I Am My Hair (And My Hair is Me)

Last week at work, a colleague told me that she LOVED my hair – especially my curl pattern. She began to tell me how she cannot wait to grow the perm out of her hair. She also mentioned how she loves how confident I am with my short natural bald style. She doesn’t know that confidence wasn’t always there.

In the 70’s and 80’s Blacks, (especially women), were not well represented on television. You didn’t see a lot black women in commercials, on advertisements or billboards. This was also true for Hispanics and Asians. Marketing was represented by light bright, nearly white individuals.  They were the sportscasters, news anchors, models, and beauty queens. We had very few well known dark-skinned beauties but some of my favorites were Lola Falana, Beverly Johnson and Pam Grier. 

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The constant need for perfect hair was common and everything possible to make your hair bone straight would be done. You could expect to spend hours on a Saturday evening in the kitchen holding your ears listening to the singe of the hot comb at the back of your neck. It was the day of Head and Shoulders, Sulfur 8, Glover’s Mane, Blue Magic and Afro Sheen.  It was Vaseline and water to make your edges lay down and barrettes and bows to make your ponytails stand out. Afterwards it was washed, pressed, and curled with pink rollers. This style had to last at least a week so you had to avoid anything that would make your straight hair return to its curly naps especially water!  

By the time I was in the 5th grade, my mother was perming and adding extensions to my hair. Bad hair led to bullying and the snatching out of fake ponytails and/or braids. Before long I was defined by what my hair was and was not.

In the 80’s, the black community was introduced to the Jheri Curl. This permed style gave our hair a glossy, loosely curled look. However, remnants of the activator that was needed for this style, was left on furniture and pillows all over the United States. 

A desire to be accepted by society led me through a hair journey I will never forget.  I wore front lace and full lace wigs, synthetic, virgin and human hair. I tried Brazilian, Peruvian, Indian, Malaysian, Curly, Straight, and Wavy hair.  I wore Senegalese Twists, Flat Twists and Two Strand Twists. I experimented with Crotchet Braids, Microbraids, Box Braids, Goddess Braids and Tree Braids. I’ve tried Faux Locs, Marley Locs and Dreadlocks. I’ve rocked red hair, blue hair and black hair. I’ve wore it long, short, bob, and asymmetrical.

If I started calculating the sum of money I’ve probably spent over the last 40 years for my hair, let’s just say I can’t add that high!

After years of perms, braids, wigs, weaves, and stress I was forced to make a decision. I had bald spots on the sides and top of my head that braids could not hide. Wearing a wig or weave was out of the question because it was too hot in Alabama.  I wasn’t comfortable with my own hair and rarely wore it. What was I going to do?

A good hair day made for a good day point blank period! A good hair day meant I was noticed. A good hair day meant I was important, qualified and accepted. A good hair day meant I was a good person. A good hair day meant I was worthy of that raise, that job, that promotion because I was no different than my counter parts. A good hair day meant I was seen as an equal and not defined by my color, gender or weight. A good hair day meant I was corporate America and I fit in because I was just like them!

My hair defined who I was and who I hoped to be. My life was determined by the style, texture and length of my hair. My hair was my covering. It was my protection. It was my safe haven. It established who I was. 

That’s why I cut it off! 

I had to remove my protective covering in order to remove my stereotypical thinking and prejudicial views concerning my crown and glory. I needed to embrace my tight curls, my thinning edges, and my sprinkles of grey. I needed to embrace the real me with confidence and freedom. 

Do I still wear wigs, braids, and weaves? ABSOLUTELY! But now it’s because I WANT to and not because I feel I HAVE to.  If people judge my character based on the way I wear my hair then they have a problem – not me. 

Yes my hair and I are one. We are both short, healthy, strong, and constantly growing. 

Psalm 139:13-14 says,For you created my inmost being; I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.Luke 12:7 says, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” And Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

I am created in the image of God and He makes no mistakes. He CHOSE my hair including its length, curl pattern and texture. He knows me best therefore I am no longer a nappy head, I’m a happy head!   

How Do I Love Thee? (I Can’t Count the Ways….)

This past June my husband and I celebrated 25 years of matrimony. Notice I didn’t say marital “bliss. Webster’s definition of matrimony is “the state of being married.” Marriage is considered a contract, a vow, a commitment to stay with your spouse, “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” My husband and I meant those words and our confession has always been, “Divorce is not an option.”

I cannot tell you how many times in the past 25 years we have argued, stopped speaking for several days (weeks for me), disagreed, mumbled, complained about each other and fought like cats and dogs.

I also cannot tell you how many times we’ve laughed at corny jokes, kissed and made up, cuddled, shared candlelight dinners, picnics, comforted one another through tears and finished each other sentences.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (the so-called Love Verse) says, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, get angry….yada, yada, yada…. Well that ain’t me!!

I am a very independent young lady who comes from a family of strong women! Me, my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunts are very capable women and we proved this time and time again. However, my husband doesn’t take away from my independence, he adds to it. He deals with my mood swings with stability, my anxiety attacks with calmness, anger with kindness and chaos with peace. I’ve accepted his snoring, his bad feet, his country slang and addiction to all kinds of sports as part of him.

In our 25 years of marriage, my husband still shows me the “Agape” love of Jesus Christ and I continually show him God’s “longsuffering” attribute ;-). We are not perfect; in fact we are just the opposite, but knowing the heart of your love one makes all the difference.

My husband’s heart is to see me succeed, to be happy and at peace in life. My heart towards my husband is to be his supporter, defender and peace. We both have a heart for God and THEN each other. We agree to disagree however he makes the final decision and I have no problem submitting to him. My favorite saying regarding submission is, “The lower I duck the harder God can hit my husband!”

It is our Faith in God that makes us perfect for one another. Our trust in God’s Word teaches us to communicate with each other. Our love for God helps us to love each other unconditionally – flaws and all.

In 25 years, my weight has changed but not my love for him. I have more gray hair and more wisdom. I have crow feet around my eyes and laugh lines around my mouth. Yes we both have changed but not our confession. We are in this marriage ‘til death do us part’….so help us God!

Empty Nest (It’s for the Birds)

We all know the story of the mama bird pushing the baby bird out of the nest so he can learn to fly on his own yada… yada… yada…

My oldest son is moving 9 hours away tomorrow and I am sad, excited, anxious and happy for him. For over 5 years we have had at least 6 family members in the house, and with the birth of my granddaughter it became 7.
During those years we argued laughed, attended movies, restaurants, malls, and football games. We cheered each other on the softball, volleyball and baseball courts.

We competed with one another in escape rooms, bowling, drag racing and Uno. We cried together, took vacations together and celebrated successes in school and work. 

And our home was loud.

Kids came in and out, the refrigerator door stayed open, someone was always singing loudly in the shower and the television played throughout the home even though no one was watching.

Slowly I have noticed my home becoming a lot quieter and less boisterous with activity. Each child is slowly becoming an adult and everyone has their own set of hobbies and friends.

My youngest son leaves in three weeks for college 2 hours away, my oldest daughter and granddaughter have already moved out and will soon be transitioning to a state 10 hours away. My youngest daughter is a junior in high school and very independent so my days of hovering over her are slowly ending.

And our home is quieter.

Our home went from 7 people to 3 people and very soon to just 2.  The desire for a quiet home is closer than we can imagine and I can’t help but wonder, will our kids come around often and hang out? Will they call frequently to see how we are doing? Will they miss our family activities?
I’m getting what I want right? A quiet home, quality time with the hubby, joy in knowing that our children are productive members of society and I am free to do the desires of my heart with no restraints! Shouldn’t I be jumping on my couch and running around the house butt naked screaming, “I am free!”

Instead I am sitting in a quiet house…..feeling empty…..

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Life Happens

The family at our youngest son’s high school graduation

I have taken a year break from blogging because….well….. heck I’ve been busy. I have been ministering to couples and women at church, working a full time job, and supporting my youngest daughter by attending every volleyball game she played. On top of being a wife and mother, I have been spending a LOT of time with my youngest granddaughter who is full of never ending energy.

Just in this year, my husband and I graduated with a Doctorate in Divinity, our oldest son and middle daughter graduated from college and our youngest son graduated from high school!

With so much going on, I shut down my website especially my blog page. I hated that the one thing that I found pleasure doing, I just didn’t have the time to do it. So what has changed you asked? Not a darn thing! I met a lady in Georgia who convinced me that as I make time for those I love, I need to make time doing WHAT I love!

Baby I’m back!!