Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Natural Hair Movement

It sounds cool. 

This is a blog by an author about author-type issues and books and stuff.  But I really want to talk about my hair today.  It’s a hot mess.  I need to get a touch-up and a haircut. 

Truth is, my hair does not like the relaxer.  I get about two years of great hair, then it just dies.  One day, it’s lovely, shiny, and vibrant, then the next day, it’s, dull, brittle, and dry.  It doesn’t shed or anything quite so drastic, it just starts to feel like barbed wire and it begins to break.

To this, most people say: “Go natural.  My hair has been sooooo healthy since I went natural.”

Well, kudos to you, natural ladies.  I can’t go natural just yet.  No, it is not because I have poor hair image or because I am succumbing to the white man’s version of what is beautiful, or because I like to run my fingers through my silky tresses.  None of that.  My reason for having a relaxer is that maintaining natural hair is work.  Hard work.

“Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

I am a science professional, in a predominantly male field.  The last thing I need is for my colleagues to start associating me with their ideas of a mad scientist.  And yes, if I go natural, I will look like a mad scientist, because I simply do not have the time or the inclination to spend 30 minutes a day on my hair, just so I can look presentable.

So, one may ask, why not go with locks or braids twists or weaves or wigs to keep my hair looking nice with minimal daily effort on my part?  Because my hair doesn’t like them, either.  I have not tried dreadlocks, but braids and twists thin my hair, as does weave, which also breaks it.  Wigs break my hair at temples and crown. 

What my hair likes is to be continuously pampered.  It likes to be washed every day, lightly oiled, combed out, and scalp-massaged.  I’m not going to work with an afro, big or small.

So, as I cogitate on the conundrum of my hair, I often wonder: To have or not to have?  How much makeup will I need to soften my angular face if I go bald?  Do I even want to wear makeup?  Ever?  Perhaps I could do braids for a year and deal with the thinning after my new hair has grown out to a more manageable length.  Or perhaps, I should just stick with my status quo.

I’m sticking with the status quo.  I’m getting a touch-up and a haircut.  My finicky hair is relaxed and I’m not afraid to admit it.  So there!

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