I just finished reading a recent post on one of my favorite blogs Diary of a Happy Black Woman. I've been following the life adventures of author Rosetta Thurman for the better part of 2010 and a major theme that she has written about is her hair journey. She changed from permed to natural hair with a "big chop" and while she has found personal joy in the new 'do, she also endured the loss of a boyfriend who couldn't get with it.
The newest post in the hair saga is about her mother who went from a weave to natural, only to turn around and put a perm in her hair 24 hours later. As Rosetta says "In the end, I think my mom just wasn't comfortable with "the nappy look" (as she called it) and was much more confident in her appearance wearing a straight style that "moved" when she moved. After all, she's always worn her hair pressed, relaxed or in a weave ever since she was a kid."
Last night I hung out with a girlfriend and a couple of her friends. I met them at a bar and as my eyes scanned the room to find them I spotted my friend's fair-skinned back with her long straight weave hanging down it. The weave is something she adopted just a couple years ago. When we were in college she, like me, had a perm and was faithful to the Dominican hair salons for a wash and blowout every 1-2 weeks. She recently revealed to me that she had been just as heart broken as I, when our favored shop closed down autumn last year.
Of the other two women she was taking shots with at the bar, one was Indian and the other was black, from what I could tell based upon appearance. But the hair threw me off. The texture was black girl hair with a perm, but it was really long and wavy. The kind of length and wave my mother has naturally without any chemical. It's the Cherokee in our blood line. Mommy's got that good hair... but I've digressed.
I was mesmerized by long-wavy-haired black girl... Could that really be hers? Maybe. I know haven't seen every kind of hair there could be on a black woman's head. What could she be mixed with?
And then we took a picture. I kinda cringed when I saw it on the digital display. We were three black girls, but I only saw two with beautiful hair: one long straight weave, and one long wavy maybe-weave or mystery ethnicity, next to my medium length perm pinned up in a clip because it was sweat completely out from my earlier exercise session.
Last week my sister cut off her perm. She is beautiful. She's always been beautiful. But for the first time, in a long time, I really see her bright brown eyes and dimples in her cheeks when she smiles without any distraction.
Daddy told her she looks like an Afro Queen.
Her mommy hasn't said much at all.