One of my co-workers, who is of Irish decent, amazed me when she said she goes to the salon every 6 weeks to get her hair thinned (the process by which special scissors are used to thin out some of the layers) because it is too thick.

Another complains of her hair being too curly; and another complains of her hair being too straight. So we all go through some sort of process of getting our hair….perfect. But what is perfect: short, curly, kinky, permed, colored, fried, dyed, laid to the side???? I don’t know, but does it really matter? I’m living my crown with glory. What about you?


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think that all hair is beautiful but we have to find what is perfect for us, what makes us feel good. Great article.

    • Thanks for your input. It is amazing how much energy women spend on their hair. This topic truly hits home with me as I am currently in my transitioning phase into locs. And what a journey it has been!

      Peace and blessings,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: