My Hairstory (The Abridged Version)
My hair has recently become a topic of increased interest. I say increased because Black hair, especially natural Black hair, is always a topic of interest. I've had people ask me how I got my hair "that way" more times than I can recount. I've even had people sneak pats and touches of my locks or my afro. In case you're wondering, just ask. You wouldn't be the first and you probably won't be the last ;).
I first went natural because I wanted long hair. Mom told me going natural was the only hope for my thinned and badly broken tresses. I'm gonna say she was right on that. I had my locks until I freaked out and was super depressed freshman year of college and cut them off. Well, my friend cut them for me, but you get the idea. By then my reasons for being natural had changed, and it became a decision based on self love. I rocked my 'fro au naturale until someone convinced me that I should reshape it and bleach it blonde in order to be more competitive in the music industry. I regretted that, decided to dye it purple, regretted that even more, and cut my hair off again. I was then convinced to restart my locks, again, because of the music business. I eventually cut those locks off again as well, this time with a pair of scissors while half delirious and still recoverng from some sort of flu. Now I am exploring the 'fro once more.
As I head into job hunting and other such applications I suddenly find myself nervous about my hair. I've seen the articles about careers stifled and work environments poisoned because of the way natural hair got interpreted in the work place. My hair is unkempt, not professional, too aggressive, etc etc. But, right when I was ready to put some extensions in for any interviews (God willing), my mother set me straight. She told me that there was nothng wrong wth my hair, and that I didn't need to change it. She told me to pin it, maybe put a flower or some other interview appropriate accessory in it, and let it flow as freely as I always do.
This is where I will stress the importance of mothers and their daughters' self-esteem. I cannot pretend that my mother's support was not and is not a part of my current healthy self-esteem. In that moment of fragility my mother chose to build me up and help me to appreciate the beauty of who I am, as I am. When the time comes (again, God willing), I hope to do the same for my daughter.