Monday, September 10, 2007

I am Not my Hair

I got hair issues ya'll.

Somehow down the line, as I think I've mentioned before, I've "gone natural." It's in quotations because it wasn't really a concious decision, but more a case of practicality=thriftiness. Let me explain.

As most of you know, I decided last year to accommodate Woodstock's request for me to grow my hair out. Now, I must say that I personally favor the short 'do. When my hair is longer, it tends to grow into this boring bob that goes from: wrap to curls to flips. The short spiky cut is like an automatic bit of excitement regardless of what I put on that day. But, I digress.

In order to better facilitate my hair growth, I've been getting weaves. When Woodstock left, I had a weave, and when I took it out to get my braids, I figured putting a relaxer in would be a waste of time and money. Five months later, I realized that my relaxer had almost completely grown out. Now, a year later, I have a full out 'fro. And therein lies the problem.

Among my friends and associates are two schools of thought on my hair. Half totally hate it, and the other have like it. There is no middle ground. On the "hate" side are Woodstock, Mom, and Lil sis. On the "like" side are Roadrunner 2, New Guy at work, White chick at work, and one of the Gulfport crew. Now, those on the "hate" side have pretty much erred on the side of straight hair. I know for a fact that mom and Lil Sis dismiss those "nappy" styles and I was actually surprised that mom liked the kinky twists I sported for two months (I thought she'd deem it too "ethnic"). I could go into a whole tirade about how it seems that those from the Dirty South are less likely than those slightly north of the Mason Dixon line to be accepting of natural hairstyles, but that's a whole different post.

The problem is that I actually like the fro. I put some gel in the front and rocked a psuedo afro puff while running errands on the economy last week. It was so easy, and it felt good to have my real hair out for the first time in a year. But when I told Woodstock, he gave me an on-the-verge-of-crying emoticon until I assured him that only Germans had seen the natural and I would resume my weave-wearing for work and all other places where I would have to interact with Americans.

Now, I must add that Woodstock isn't completely anti-natural, he just doesn't like the fro. He can get with the twists and the little curly 'dos, but sadly, my hair is waaaay more kinky than curly.

In any case, we both agreed that my best bet would be to wait until we get to the states until I make a decision about what to do with my hair. I will have more options, and I am hesitant to make a rash decision, though it's easy to do when I'm slathering my hair with conditioner, struggling to comb through my kinks.

So for now, I guess i will continue to hide my thick unruly main under straight layers of weaves and remember that it won't always be this way. Once I get to the states, I will make an appointment to see a natural haircare specialist to see my options. Maybe I will reconsider, put in a relaxer or a texturizeror my family will learn to embrace my naps. Either way, I can't wait until my locs can finally be free.