Confessions Of A Hair Weave Addict
It was an extended highway to recognizing my racial identification crisis. I did not understand it in junior high after i basked within the glory of being advised by my associates that they did not consider me black as a result of I “wasn’t loud and did not discuss like the opposite two or three black ladies [in our grade.]” I didn’t catch a whiff of it in high school when I would spend hours of my freshman year with a check tube clamp on my nose, desperately attempting to make it smaller and narrower. It was years later, when I was in my 30s and i proudly proclaimed, “I am the least intimidating black girl I know!” The words had barely left my mouth earlier than the disgrace and awkwardness of that statement hit me. My stylist and i were talking about my latest crush and the prospect he might not like black girls whereas I sat in her chair and she weaved fourteen beautiful inches of slick straight Indian Remi hair onto my head. The nausea got here with the following thought, “Since when do I buy into that ‘intimidating’ stereotype ” Do I really imply whitest black woman Am I still making an attempt to be white “
Earlier than anybody gets upset I am not saying that ladies who get hair weaves have fantasies of being white. That is my story and my expertise. If you see yourself in it or feel indicted after it, think about it — then overlook it; or don’t, it is as much as you.
I grew up going to predominately white schools and continued to take action all through my total academic career. From kindergarten by way of graduate school I was the one or one of the few black college students. I am also very a lot a product of my household lineage; regardless of how skinny or heavy I am, I always have full hips and thighs — and they began to look that means when I used to be about 13. Just across the time when my white female classmates all seemed like what Vogue idealizes as the proper woman, super thin and lanky. My body image took a beating till I went to appearing college (faculty for me) and my voice and speech trainer told me to get over myself; “some lady somewhere is spending tens of hundreds of dollars to implant the lips and hips that you had been born with.” I noticed myself differently after that. However nothing could make me admire my hair.
I’ve always hated my hair. That is not true — I can remember a time, pre-kindergarten, after i wore afro-puffs and would go to my Aunt Georgia’s home and she would cornrow my hair for the summer. During that point I was indifferent about my hair because I was 4. I remember being little and working round with a half-slip on my head, pretending it was my lengthy blonde (typically darkish brown) tremendous straight and shiny hair. I’d fling it over my shoulder and whip it back and fourth, a long time ahead of Willow Smith. In hindsight, I’m fairly sure I imagined my eyes were blue which ought to have been a warning. However I was a bit of kid; I didn’t know to look out for this stuff.
My actual hair did not blow in the wind or swing back and forth. It was not yellow and shiny like Karen’s, or brown and slick like Judith’s or even braid-in a position like the opposite black girl’s hair. It by no means acquired lengthy; it was simply frizzy and massive. Kids would contact it and say “Eww greasy.” My mom would tell me to tell them not to touch it, which I’m positive you know was tremendous efficient in second grade. There was this one child who loved to complain he couldn’t see over my Afro in class. Grade school critically sucked.
Once i bought to high school, I found relaxers — but that was a nightmare. I had grown my hair out to my shoulders at the start of freshman year, but I broken it so badly with curling irons and blow dryers and whipping it around, that by second semester I needed to have it lower into a permanent Halle Berry hair minimize till I graduated. However the 12 months before my graduation, a film that might change every thing had been launched — Poetic Justice. If you have not seen Poetic Justice you’re loopy and there isn’t any hope for you and also you missed the dawn of the box braid. Janet Jackson and Regina King wore these stunning lengthy field braids within the film. Black women good healthy hair tips with lengthy hair that they did not must grow! What ! I wished them instantly.
My sister knew someone that knew someone who knew this girl that could give me the hook up. I finally satisfied my mother that braids would be a very good factor, and she took me to this lady named Star’s house and left me there for nine hours. That is right, nine hours. That’s how lengthy it takes to have lengthy hair. Star braided my hair so tightly I couldn’t lay my head down to sleep. I took Advil for 3 days. She smoked a pack of cigarettes as she braided, cussed out her youngsters and a host of different things I want I didn’t know. But when she was completed, I could put my hair in a pony tail and put on it on high of my head. I could whip it, and throw it over my shoulder. I was by no means going again to my hair once more.
I left for school in Chicago two days later. While in school, I tried all different types of extensions and braids. I explored the African hair braiders that had been famous up and down Clark Avenue, I found college students willing to do hair for pennies and i discovered weaves! I bought a lot attention for my hair. I modified it nearly every two months and everyone at all times thought it was really my hair, or at the least I convinced myself they did. I prided myself on getting life like kinds. I didn’t even really know what my own hair appeared like. I was solid in roles based on my hair — however which hair As soon as I had to reshoot a scene for a film and couldn’t remember which hair I had for continuity. That was pretty humorous.
However even with my weaves and extensions, I still felt like an outsider. I felt like I was not black sufficient for one group or white enough for one more. I felt like I confused people and that they did not know what to make of me, however in actuality I did not know what to make of myself. Trying to “fit in” had made me feel more misshapen and grey than ever. So sooner or later I just decided — because I solely operate from two points, inaction and impulse — to stroll into the salon and have them remove my weave and cut all of my hair all the way down to its natural state. I loved it. I felt free and centered and stunning. Then I walked onto the street and instantly felt like everybody was taking a look at me in a different way and I did not prefer it. They did not smile at me the identical way. Men did not have a look at me the identical means. Mates did not know what to make of it. “It makes you look more severe”, “You look more ‘ethnic'” and “I appreciated it lengthy” have been the commonest responses. Twice in the grocery retailer a clerk called me “sir.”
I purchased a wig.
Over the next 15 years, I spent 90 p.c of the time in some type of weave, wig, extension or braids and 10 p.c of the time impulsively slicing all of it off and attempting to wear my hair natural. Inevitably a day or two into being pure I would go operating again to the magnificence provide retailer to purchase more hair of some kind. I was so confused that when after watching Chris Rock’s Good Hair, I actually had an emotional breakdown in my stylist’s chair. I have done the math and from the time I used to be 18 until early 2013, I’ve spent $25,000 getting my hair weaved, braided or extended and just over one and a half years sitting in a chair having it achieved. If you wish to slot in you will do just about anything. I’m not saying that people who wear extensions want to be one thing they don’t seem to be anymore than somebody who drinks is mechanically an alcoholic. But I was nonetheless a little bit girl with a slip on her head, flipping her blonde hair round, imagining herself with blue eyes. I simply didn’t realize I used to be still doing it.
To start out recover from alcoholism, you have got to come back to consider that a energy better than yourself can restore your sanity; to beat an consuming disorder you could have to understand that controlling your food will never offer you control over the things of which you don’t have any control; and so as to recover from an acute addiction to hair weaves, it’s essential to realize that no quantity of Kanekalon, Yaki or Indian Remy is ever going to make you anyone else but some lady with a bunch of store bought hair on their head. The thing is, I kind of love my hair. It has giant curls in some spots tight coils in others and a few parts are just tangles of zig-zags. It’s somewhat bit crazy, robust however fragile, coarse however gentle and fully unpredictable. Now we have the same persona.
I have been natural now for longer than I’ve ever been, which is not long. I am not going to lie, it has a challenge. But the extra time I spend being pure, the extra I like my hair and the much less gray and misshapen I become. Positive, in the beginning, I needed to run and cover at any time when I believed someone was looking at me humorous or when a shampoo commercial got here on, you understand the ones with all of the straight hair flowing down the display But a good friend reminded me just lately that hair isn’t just hair; it is intrinsically wrapped up in who we are as individuals. It is as much a type of expression because the clothes we placed on on good healthy hair tips a regular basis. If you don’t believe that, drastically change your hair and walk round on this planet a bit.