Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reverent Hair

Beyond the many hours spent washing, combing, brushing and cutting hair; in my household, there has also been budgeting, shopping, procuring and the choosing of practitioners; hair issues galore.

Michael wears his hair short and will usually go with just a mustache. He has, for various roles, alternated between wooly mammoth to totally bald, head and face, and variations between. Having grown weary, some time ago, of barbershops, he learned to cut and style his own head and face. Since my conversion to short hair earlier this year, he takes care of my 'do, too.

Dani has struggled with hair issues. Since her teen years her hair has been a major disappointment and the source of much debate and expense. Once she kicked me out of her head convinced me that micro-braids were the way to go, buying hair and paying braiders to work their magic has been a near quarterly ritual, for a few years now.

Before my conversion to short hair, it seem life was all about what to do with my hair. Since kicking my mom out of my head convincing my mom that I could do my own hair when I was 11, very few people have had their hands in my head, a situation that rankled some closest to me. I ran the gamut of the super afros popular in the mid to late 1970's, cornrows, press and curl and chemical perms; all towards keeping current and within cultural conventions. I became a pretty fair hair-dresser, for my own head. I just didn't obsess take it as seriously as others.

Hair and all the related actions and decisions are like a religion in some black communities. There are nearly as many beauty supply and beauty shops as there are churches in many of the predominately black neighborhoods I have frequented in my commutes. I've been told more than once, that I don't have proper reverence for my blessed tresses. I've often felt that I'd been too bound to conventions.

I mentioned to my mom about getting Michael to shape up my hair this weekend, for the trip. My mom wanted to know how long I was going to keep my, good, pretty hair, so short. She said short like it was the dirtiest of dirty words. My hair is still good and is still pretty, it's just short. These days wash and go hair is the only way to go, I'm sorry I didn't have the courage and sensibilities to do it sooner.

Dani's getting a new 'do for the trip. She cut out the micros and has decided on a full head weave. We shopped for hair yesterday, bypassing the hair that Brandy wears for a brand the new stylist recommended. Filling time while she's being done on Saturday, I will work in the yard, do my laundry, run an errand or two, check my packing list, start to pack and fix something for lunch. I might even have time for a nap before she returns.

Have I mentioned how I love my wash and go hair?


  1. I'm gonna pull a weese and ask for pictures. I've never quite understood the distinctions in those types of hairstyles. I appreciate the opportunity to learn in a safe, warm environment.

  2. I have long hair and love it. I was one of those kids that was into everything and had to have Dorothy Hammill's hair. I was mistaken too many times for a boy...the hair stays long. :)

  3. Anonymous5:00 AM


    If you like it short, keep it short!

  4. yes. really now... if we are going to rant about our hair we must provide pictures.

    I too like my hair short (also much to the dismay of my mother).
    I vascillate on it at times -because its a tad cliche I suppose.
    but the bottom line, its practical.
    as you say... wash and go.

  5. I adore wash and go hair!

    Of course, mine has to be long to be wash and go. If it was short, I'd have to break out the hair dryer and curling iron and other such implements of destruction so that it didn't just sit in an unsightly flat mop on my head.

    But long? Wash, Clip, Go.

    Love it.

  6. Fascinating post, D. I give WAY too much significance to my hair, whether short or long. Bottom line: do what works for you. If YOU like your hair short, then keep your mother out of your head!

  7. Doris has "good" hair, too! She keeps it short, it is fabulous most of the time! Mainly because she is good at it. Her parents freaked back in the day when she cut her long beautiful tresses off. I would have loved to know her then.

    My hair is long, past bra hook legnth. It is easier for me that way. And Doris doesn't want me to cut it. Altho, I just saw an old pic today & I'm thinking I'm kinda old for such long hair.

  8. Have you come out to your mom? Is it possible she thinks the short hair is dyke-ish?

    I bet it's muy caliente!!

  9. When I came out a few years ago, I chopped off all of my hair as a kind of self-liberating gesture. I loved the feel of it, but it was a pain to have to get trimmed up so frequently and I think it made me look a bit harsh. I'm growing it out now to see just how silver I have actually gone :)


  10. I'd rather drill holes in my toes than have my hair micro-braided.


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