I aspire to be more man-like. They might not see it this way, but the freedom men have in the hair department is enviable. Wash it, comb it, ready for the day. What you see is what you get.
I’ve been diddling with my hair forever and I’m sick of it. I’ve had every length, every style and a variety of colors. I’ve envied others for their thick curly locks and they’ve envied me for my fine, straight ones. Oh, the hours wasted blowing, curling, dying, lifting, spraying and moussing. Not to mention the continuing, expensive, product quest to make my fine hair do what it simply cannot. This obsession compulsion is about to end, once and for all. I think…
There’s a movie called “Good Hair” where, according to the movie’s caption, Chris Rock takes you on a hilarious hair-raising journey through the extreme lengths that black women will go through for good hair. It’s hysterical, and is what fueled my hair rebellion six years ago.
The weaning process began when I stopped coloring my hair. Gray hair is clearly seen as some kind of flaw to be dealt with, but I finally refused. Then one day I sat down for my regular cut and announced, “Cut it all off.” A hesitant hairdresser was silent for a moment then said, “Are you sure? I’m not cutting it if you’re not sure.” Luckily for me, the pixie do she fashioned that day was more flattering than I had expected. The final straw in this process of letting go came this week when my new hairdresser, apparently tired of my hair whining, said, “It’s time to embrace it. Let’s figure out what your hair wants to do and make it do that really well!” Jason Saunders, my hero for the day. Freedom is at hand.
Two hair anecdotes from my past stand out. Minor conversations, but major impact. One when a friend turned down a camping date with someone she really liked because he would see her without her hair puffed up. And, when he threw swimming in the mix, he was toast. Her and I had had endless conversations about how silly we were to be so obsessed with our hair, but we just laughed it off and continued to obsess over our latest and greatest styles.
The other memory was the comment from a friend who had just chopped her long mane off. I was surprised to see how different, and better, she looked, but my compliment was met with, “I feel so exposed. I guess I was hiding behind my long hair.” She actually missed being able to hide her face. Come to think of it, I have noticed how long hair is often worn hanging straight down, inching in on the face. Also, seems like it’s kind of a play thing. Like beards that call for constant stroking, long hair invites much twirling and twisting.
I used to think it odd that most women wore their hair so short as they got older. Now, I get it. They finally got fed up and unchained themselves from a lifetime of hair-diddling.