Sexy kinky

If you’re wondering whether as a black woman I have good hair, go ahead, ask. It isn’t a fair question to pose because black women continue to face societies that tell them their hair is not fantastic.

20091205boxBut me, I am a black woman and I have good hair. It is the kind that curls from the root and is as kinky as hell. I call it ‘sexy kinky’. It is the colour of cocoa beans, like my rich dark skin and texture of it reminds me of my lips when starved of lip balm, soft but dry. It is the same hair I remember my father calling it “ocean waves” because naturally it is wavy and he would say that it was a portrait of the ocean.

This is the same hair my granny dreaded to comb; she always had a comment to make about it when I sat in her lap. But after styling it she would say, “Look how pretty you are; just like your mother”. I laughed every time she said it because my mom actually has sexier hair. There are some things I think my mother held onto tight when she gave birth to me and the hair happens to one of them.

Do I relax my hair, or as the hair gurus would say, do I perm my hair? The answer is yes or I used to, but the question is as irrelevant as asking me whether I prefer roast pork or stewed pork – I don’t eat pork. The hair chemicals that are sometimes frowned upon made my hair silky and I have to admit that it was some feeling. I would run my hands through my hair all day after a perm and spend hours in front of a mirror flirting with my own image. To phrase exactly how I reacted I would say, “An endless obsession with the physical”.

But the idea that my hair has to be silky for me to admire it faded as I grew and today comes over as juvenile. Currently I wear silky hair which is not mine and probably came from a woman somewhere in India who (I hope) had it chopped off as a sacrifice in the name of religion. Her hair is my weave or my wig and that only, it does not change the fact that I am a black woman and it certainly does not take away from it either.

The good thing about my silky weave is that it is temporary, meaning I control when I wear it and when I abandon it, actually in another few days I am likely to drop it for another, not in the name of style but in the name of convenience. I have a bad habit of not wanting to comb my hair and when it is silky it is manageable, when it is a wig even better. If I knew how to make my sexy, kinky hair manageable I would be rocking it as much is I do the pair of black stilettos I picked up a few months ago.

My truth obviously differs from the next black woman, but I doubt she is so desperate to hide her own hair that she must wear a wig. I also doubt that she so hates the hair she has that it must be permed to look good and be acceptable. I rather suspect that she rubs chemicals in it to make it more manageable and perhaps even sexier.

I have much to be thankful for because this black woman already has sexy hair and though I have not flaunted it for quite some time I soon will. I don’t feel the need to reassure myself that I have good hair; this I already know. Sure it looks like my granny’s afro style from her glory days but it is a crown of hair I am proud of.

So go ahead ask me if I have good hair.

Chris Rock might have made a film about it that digs into the reasons why black women don’t always go natural, but I am in a position to relate personally why this black woman has good hair and always will, even if I choose to perm it or wig it out.

(thescene@stabroeknews.com)

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