Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I am not my hair? But aren't I?

For many black women, you know what scratch that. I don't want this piece to get bogged down with race (even though I can only identify with a black woman because *come close* I am a black woman. I know right- shocker). 
So allow me to start over... 

For many Women, including myself- we can become overly attached to our hair. Our hair is our crowning glory. Its been with us all our lives and unless illness takes it from you, chances are you would never get rid of it. Oh you'll try different colors, different angles but you always bring it back. I know women who sported short, flattering dos for years and then their hair got longer and longer and longer and well you get my point. You tell a woman you are thinking - just thinking- about cutting your hair and the responses range from confusion, shock, upset, to them telling you not to do it. Its like you told them you were getting a divorce. 

But in actuality- isn't that what it is? I'm sure there are many women who would disagree and say "oh its just hair" but those are women who've already divorced their hair. Or weren't really in a "committed" relationship with their hair. They made the big chop so any aversion to a chop seems foreign to them. 
But for us others things are a bit different. 

If you want to know if a woman is going through something, look at the top of her head. All of her secrets lie in all those locks (or lack thereof). A ponytail, a wrap,twists, braids, fade, jerri curl (they are still out there)...all these styles tell a story. Some, a trapped in the 80's story, but a story nonetheless. 

India Arie had a song, "I am not my hair" but even she is rocking "hair" now. 
We give our hair so much power (return to my earlier statement about knowing if a woman is going through something). If we need to "cut someone out of our life"...we cut off our hair. We feel weighted down by something- we cut the weight off...from our hair. We get a fresh do...we feel like we are on the top of the world. 

So, what is it about our hair? I don't really have an answer but I will continue doing research via different hairstyles on this journey called life. And if I come up with an answer, I'll be sure to share. 

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