Hair Drama

People do things to you and you forgive them, right? I walked into Luxe Apothrtique (used to be The Beauty Store) today to look for some gifts. As I rounded a corner I happened to peer into the salon in the back. I caught a glimpse of a male stylist and thought to myself, well, he looks just like the guy that made my hair fall out a few years ago.
I had a flashback right then. People talk about their lives flashing in front of their eyes, but this is the first time it ever happened to me. Now, like Oprah says, every Black woman has hair stories and although I have certainly found my groove in the past five or so years with my locks, I have had my share of hair Trauma. For instance, I was one of those Rio people that wanted bouncing and behaving hair as a result of using a so-called "Natural" product. I used it and after my fingernails turned green, my hair bounced right off my head and onto the floor.
Well, After a few years of wearing a weave 'cause I had to, my hair grew back wonderfully when I was pregnant. When I went back to work, I went to see this stylist that was supposed to be a hair god. I hadn't seen him in years and here he was working again in this salon. I used to go to him on my lunch hour because he was good about scheduling you and only you.
The fateful day of my last ever hair relaxer, he did as he normally did, then took me to the bowl to wash me out. Looking back, it was usually silent in the salon. He kept me leaning back in the bowl and then he said, "Girl, you are just too blessed." I didn't question him as he dried me off, then suggested it was time for a new cut. If I had been more aware I probably would have noticed a draft in the back of my head then, but I didn't. Instead I let him cut my tresses in a style that was sort of shag-like, long on top and bottom, shorter in the middle. When I got home, I realized that my man was saying I was blessed because I had SOME hair left. Not much though because he had relaxed the hair right off my head and down the drain. There was no hair (I mean no hair) in the back of my head, not even enough to pick up with your fingertips. He had attempted to cover it up with a sort of comb-over, only he had combed my hair from the long part in the front over my newly acquired bald spot. After I called him every thing but a child of God, I went to a dermatologist, then to the Chinese Hair store (you know what I am talking about) and purchased a closet full of horse hair. You would swear I had conered the market on yaki, but it was really just a couple of wigs and good looking pony tails, and swore off relaxers forever. I remembered that many folks looked at me like I was absolutely crazy when I told them that I was hair-liberated. I declared that I would never again relax my hair. Several of my friends remarked that there was no way in hell they would go back to Africa with their hair. "What are you going to do?" They exclaimed. "Grow locks" was my answer. Some were silent, some appalled, some took it personally. They thought that my declaration that I would no longer pay for people to make me bald meant I was accusing them of self-hatred 'cause they chose to relax theirs. My answer was then, and still is, whatever works for you is fine with me as long as it makes you happy.

That was a long flash back, huh? Well, this hairdresser, when I spotted him yesterday, came out of the salon to greet me. After he'd scalped me, he'd hightailed it out of town faster than you cold say haircut. (He was no fool, he knew that hell had no fury like a woman shorn. Okay, I'll stop with the hair puns). He was back now, he said, and his customers had told them all about me becoming a writer and he'd seen me several times in television. (No doubt declaring to everyone who would listen hat he used to do my hair).
"You are that man who made me bald!"
"Huh?" (Note that he stepped me further away from the salon, out of earshot of the other customers).
That fool had the good sense to act like he didn't remember.
"Your hair looks great!" he said.
No thanks to you, I thought to myself. I paused a minute, then decided to go with it and look at the bright side. He'd helped me to find my naturalness. (I am not talking about the color. That doesn't count). Then because of that, he helped my sister, my niece and everyone else who let me try it first to see if I was going to look like an idiot, then came on over themselves. I was nice. I made conversation. It was good. I let by-gones be by-gones and old coiffures fade away.
Ten years ago, I would have beat him down to the ground and demanded a refund. But now, I just figured out, in the words of Marcus Garvey with a Foxx twist (of course), when I stopped trying to get the kinks out of my hair (even if I was forced to), I got a few kinks out of my mind as well.


Tigre said…
Yes, of course, a bad hair day.
Anonymous said…
It took me a while to get used to the locks, but I don't expect I'll be going that way...
Anonymous said…
funny how something bad can lead to something so good. one moment of many moments that enslaved your hair, was the thing that set your lovely tresses free....

guess it's a case of going through the bad to get to the good


ps: thanks for not scalping the sylist....would hate for the vixen chronicles to become foxx's viewpoints from a cell...
Stormy Steele said…
Wow! I love hair stories. Well it certainly worked out for you in the end. Your locs are beautiful!

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