Its gone

I swear I won’t have too many more posts about my hair…drum-roll please…. I cut it off last night! Yep, I had planned to wait until I got paid and had some extra cash so I could go to get it colored right away but last night I just couldn’t take it anymore. So I said screw it, got the Spousal Unit’s shears and just took my locs off.

So how do I feel? A lot better than I expected to be honest, yes I need to get my hair shaped up but at the moment I have no regrets. As a few friends commented, I still have a fair chuck of hair left on my head. (I really did have a fro underneath my locs) since as the Spousal Unit noted I don’t even have a TWA at this point. (TWA= tiny weeny afro)

As I cut each one off, I felt a certain sense of lightness and actually woke up without the customary headache, damn, my locs were heavy. So where do I go from here? For the next few days I will just rock it in its crazy state and then go see who can shape me up. We do actually have a Black barber locally who cuts elder boy’s hair when he is home so I do have a place to go, though there is a Black female stylist around who while I may not have entrusted my locs to her will do for cleaning me up.

I suppose at a later date, I will write about the spiritual side of letting go of my locks though at the moment, lighter really is the best word to describe how I am feeling.  I had no idea just how weighed down I had been feeling but right now its clear that I was weighed down.

Anyway have a happy weekend!

Leaning towards….

Recently I wrote about my hair woes, and actually got a lot of feedback. To recap, I have dreadlocks aka locs. I have been growing my much beloved locs for 5 years now, but we have reached the point where my babies are looking a tad unkempt. In good financial times, I would head to Brooklyn to visit a woman I am told could definitely get my hair back in order since living in Maine, I lack access to folks who know what to do with natural unprocessed hair.

As I admitted in my other posts about my hair, my locs are not just hair. They were started as direct result of my Mom’s untimely death 5 years ago, its something I had thought about for years but her death and the realization that life is short prompted me to just do it. (sorry Nike, I just had to use your slogan)

I admit over the years the journey that I have been on emotionally and spiritually has been reflected in my my locs and my relationship to them. I love em but recently after the posts I did, I have started to feel as if I could sense my Mom’s presence (I swear I am not going crazy) and each time its happened, I could almost hear her voice telling me its time to get rid of them. Now my Mom was always open to my natural hair but she was also a pretty snazzy dresser and quite into couture, she always looked amazing. No, the simple truth is if she were here she would say get rid of em and at least start all over again because right now, I simply look raggedy about the head.

The first time I had that realization about a week ago, I shook it off but its continued to haunt me. Yet I must admit like many women I have fell into the length trap, my hair is quite long and for all the bitching I do about my hair its been a nice ride as a long haired woman. In some ways I get amused because I often get the question even living in Maine “Is that really all my hair?” Sometimes I get amused and sometimes I get pissed since at times I wonder is it because there is the perception that Black women don’t have long hair. So on some level I know that fuels my desire to keep the length despite the fact my hair is not as healthy as it could be.

However as someone who has always embraced change when its put in my face, yesterday I had an ephiphany about how freeing it would be to just cut my hair off and for once fear was not in my heart as I thought about it. I was talking to an acquaintance of mine, a white man who is a stylist and colorist for Aveda who told me flat out that he thought I would look a lot better with a short do that he would be happy to color for me. Can I say thoughts of shades of red are dancing in my head. Along with thoughts of how nice 3-4 inches would feel on my head…can we say the ultimate in wash and go.

I tried this weekend to retwist the new growth that had caused me to have a afro in the midst of my locs and let me just say…um NO. It did not come out well and my arms were killing me when I was done.

Letting go sometimes is hard but I am starting to embrace the idea that change is in the air and that this may be the change I need to make. The past 5 years have been the hardest I have ever gone through and lately I feel weighed down by so much in my life, even my hair. I need to be lighter in my journey. Don’t get me wrong I love dreads but wonder if I should restart this journey at a different stage in my life, not one born out of pain and grief.

So guess you can say I am leaning towards making the big chop though I have decided to sit on this for 30 days just to be sure. After all if I cut it off too soon its not as if I can just stick it back on my head.

Hair in crisis

I have often thought about writing about hair but until today never quite gotten around to it. Now when I first started blogging the majority of my readers were Black because I spent a lot of time in the Black section of the blogosphere but lately I have noticed that many of my readers judging from those who leave comments may not be Black. If that is the case, you may be wondering why the hell am I about to write an entire post about hair. Shit, for black women and our hair I could write an entire book.

Black woman and their hair is not only a serious business but we Black women take out hair pretty seriously. However I am not about to go into a historical piece about hair, nope its just dealing with my hair. See, for the past decade aside from one dye job 6 years ago, I have worn my hair in its natural state. In the late 1990’s, I knew that there was a really good chance that I would be moving to Maine so I started thinking about my hair and how I would manage it. Yep, tis the life of a Black woman…a cross country move to the whitest state immediately makes you wonder about seemingly small things like how the hell will you manage your hair?

See, at that point I went weekly to the salon to get my hair done. On a weekly basis that meant wash, dry and curl and every six weeks I had my relaxer (hair straightener applied) at that point in time I was spending about $200 plus a month to maintain my silky do. My hair looked great but there was also the fact that I really was not skilled at maintaining my own hair.

So I started looking into going natural, that is wearing my hair without any type of chemicals. So I made a slow transition by wearing braids, weaves and eventually just cutting off all my hair in a rather dramatic fashion. I’ll never forget the day I went in for the “Big Chop” at that point I was going to the Van Cleef Salon in Chicago, which as a side note is the same salon the current First Lady Michelle Obama went to for years. As you can imagine, most of the woman at such a salon were not trying to get rid of their silky tress’s and go nappy. In fact the owner of the salon actually came over and watched as my stylist took off all my hair…shit, everyone in the salon stopped what they were doing to watch. For a moment the mood in the salon was almost that of a funeral. To many Black woman cutting off all your hair is viewed with horror and a bit of fascination.

Yet after I watched my hair fall to the ground leaving me with a cool 2 inches at best, I felt a huge relief, it was almost a religious experinece, I felt reborn. That was until I got home and the Spousal Unit came home from work and looked at my head. To his credit he didn’t say much, but the truth is when he went to work that morning he had a wife with a frizzy bob and now my head matched my Dad’s as far as hair length.

The real fun started when I went to visit my parents, my Mom loved it and thought it was cute though she did suggest maybe I should color it which I eventually did, no it was my Dad who lost his mind. I won’t go into the details but for 2 weeks he stopped talking to me, He could not understand why I would cut off all my hair. Eventually he came around and while he is still not a fan of my hair in its natural state at least he keeps his comments to himself.

For almost 5 years I wore my hair fairly short but eventually felt the urge to have dreadlocks something I have always wanted, so after my Mom’s death 5 years ago I started my dreads aka locks. Or rather I had them started at a place in Boston. For the first 6 months I went to Boston every 4-6 weeks to get my locks groomed. However when I got pregnant with girl child I decided the hell with it and went real natural, meaning I started to free-form my locks. In practical terms, it means all I do is wash, condition and separate my locks though many have started to fuse together over the years.

After 5 years I have dreadlocks that are to the middle of my back but because I have not had the new growth re-twisted or groomed, I have a bit of a Afro growing in the midst of my locks. Generally I handle it by keeping my head covered or wearing my hair in a pony tail so the fro portion is less obvious.

Anyway I have reached the point where I am in a bit of a hair crisis, there are days when I want to cut it all off or worse yet relax again. I think part of the hair crisis is because living in Maine, there are very few places a Black woman can go to get her coif done and even less choices for a dread-lock wearing sista.

I could go back to the shop in Boston but I never really cared much for the joint. The folks that run the joint had funky attitudes and their location in Bean-town is less than convenient. It takes me 3.5 hours each way to get to their spot, plus several hours there for a job that is only okay, granted they can do better than me but considering I am paying them, I want an amazing job. This particular place is like the McDonald’s of the dread-lock world in Boston.

So now I sit here with dreams of silky precision cut bobs dancing in my head though I know if I actually went that direction, I would most likely wake up questioning my sanity. To go back to relaxing would mean bondage to the salon at a time when my money is already tight. 

A friend of mine who lives in Brooklyn, has suggested I head down to her area and see her loctitian but money has simply been too tight and now my time is about to get tight with my work schedule. So while I love that idea, its probably not going to happen unless those folks I met with last week about a side project hurry up and sign the contract.

Nope, I have a hair dilemma, I am in crisis and I just don’t know what to do. I imagine to some reading this you may be wondering is this really a big deal? Oh yes, a Black woman with a hair crisis is a huge deal. I mean I have a fucking dread-fro and its just not cute.  Oh well no answers today but thank goodness for scarves and the lovely black and gold one I am wearing today to cover up the dread-fro.