Why bother with a blog? Because I’ve learned a lot about hair and strangely enough, I’d like to share it with people who also care to share. My biggest problem since I can remember was, “WHY DOESN’T MY HAIR GROW?” I wanted long hair so badly I would literally salivate at the sight of any girl with long hair (and I still do sometimes). I realize it’s subjective but long hair to me meant hair that touches one’s back.
Every time a girl swung her hair or flicked it back I could feel the green in me and on me from head to toe. I watched women with long luxurious hair and they always looked so glamorous, especially when the wind picked up and blew their hair around. Ah jealousy is such an ugly thing! I managed to keep it inside at least long enough for me to get home and put a scarf, a t-shirt, a skirt – basically whatever I could attach to my head in order to stand in front of a fan pretending to know what it felt like to have long hair blowing in the wind. It was great until reality set in. You know, when I’d have to comb or brush my own hair.
Just when you’re trying to be a happy-go-lucky little girl, your mother tells you to come into the kitchen. “And oh, bring that skinny comb with you.” I remember that “descent” into the kitchen. No, the living-room and the kitchen weren’t spaced far away from each other. Come on, I didn’t grow up in a mansion. But I do remember how my insides felt like they were going to fall out of my body, my heart would race and my palms got sweaty when I would be called into the kitchen with a skinny comb or a brush in my hand and I’d smell that burnt aroma that could only come from a hot comb. It didn’t matter if that thing was heated on a stove or if it was the kind that could be plugged into the wall, only a hot comb could give off that odor of singed little girl hair before even touching any hair at all. Ugh. My stomach still turns at just the thought but I digress.
I WANT LONG HAIR. WHY WON’T MY HAIR GROW? This was always one of my biggest concerns (more like rants). Whenever I saw a woman with long curly hair I’d ask them how they got their hair so long. And you better believe I asked any and I do mean ANY black woman I saw with long hair HOW OH HOW they got their hair to grow so long. And here’s the answer I couldn’t stand to hear back then and still can’t stand to hear now, “It just grows like this.” “I’ve always had long hair.” “You know, if you wanted you could grow yours too.” Flippant, sassy, downright rude. That’s how I viewed most women with these responses. They couldn’t just offer real, concrete advice to me. Hello, little kid here!! They had to make smart-alecky comments while swinging their hair around or running their fingers through their hair. The audacity. I felt like they were taunting me. “If you really wanted you could…” (Interrupting them in my mind.) “Are freaking serious?! I want to! I want to!! Um hello, that’s why I asked!” Good, bad or completely worthless, if you want advice on how to care for your hair, you’ll find it all over the internet now but when I was little, information wasn’t so readily available. Basically you had to ask and hope you’d get anything but paltry answers. If I were the kind of kid that used curse words then trust me I would’ve but I gave the side eye instead. They were being flip and the word that kept coming to mind was MENDACITY. Hunh, so that’s what they were going on about in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF? Don’t give me the side eye. I liked watching old movies.
It just wasn’t fair! I thought I was cursed (well, as well as 90% of Black girls & women and many curly-haired girls and women). Long hair was a gift, a luxury, the skeleton key to every door that led to glamour and beauty and well a lot of hair! I know it might sound stupid to those of you who’ve never had that problem but I was obsessed. Maybe you’re obsessed. Maybe you want to know what others are doing to their hair to make it softer, shiny, straighter, curlier, longer or more manageable. I’m here to share.
So my first bit of advice is this – Unless there is an underlying medical condition you don’t know you have, you can make your hair look and feel better than it does now. Most likely, the problem with your hair isn’t the products you’re using, it’s you. In order to make improvements you need to rehabilitate your mind, the way you think about hair and the way you care for your hair. How you handle your hair determines how your hair turns out.