Loving Life and My Hair

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Family and Friends

DFW Sisterlock Gathering in Waco

The DFW Sisterlocks Gathering was hosted in Waco, by Maryee and Jen on Sunday,February 18th. Everything was really enjoyable, it was great seeing all the Beautiful Ladies again. We had a great time, good food, entertainment and the hostesses were the best. It was the kind of gathering that you could just kick your shoes off and just enjoy, we had the whole place to ourselves so we didn't have to worry about getting too loud. The time went by so fast, seems as if we were just getting started and it was time to go. We had several new people and the regulars, of course... I think a good time was had by all, and the weather was just wonderful.. No rain or sleet... just a nice February day.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

By Andrea'

When I cut off all my permed hair nearly eight years ago, I was making a deliberate transition, hoping that by freeing my hair, I was signifying the broader freedom that I wanted in my life.

I cut my hair shortly after my aunt died in March 1999. I loved my Aunt Dorothy, my mother's only sister, very much. Aunt Dorothy had a good life, according to the standards by which the lives of southern black working-class women can be judged. But I sense that there was so much that she missed, so much that she might have put off, waiting for more money, more time, more opportunities. Her passing was a wake-up call for me-I could not afford to defer the decisions that mattered to me.

Allowing my hair to go natural was one of those decisions that I decided not to let linger, I had been wanting to go natural for a while. Seems tht some of the most beautiful women that I admired at Spelman, where I was attending college, had natural hair. Through reading and noticing their lifestyles, I realized that wearing one's hair natural can be part of a holistic lifestyle of Afro-centric, healthy thinking and being. For example, many of the dredlocked and afro-wearing sistahs I knew were also spiritually centered and vegetarian (I became a vegetarian in 2000).

So when my aunt passed, I decided that my decision could not wait. Black women had been waiting for too long to do the things, big and small, that mattered to them. A few days after my aunt's funeral, I cut off all my hair. The stylist that I had been used to perming my hair was hesitant to cut it. She reminded me of all of the supposed disadvantages and inconveniences of not having straight hair, but I persisted. I wanted to take a small risk , for my own sake and in honor of my aunt who hadn't been able to take so many risks in her life.

I have never regretted my decision. I absolutely love my hair now. I like to touch it and twirl it around my fingers now that it's grown out. I like it texture and the way that my first strands of gray (which I will never dye) are highlighting my otherwise pitch black nappiness. I wear twists and Bantu knots and cornrows without extensions. And I generally get several compliments about my hair from both women and men. One man I dated was particularly enamored by my natural hair. He said that when I wore cornrows, the parts and designs in my hair reminded him of the winding roots of a strong tree-the family tree that connects people of African descent to one another. I cherish that.

I'm encouraged to see black women wearing their hair natural. For some folks, it's simply a style and that's okay. But other sistahs have philosophical reasons for being natural, as I do. After all, I want for every part of me-beginning with my heart and manifesting in my hair-to be a reflection of my family tree, a tree that includes my Southern-born Aunt Dorothy. A tree that has its deepest roots in the Motherland.