Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Family, Friends, and Foes-Natural Hair Woes

The following is a reply to some concerns one of my friends on Lockitup
was experiences concerning friends and family and her locks.
The exchange is below:

Subject: Re: I need your opinion....(Crickett)

I'll respond in between your lines...This is long, but worth the


Crickett wrote:

----Now my locs are between 4-5 inches long and I had the
up in an updo.----

You mess around and get some length, that talking starts to
down and those who were complaining start looking
more closely,
inquiring more, and the butter starts to melt. At
this point, she's
trapped by her opinion and pride will keep
her bound from submitting
to the truth of how lovely your
locks are.

----She asked me how long was I going to let my hair stay
like this
and I let her know until God takes me away.----

Good one. I came from a sales background and one of the top
reps need to have is the ability to overcome the objection
before it
is given. As locked natural hair wearers, we have to
have our
information ready to discuss, positively, intelligently,
passionately before the ignorant and uninformed start
spewing their
unknown knowledge about something they know
nothing about. When we
handle ourselves "civilly", with clarity
and accurate information,
that is better than acting out. Doing
that only makes us look just
as foolish as them. I like your quote
and I'll have to put that in
my back pocket for future use.

----She said that this just was not one of the hair do's that she
liked and she has not seen anyone with this type of hairstyle that
would make her say she would want to have her hair this way. I
told her I loved my locs and this was the best thing I could have
done to my hair. I told her I didn't loc my hair for her to like
or anyone else. As long as I was happy, that is what made the
difference. I told her she liked her curl, and as long as she
liked it, it didn't make me any difference how she wore her hair.----

A lot of time folks are defensive because our freedom to be real
amplifies their struggle to be fake. It puts them in an
uncomfortable place. Defense mechanisms kick in and they work from
the premise and limited knowledge they have. God bless their
souls. I've been there before.

----When she realized she could not intimidate me or make me feel
ashamed of my hairstyle, she left well enough alone. I told her I
have pretty natural hair, whether it is locked or loose, and I just
choose to have it locked. She is the only person that I have come
across that has this attitude towards my locs because she doesn't
like them. She said she didn't understand why anyone would want
their hair like this. I told her, that is it, you don't
understand. It is not that she doesn't like natural hair, it is
strictly the locs. LOL My aunt has been natural before, but she
just didn't know what to do with it and so she went back to the
chemicals. ----

There is always a root to anyone who bars bitterness or disdain for
a way of thinking, looking, or acting. I saw the most bizarre thing
at church on Sunday. There was this elderly lady (around early 70s
I believe) who sat in the pew in front of me. In front of her was
the associate minister, his wife and their 9 year old daughter. The
daughter had her hair corn rowed back with hair added to touch about
3 inches past her shoulders. The elderly lady reached in front of
her and began running her fingers through the girl's loose braids
and sort of "straightening" out the top and tossed the ends back
over her shoulder, examined them some more and then patted them
neatly on her back and then sat back in her seat. She had on a red
outfit with a matching red hat with netting and what looked like a
short cut reddish maroon straight haired wig peeking out from under
the hat. I'd never seen the lady before and the girl never turned
and looked at her like, "Lady, can you get your hands out of my
hair!" It then occurred to me that the elderly lady seemed to be
fascinated and intrigued with the little girl's braids. I was
thinking, "Is this lady "desiring" or "admiring" this girl's hair?
Synthetic and all? Women and men can get away with that with kids
before they could with grown folks. It was such a weird scene. Did
she do that because she was curious, perhaps? Humm??

I say all this to say, for a lonnnnng time we have been conditioned
a certain way. Nappy, kinky, curly (not Jherri Curl) is ugly,
dirty, nasty and hard to deal with. Straight and permed is right,
better, easier, and beautiful. If we are all honest with ourselves,
most of us had to battle some demons running rampant in our heads
about our hair and what it says about us. We still deal with it

My 9-yr old niece is already brain washed real good. Her mother and
her mother's mother (may she rest in peace) have been telling her
all her life (since she could understand) that her hair is nappy and
that she was born with a head full of nappy hair and it can't be
combed in it's natural state, which very well may be true. That was the last thing her grandmother said to me last week before she died. "Nikki's was born
with a head full of nappy hair!" She said it right in front of the
child, I guess to allude to the fact, making it known that her "bad
hair" came from our side of the family and not hers. "Khris's hair
wasn't like that", she said speaking of her grandson by another man
other than my brother.

My niece has had enough fake hair braided, crocheted, and the like
to fill a barn. I guess I would have begged for it myself if I didn't want to had to
deal with or possibly be ridiculed perhaps at school for having "nappy hair".
Just here recently I finally saw her hair without
extra hair, but she was "going to get her hair braided later that night." And you gonna tell me that wont breed a seed of self hatred for her natural hair, which she has NEVER seen because her mom started perming her hair some time after she turned two years old? My niece's mom the other day was saying, "Well everyone has their own opinion about how they wanna wear their hair", all the while digging, scratching, and
fuming because she wanted her "down her back" straight weave she got
put in a week before taken "out of her hair." It's tough, but we have to stay in the game and "represent".

Well, I'm done with my essay for the evening. Just thought I'd do
some responding to your post Crickett as I myself continue to work
out this natural hair dilemma was have upon us.

Here's a picture of my sweet niece with her bunny she got for
Christmas. She longs for long hair, and is quite aware of her "nappy" hair.

We found out Saturday evening her granny passed away Thursday Dec.
29th. She was a heavy smoker and her heart just stopped.
Thankfully Nikki and her granny did spend earlier that day shopping,
so her last experience with her granny was pleasant. Please pray
for the family during this time of grief.

Dec 29th, 2005


It's funny because as I am putting all the pieces together in my
blog, I just might get to the root of the matter concerning what I
did cause I liked it or wanted it, or what I did with my hair for
all the other various reasons. I remember wanting weave so I could
finally have some hair to throw around like my friends in
cheerleading in high school. Deep huh? Or perhaps the earliest
brainwashing came from good ole' Tuesday Taylor? All you Barbie
fans from back in the day know who she is.

I will tell you that I have had hair problems personally since I was
about 5 years old according to what I remember suffering under
myself. Follow my blog and you'll read some of the crazy things I
experienced. Once I find all the pictures and upload em' with
stories to accompany them, it will all make sense. Thanks for


Hey Maryee,

Thanks, but you know before I loced, I was the crochet, weave
and braid queen. I've received those comments from some
individuals about the weave. You know, "why you putting that stuff
in your hair." And my response "cause I like it." (lol) So I
was fortunate that my hairstyles regardless to what they, didn't
come from peer pressure, family traditions, etc. Plus I have
always been a hair person, so I was always doing something to my
head. But locing was the best thing I have ever done.


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