9 Jun

As a yougin’, I did not have a lot of hair. My Mom told me I used to pray every night for more hair. In the meantime, she would plait my hair and however it landed, is how I went to school. I don’t remember when my hair started to grow but I do remember my first perm – a kiddie perm. You know, the colorful box with the little girl with the slight toothy smile and long flowing hair with the ribbon on the side. Yeah, that. By that time, my hair had grown to my shoulders and I left the salon with that same bright smile like the girl on the box.

During my long hair era, my family vocalized their views about length.

“Men love long hair.”

“Never cut your hair.”

“Your hair is your crown and glory.”

Blah, blah, blah.

I soaked it up. I believed it. I would perm my hair and wrap it at night so the next morning, it would cascade against my shoulders. I had big curling irons and rollers for when I wanted to go curly or extra bobby pins if I wanted to put it up in a French Roll (remember that?). I would run for the nearest bus or train when it rained and curse the sky.  I liked when the guy I liked would play with my hair. My hair meant everything to me.

When I turned 16, I decided to cut my hair in an A-symmetrical style (like Salt n Pepa) as a surprise and declaration of early independence (or so I thought). I came home to show my Mom and when she saw it, she nearly choked me. She said she was ready to get the scissors to cut off the other half. After she gave me a tongue lashing, she sent me to the back of the house to retrieve her some ginger ale and when I went into the back room, some of my close friends were there to say Happy Birthday and instead of squealing with delight, I wailed with devastation. The next few months were difficult to say the least with my Mom rolling her eyes and the snide comments and my Dad shaking his head in disgrace, but my hair eventually grew back and I was back in my family’s good graces.

Then in 2004, I had a hairdresser in Brooklyn who was amazing and trying to get me to cut my hair. I vehemently shut her down. Folded my arms, rolled my eyes, huffed and puffed and told her to just perm the damn thing and let me go. One day, I left work on my lunch break to see her. I don’t know what came over me but when she asked me what were we doing today, I said:

“Cut it.”

She said what?

“Cut it…cut it. Cut it!”

Ok Ok!

She didn’t hesitate to start going Edward Scissorhands on me before I changed my mind. We didn’t even discuss how she was going to cut it. The end result was the ‘Halle Berry’ cut. I left the salon feeling awkward and free. I went back to work and loved the jaw dropping attention of my fellow co-workers. I secretly worried what my Mom would say but at this point, it didn’t matter. I was 29 and it was my hair. For the next few years after that, she and my relatives would ask if I was going to grow it back or if I missed it. I didn’t. It was my choice and with each head turn I received, I loved it. It just meant I had to perm or cut it more frequently to keep the back looking ‘laid’. This go round, I didn’t let people play with my hair. Do you know how much it cost to maintain? Chile, please! You better admire from afar!

In 2011, I started another transition. Going natural. I was curious about the texture of my natural hair and started the transition of leaving the creamy crack. The withdrawal was tough at first but eventually got easier. I noticed how often I looked at myself in the mirror. I also noticed how often I play with my hair. All the time. No really. I am always touching or twisting it. It still amazes me the different textures on this small head of mine, and how it is a combination of both of my parents. I love it. I love me and I’m not turning back.

As I’m still on this hairventure, I’ve noticed that I’ve attracted a different caliber of men as well. Before, I received looks and compliments from my brothers, but now, I am getting looks and compliments from across the board AND I LIKE IT! I admit, it confuses me sometimes as I want to ask them ‘is it the hair?’ but I know it is deeper than that. It’s the confidence and the love that I have for myself as I still discover…well…me!


 To all my natural sisters out there, what other changes do you see about yourself?


11 Responses to “Hairtastic”

  1. Nicole Lane June 9, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Well you know I’ve been natural for quite some time, but what I love most is the freedom I have of not having to always go to a hairdresser and having many choices on how I want to wear my hair lol. I’m free on so many levels !!! Great blog mama!!!

    • marciascribbles June 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Thank you for the comment, Nicole! There definitely is a freedom. Now if I’m caught in the rain, I just shrug my shoulders and keep walking. It’s refreshing! Just trying to control the frizz..Still haven’t found the right product for that yet.

  2. Fonda June 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    I adore having your blog come to my inbox, I know that when I click on your scribe, it will tickle me like we are physically having a cup of tea.

    I have been natural for 17 years and if you count when I would comb the creamy crack through my afro then 23 years. It has been an interesting ride for me especially since when I did it, there were no forums or meetup groups about hair support.

    As my compassion for my hair grew so did my confidence for my truest self. Everything is energy, so people pay attention to that.

    I have southern roots and like your experience, I was also taught that hair was a woman’s crown and glory. My mother however rocked many styles and lengths, it was her vanity. When she went through chemo, it was my job to wash and care for it. I encouraged her to stop wearing a wig because it was mad hot outside. Her new hair was beautiful to me and as an alliance, I stopped relaxing my hair, began twisting and loving on my tresses (I never looked back).

    I was one of the faces of a major marketing company in the fashion industry when I dared to grow locs (dreads)?! During this time the conversation was about where or not braids were professional in the workplace. Look at how far we have come?!

    P.S. last year my father and I were talking about hair and he just realized that my locs were my hair ALL this time. Outrageous huh?

    • marciascribbles June 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      Fonda, thank you for sharing! I’m loving how hair is being accepted. I mean, look at the Afros women were rocking in the 70s with their business suits! Fierce and fabulous! I love the reason and purpose for your transition and I’m so glad you’ve never looked back!

  3. literarylawyer June 10, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Hi Marcia! I’m a natural too but I’ve made the choice to flatiron. It’s much easier to maintain than braiding every night. I found the most wonderful hair salon, and if I may plug in a plug (Tag Hair Salon) is the leader in the natural hair industry. It was there that I learned about hydration. Once hair is properly hydrated, you’d be surprised how well it behaves!

    • marciascribbles June 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      I’ve never heard of hydration. I will look into it. Thank you for your comments! I love this! Sharing is caring.

      • literarylawyer June 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

        Welcome back to the wonderful world of writing!!

  4. Yvonne June 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    LOVE the blog. Many times you think you’re the only one that feels natural hair is entirely too natural. But natural hair is what’s it about!!! Love, love, love my hair! Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. Dan June 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    We need more literary genius

  6. Chocodile July 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Great story Marcia! I think when I first met you here was cut. Your sight for sore eyes, Whether you’re head Is bold all you hear is down to the ground LOL

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