I was trolling through my Goo.gle Reader and I came across this article at the Black Snob. I enjoy Danielle’s writing — whether she’s talking politics, pop culture or hair.
Danielle’s experience with hair was definitely not my experience growing up. I was a dark brown girl with relaxed hair that wasn’t saying much. I also had a host of self-esteem issues to deal with — that is for another blog. During my younger years, I do remember envying some of the Black girls at my school who had beautiful relaxed hair. I tried, my mom tried to get my hair to grow to long lengths, but it just didn’t work. Something about the frigid Quebec air and the lack of knowledge to grow Black hair in that climate. My mom was born and raised in Barbados and knew how to deal with hair there. In Canada? In winter?
LOL! She tried her best.
I do remember envying my white classmates who never seemed to have any trouble with their hair. They could cut it today and by Christmas it was long enough for a ponytail. As far as I was concerned, Black girls did NOT cut their hair — that was sacrilege! I remember the Black guys in my school swooning over the white girls with long hair and insulting me in the cafeteria.
Did I mention I had self-esteem issues? LOL! Thank God high school is only a moment in time.
As I got older, I thought — wrongly — that my hair wasn’t meant to be long and I was going to enjoy it and make sure it looked its best short or in braids. Thankfully, I realized, after wearing braids for a year, my hair was not meant to be short. It just liked to be cared for and protected from the elements.
So many times as I walk through the mall or wait for the train, I see Black women and girls who need someone to show them how to care for their hair. No, I may never hair waist length hair, but I can have healthy, strong, beautiful hair — something that many of these women and girls are lacking.
Oh, I don’t just mean people with relaxed hair. I’m talking natural and relaxed. I just want to pull her aside and ask her what she’s been doing. Maybe recommend a product or a technique. Reinforce her beauty and confidence… but, if I’m honest, I’m scared! Hair is a sensitive thing among women. It’s one thing for me to chat with my girlfriends or someone online who has sought me out, but a random person?
I wish I could. I would prefer that no woman or girl ever envy anyone’s hair or skin or size or lips or nose or whatever, but work what the Lord gave ’em.
Anyway, I don’t know if these thoughts are cohesive. They were rolling around my head after reading the article. What do you think?