Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I hate hair. It's such a ridiculous point of contention, particularly for women. I'm very adamant in my belief that hair is a personal choice. That means I do not invite your opinions when it comes to mine, nor will I join your condemnation against someone else when it comes to theirs. Of course I mean style. If your hair is looking a bit raggedy, and you ask, I'll gladly give you my opinion, regardless of the style.

When I "went natural" or "broke free of the evil clutches of the perm," it was my choice. There was no judgement or grand statement about my strength or a lack of strength on the part of women who choose to perm. I did it because I was sick of perming my hair and bored with it. The upkeep was driving me insane. Plus I had no idea what my natural texture feels like. That's the only depressing thing to me about our perm culture. Before I cut my hair, on August 17, 2003, I was 20 years old and couldn't remember what my perm-free hair felt like. It had been that long. My friend who'd cut her hair years earlier told me it would feel nothing like your "new growth." True indeed. My hair was much softer and curlier than whatever that was sprouting from my scalp. Sometimes it's annoyingly soft and throws temper tantrums "I WILL NOT STAY IN THAT STYLE AND YOU CANNOT MAKE ME," it says. Whatever.

One time a guy said to me, after I cut my hair, "I love your hair like that. You're just so deep and listen to Jill Scott and stuff like that." I stopped in my tracks like wow... is he really this slow? Have you learned nothing from India Arie?

I definitely won't be shaving my hair because I have no desire to at any point be mistaken for a man, but I understand the frustration that could lead up to it. When people were getting on Britney, I kind of understood where she was coming from. Sometimes you just get to a point where it's like, "So what? It's just hair." And it is. It grows back. The dude who swore out I was so deep, I quickly put him in place, "Umm... no. Don't get it twisted. Yeah I like Jill, but I always have. And I still like UGK and 36." (I was going through my "YES I AM SOUTHERN HEAR ME ROOOOOOAR" phase). Hair doesn't make us who we are, but it can shape how we feel about ourselves.

I've been thinking about getting a perm. I know, I know. QUEL HORREUR!! One woman at work acted like I told her I was going to commit suicide. Relax. It's just hair. If I don't like it, I can just cut it short and start over again. I'll miss my hair, of course. Any kind of change has the potential to breed a sadness or sorts. I want to try something different. I love Rihanna (that song is annoying, she can't sing or dance) and Kelis' haircuts. I've always loved Nia Long's haircuts. So I figure I can try a few of those or just one and then come back to what I like but right now I'm just BORED!! Something's gotta give.

I would also like to try some color. A red maybe, since if I'm in the sun enough in the summer (which I nearly never am) it turns red anyway. One thing I really like about my hair is the type of guys I attract. I don't want to stop attracting guys with dreds because I LOVE them. It's not like guys with dreds are only attracted to girls w/natural hair, but it certainly doesn't hurt! The one time I dated a model my friends all drooled over (he wasn't my type but I went out with him because my friends thought he was gorgeous... that's a fantastic story... I'll relay that one soon), he said he loved my hair. It was about a week after I cut it, so that was really cool. I was apprehensive about how guys would react to my hair, but I got some really good feedback. Ultimately, though, it won't impact what I decide.


Anonymous said...

My motto has always been....if you like your hair...I love your hair. You wont ever catch me spouting off about what i think my wife's hair SHOULD look like. Long as its properly maintained, all is right with the world.

I am secretly partial to short hair though....

Adei von K said...

i think you could rock a nia haircut anyday! short and edgy hair is def you! with the chunky red highlights, yeah hoe!

CNEL said...

Do you boo do you.

Southerner in Suomi said...

I feel you there J. I'm nearing year four in August. I can't understand how other natural chicks get mad at me when I won't join their "we hate permed chicks" campaign.

I'm like, what is this, middle school cliques or something?

Unknown said...

I went natural a year ago. I did it because I wanted something different and b/c my hair was very damaged by perm and stress. I like the decision I have made b/c my hair is healthier. But there are times when I do want to go back to the perm.

When I went natural I noticed a lot of change in how people viewed and treated me. I felt people thought I was trying to make a statement and I didn't feel pretty. It was as if straight was the only thing acceptable.

I don’t have problems with women that wear permed hair if that's want they want then do.

Personally I feel going natural has made me realize some things and made me a stronger woman.

But if you want to get a perm do you.

* If you’re having problems with your natural and want some ideas visit my hair website on my blogger page there's a whole network of AA woman sharing ideas and such.

La said...

*whispering* I've been considering getting a perm again.

Even when I have so much as mentioned this idea to people, they gasp and look at me in horror; they can't imagine that a head full of curls is something that anyone would want to get rid of. I love my curls. But truthfully sometimes they drive me nuts. I wish I could go outside, or work out or do anything without my hair reverting. Granted, going natural has made my hair grow thicker, longer, and faster. But even natural is maintenence. But sometimes, I think the perm is easier.

Charreah said...

I so feel you on this post as every girl I see these days has a fierce cut and I still battle with remembering I am not my hair. And "I am southern hear me roar" is so real for me as people always have something to say about the south. And, uhm, I dont think you could be mistaken for a man

Jameil said...

dp... i love that you're like do you... but i like short hair. lolol. hilarious.

stace... i know! i keep hearing that. did you see how that hood popped out of you at the end. glad we got you out of tally while we could!! geez!

cnel... lolol. & here you go lettin bmore city out of you! lololol.

v... lmao @ the middle school. i know right?!? like i made my choice and i'm supposed to malign someone else for theirs? nah boo, don't work like that.

mem... except your site is blocked. that's why i went natural, too. 4 years later i'm a tad bit bored.

la! i know! like i offered to drown their 1st born or something. RELAX! its just hair. as stace likes to say dead follicles. all hair req. maintenance which is what people fail to realize when saying but natural is so easy! yeah... if your hair is an inch long. wash and dry it in a few minutes. longer, not so much.

queen...i know i likely won't be mistaken for a man but i would cry my eyes out if i forgot my earrings one day as i'm wont to do.

GreatWhyte said...

I jumped on the Rihanna bob bandwagon myself. Mine is hot, but it aint got NOTHING on hers in the "Umbrella" video.

Nikita T. Mitchell said...

I feel you on this. Sometimes I get so fed up with my hair. It's natural and really versatile butI still get bored with it easily. Luckily I can flat iron it for new styles; I've also done the coloring thing for three years straight. I don't know what else is left... lol.

My two biggest problems: I don't like to comb it (lol) and there are many mornings I convince myself that cutting it all off would make my life perfect.

shani-o said...

I've had a perm my entire life. I truly don't remember a time when I didn't.

I'm pretty much a no maintenance kind of girl (I can count the number of times I've been to a hair salon on 1 finger). And I love the fact that I can do my hair on a weekend and it's cool for 7-10 days.

Seems like going natural would be more work.

But I agree - hair is not a political statement. I remember the first time I was attacked for having a perm - I was a freshman at HU, and this guy was like, you're a slave to the white ideal of beauty.

I don't remember what I said, but I'm pretty sure it was along the lines of "it's really not that deep."

Ladynay said...

If you are tired of what you are dealing with on your body...change it. Have fun and do you. I hope you love whatever cut you go for!

BK said...

before you make a move, why not play with some wigs.. that has been my play of choice now.. switch it up with a wig and then rock it natural :)

alwyas fun to play!

1969 said...

Do whatever makes you happy.

People love my hair and to me, it's just hair. I have worn it long....only to chop it off the next day.

I love changing my look. Shake things up...it will grow back.

Sha Boogie said...

I am not my haiiiirrrr!!!

it sucks how people judge you based on a hair do. If one more person ask's me if I am a vegan because of my locs, I will scream!

I am bored too *yawn* this will be my 7th year having my locs but I am too scared to cut it! Let me live vicariously through you..lol

Ms.Honey said...

I dyed my hair red so I wouldn't be tempted to cut it LOL..gotta keep myself entertained but it is just hair it will grown back :)

T Dot said...

I went natural last year for the same reason you did: I wanted to see what my hair looked like. Now that I see, it's cool. I can't imagine going back to a perm because I can remember hours upon hours sitting in the salon - or doing my hair at home - to get it to look good (I had the fresh wrap erryday, all day). Now, I can wash and style my hair every day if I want in less than 20 minutes. Love the low maintenance.

That being said, I feel you on getting a little bored. Maybe you could try doing a press and curl for a while, just to get a change? The wig idea is also a good one.

Jameil said...

thank you all for all of your comments. i love them. i like the wig idea but i think what 1969 and ladynay said are what suit me best right now. i just have to jump.

(t.. i work out too much for a press and curl)

Victoria Page said...

I totally agree with the concept that people judge you by your hair. It seems since I went natural everyone seems to think I am supposed to be all earthy and stuff. Hair is a personal choice. Just like it's rude to get on someone's case about going natural, it's rude to bother someone about getting a perm. I like being natural because I like the freedom of not going to the beauty shop(almost NEVER a positive experience) and I hate having to flat iron my hair in the morning. But there may very well come a time that I am not feeling the natural and I will get a perm or whatever. Congrats on whatever you chose!

yet another black guy said...

i never realized how peeps look at a persons' hair until this post. it's true though. if i see a sista with naturals i always end up calling them queen at least once in conversation. as if the permed girls shouldn't be?!

Jameil said...

x... can't wait! & yours is too cute girl.

mademoiselle.. cutting it off is so freeing. i think i'm gonna do it again after i get this "gotta get a perm thing out of my head.

shani... hair is work period. even when i had a perm i couldn't just leave it for a week. chile please.

victoria... thanks! the "you're so deep" people crack me up.

y.a.b... lololol! that's hilarious. i was giggling at this on my walk today. we def. notice when you're queenin us up. it seems a bit contrived when you hear it incessantly but had never heard it when your hair was straight. it makes me laugh tho. glad to pass on some knowledge! :)