Whip Your Hair

This week we bring you another guest blog from the Ms. Sharonda Williams.  This week Sharonda shares her hair journey with us and we are more than happy to post another great blog from an AWESOME HBW.  We think this is a great post for discussion and encourage you to share with us how you and your mate may view beauty.  More importantly we ask you to think about what price you may be paying for the idea of beauty that you hold near and dear.  Thanks for another great post!!  Enjoy, ReFlectionary!!!

Like most Black women my hairstyles tell a story about who I am.  From the ages of 1-10 I wore my hair in braids.  Sometimes adorned with ribbons or colorful barrettes.  For special events I sat in the kitchen on a chair while my Mom straightened my hair with a pressing comb.  Hopefully this occurred on a day when she was in a good mood because one wrong move and I was getting burned! At the age of eleven my Mom tired of braiding and pressing my hair and she gave me my first perm.  I felt so beautiful with my straight hair!  I could wear it down and have it blow in the wind or throw it back in a ponytail.  When I entered high school I began to go to the beauty salon to get my hair chemically straightened. You are supposed to get your hair straightened every 6-8 weeks so that the hair doesn’t get damaged from over-processing. I would visit my beautician every 4 weeks just to avoid seeing the thickness of my natural hair.
My junior year of college I decided to get a weave.  My hair hung past my shoulders and I felt just like a Black Barbie.  Wait isn’t Barbie white? I digress.. I only wore the weave for a year because I missed running my fingers through my own hair.  During the time I was getting my hair chemically straightened I had experienced burns on my scalp, shedding of my hair, breakage and extremely dry scalp.  I was willing to accept unhealthy hair if it meant I felt beautiful.

Hair Did

About a year ago I began to learn about the negative health impacts of using a chemical relaxer on my hair.  You can get cancer?!! and cause harm to your reproductive system?!  Event this didn’t make me put down the “creamy crack.”  I had been straightening my hair for 18 years and I didn’t even remember what it looked like natural.  I didn’t want to cut it all off because then I would look like a boy.  I went back and forth for months about what to do about my hair.  At a party I saw a beautiful sista with her short and natural.  I told her how much I loved her hair and she said it would look great on you too what are you waiting for?  I drunkenly told my boyfriend that I wanted him to cut my hair like that the next day.  He replied let’s discuss this tomorrow.  The next day I combed out my relaxed hair that reached the middle of my neck.  I stared into the mirror and cried.  I was ready to release the fear that tied me to this hair.  My boyfriend picked up his clippers and began to slowly cut my hair while kissing my forehead. Long wafts of my hair fell to the ground of the bathroom floor.

Hair Done

Today I wonder why it took me so long to cut my hair.  What made me hold on so tightly to that “white” concept of beauty.  My hair is not straight and it never will be.  By forcing my hair to be something that it was not, I was negatively impacting the health of my body and my hair.  I am proud to see the curls come in on my newly shorn hair.  Gone are the days I detested that curl that dared to pop up in my straight tresses forcing me to run to my nearest hair salon.
What does your hair say about you?

~ by travelling womanists on May 18, 2011.

4 Responses to “Whip Your Hair”

  1. I love the look! I have never dyed my hair and have been thinking about it for about a year. I guess I am just afraid of what I would look like, keeping up with the roots and most importantly it will not grow back the same – considering I have natural highlights. After reading your post I might just keep it natural.

  2. […] in pursuing happiness, balance and her next great adventure.  Her previous blog posts include “Whip Your Hair” and “My Love Affair with Roma”  Hope you enjoy hearing about her adventures in the […]

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