Black Women…and Our Hair!!!



I think I have a photo of myself on this blog somewhere. I think I’m rather cute, but unlike many people, I get bored looking at my pics over and over again. I’d rather showcase some beautiful photography; someone else’ art. But if you’ve never seen me, I’m African-American, Caribbean on my father’s side of the family, and German waaaaaay back in the roots of things. My grandmother was Black and German, during a time where there clearly would not have been any celebrations around her birth. But…hair, is the subject of today’s rant. I inherited a lot of things from my Black mothers, but most of all, the angst, over what to do with my hair!!!!!??

I represent a long history of women of color in all parts of the globe that have a love-hate relationship with their hair. Kinky, curly, nappy, thick, fine, the long and the short; Black women (…and I can say “black”. I’m over 45. TY.) have it all. Different grades, different shades; we have it all. And no matter what we have, we always want to change it…

Speaking from the point of view of a fairly enlightened being, (haha,… but yes) I have grown into an acceptance of the state of my hair; well…somewhat. I can say that in a way, I’ve slowly made peace with my hair. I thought that I had formed a serious bond with my hair, until recently. I wore my hair very short and natural for many years and it truly suited my lifestyle, and my style, in general. Sometimes it was short and chic, sometimes short and punky, and sometimes short and kinky; but it was short, and I loved it. I paraded around like an Afro-Caribbean goddess; proud of me, proud of my heritage. I had known the pain of straightening relaxers for too many years when my hair was long. The sting, the burn, the subtle damage that chemicals can do to ethnic hair was frustrating. For a while, my hair became not just a part of me, but in some ways, a political statement…


“Right on!” “Power to the people!” Natural hair speaks volumes in many parts of the Black community. You’ll often find many of us “naturals” hanging out together; the “fros” with “the locs”. Braids only count, if it’s all “you”, and not a weave. Yes, Chris Rock hit the nail on the head of black women and our challenges and relationships with our hair, in his movie documentary, titled, “Good Hair”. Being of a mixed cultural heritage, I was often told I had “good hair”, meaning, “fine”, “curly”, easier to manage. But it wasn’t all that good in my eyes, because I just wanted it to do, …what I wanted it to do! Now that’s “good hair”.

Now, I find myself at 47, in a place again where I am dissatisfied with my hair. I’m tired of the short and natural, and I’m looking for ways to be more creative. This summer I attempted to let it grow, until I could loc it to form “dredlocs”…

Instead, I met with frustration again. It was just too damn hot for all of that! So…back to my short, very short, and natural “do”. I sit now, in a bit of limbo, as to what I will do with my hair that gives me some more flexibility to be creative, but still honors my culture; and most importantly, does not cause damage. If I’ve learned nothing else through these years of struggling with my hair, it’s that I choose to be kind to myself, in every way possible; and that includes removing processes and chemicals from my hair program.

I’ve accomplished many things; I’m a freelance writer, professional blogger, dedicated to growing and evolving on a spiritual level, which is really every level, and I live everyday life, the way I want to live it. But,… I wonder; is there ever any conquering of my hair!!!


photo credits photo credit: Cau Napoli


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