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The Hair Has Spoken (Part II of "The Hair Chronicles")

Img_3165_3 Remember that post I wrote yesterday?  The one about my "new hair" & trying to figure out what to do next?  Well, it has become a non-issue, because my hair decided for me.  Around 2 this morning, I looked in the mirror, and all I could do was stare...

Img_3168 and then burst out laughing.  My hair had curled up again at the roots (also known as "going home", "going back", or "reverting"), and the ends were still straight.  I looked a mess. Like my hair just said "To heck with this nonsense!" and decided to do what it wanted to do.  I can't even argue - why fight it?  So...I've decided to trim off the rest of the part that I colored back in the spring, keep it well-conditioned, and let it do what makes it happy.

Since I've been talking so much about hair, I feel compelled to say that hair has traditionally been a big issue for black women.  For a long time (and even now in many places), it was seen as unprofessional, unkempt, and unacceptable for us to wear our hair "natural".  I got my hair "pressed" (straightened with a hot comb) for special occasions when I was a child, but I first started relaxing (chemically straightening) my hair when I was about 13 - it was like a rite of passage.  It never felt quite right to me, and I hated the chemicals, but it was what was expected.  When I really got tired of it (at the age of 26), I shaved my head so that I could gradually learn to care for the natural texture of my hair, which I hadn't seen in 13 years.  People thought I was crazy, but I had to do it.  In a place where we all expect freedom, HAVING to straighten my hair when I really didn't want to felt oppressive. 

In the years since then, I have grown it back, worn dreadlocks, shaved them off, worn a short curly 'fro, and grown it back again.   I have had many black women (and girls) approach me about how to gain the courage to wear their hair natural, and numerous discussions about how/ if it would adversely affect my working in Hollywood.  It was a chance I had to take.

So, when I went to the hair salon the other day & let them style it whatever way was gonna make it "easy", I did have to think about what effect this would have on people who have told me that I helped them to "go natural".  My answer?  "I want everyone to be free to be who they are, and I need a change."

Apparently that "change" will not be a texture change, lol.  The hair has spoken.  Next!

I am $110 lighter in the pockets for this experience (the cost of a shampoo, deep conditioning, trim, wet-set, blow out, and style), but at least I didn't go out & get new headshots!!  My grandmother used to say "Bought sense is the best kind." because you don't easily forget a lesson that you've had to pay for.

Thanks so much to everyone who gave me advice & suggestions.

Still a curly girl, and embracing it,

--Nicole J. ButlerImg_3171

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