WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.

SO LONG, FAREWELL...

The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

That Good Hair Girl

When it comes to women there are a few rules all must follow.

Rule #1: Never ever ask a woman her weight. Unless you’re always guessing 95 pounds, whatever number you chose (even if you are dead on) will be too much.
Rule #2: Never ever ask a woman if she’s PMSing. If she isn’t, she just might start because of your stupidity! Besides, it’s not something that we can control anyway.
Rule #3: Never ever ask a woman her age. Except for Mr. Robert Kelly, who should always always ask!

But when it comes to Black women there are a whole extra set of golden rules that addresses our hair.
Rule #1: Don’t ever ask if it’s ours. Of course it is!
Rule #2: Don’t touch it! Hair touching is by invite only!
Rule #3: Don’t get it wet! Unless you want to see us turn into gremlins, keep the water away!

Our hair is a very big deal! There is a billion dollar industry devoted to making us hair happy. Whether relaxed, pressed or natural we are willing to spend a couple hours and dollars to get our hair done just right. And after our do is done, we are even willing to sacrifice comfortable sleep to ensure our style remains intact.

Somewhere in our childhoods we learned the difference between nappy hair and “good” hair. If your braids were long and laid flat you had good hair. If yours were short and sometimes one stood up in the air, well you didn’t have the good stuff. If your hair was shiny and silky thanks to a white great-great-grandfather or some Cherokee relative it was good. But if your hair wasn’t manageable or only shined with the help of blue magic hair grease, a hot comb and a brush, well no one was envious of what you had. And as little girls looking for validation of the beauty we saw in our mothers and grandmothers in the magazines we read or even in the mainstream we saw little to none. And it was hard not to believe that having good hair made you beautiful…

But thankfully times have changed, and so have our standards of beauty.

Currently I’m in pursuit of some good hair. But good hair for me is now something that is strong and healthy. For seven years I have been flirting with the decision to go natural. Second to the notion that my hair will be healthier for it, I’m really curious to see how I am going to look. This has been a very frustrating process ya’ll! And if I wasn’t a patient person before, this journey has made me even less patient!

Knowing that I couldn’t pull off a TWA I opted for braids during this period of growth. As the stylist tugged and pulled every strand of my hair with synthetic I realized that I was going to look totally different. And I began to get nervous because I wondered about my white co-workers reactions to my transformation. Sure I had had braids before, but I was in high school or at a job that wasn’t in a professional setting. The Senegalese Twists I opted for were a compete protest against the conformed Anglo office look and I worried if my actions would be viewed as rebellion. If these coworkers would wonder what happened to their good little Amaretto. And for an entire weekend I began to regret finally making a decision to go natural.

Well Black Woman hair rules 1 and 2 were violated that Monday. Oh, the questions! Lawd, there is such a thing as a stupid question. And I heard them all that Monday. They wanted to know who had done it, how long had it taken, did it hurt. Personal stories about seeing black women with braids on the street and them wondering about them were shared. It was like my hair decision had made it okay for them to ask me what they always wanted to know. Or share that they wish they could do that with their hair (insert eye roll here). The whole ordeal makes me wonder how they’ll react to the actual afro that’s growing beneath.

I forgot black woman hair Rule #4: Never ever criticize it! After all we’re sensitive about our sh*t!


Whether our hair is relaxed straight, laid in locks or a strong afro puff our hair is a crowning jewel many have refused to see as beautiful. And the new standard of beauty proves that we all got good hair.







See You in Seven

7 comments:

mint julep said...

ah yes....i remember these same anxious feelings when i decided to go "natural" way back when and then when i decided to lock it up a couple years ago. lookin back on it now, i laugh at how serious and contemplative i was about the whole thing, as if my entire future hinged on how i wore my hair(if only it were that simple). i learned not to take the hair too seriously and sometimes even consider cuttin it all off...and of course i laugh now when guys try to holla wit "hey pritty dread" instead of "hey chocolate"...

Ebonne said...

great post...

I have to deal with the people at work all the time about my hair... white people are just so amazed how you can cut all your hair off one day and then come to work the next day with it down your back... they ask me a million questions and always want to touch...

Always.Funky.Fresh said...

Many many years ago I violated Black woman Rule #2 and was damn near TORCHED. I think she literally spit fire at me with her words. Such a traumatizing time of my life.....LOL

MJR-BANX said...

I think rule #2 is my number #1 rule. The white folks at my job always think they should touch then ask and for a split second...hood chick snaps her fingers with the twist of her neck in my head and says "Xcuse me...no you didn't!" But instead because they think we are that familiar...I am very honest about it "please don't touch my hair!" lol

I have always found it humorous that they are so curious about our hair...especially since I am not really concerned with theirs. I mean the only time I am truly impressed is when Becky gets a banging hair cut. Then I want to know who did it so I know where to get my weaved shaped.

Anonymous said...

You might want to check out NaturallyCurly.com for help with your hair. They have info and support for all kinds of hair types.

mjr-banx said...

Friend of a friend's blog...

http://naturallyyoumagazine.blogspot.com/

jerryinva said...

Personally, I have always loved black women's hair...