"YOU CHANGED YOUR HAIR AGAIN?" Every single Afro- Caribbean female understands the awkwardness of answering this question. " Yes, I did" you reply with an awkward smile. I was talking to a friend on Monday, and she asked me if people at work ask questions about the hair change; so, that question inspired me to write about the questions and experience that we get and hopefully, educate other people.
It is also weird when the same set of people ask you the same question every month or two months. "wow! your hair is soo long today, how did it grow so fast?" It is most annoying because the first 2 times they asked, you explained that you change your hair frequently, and you wear extensions too. But no!! same questions again! And in my mind, I literally roll my eyes behind my head, on other days when I am not so patient, I give a reflex dirty look that makes them keep quiet.
What is it about Afro- Caribbean females and our glorious and miraculous hair change? and why is it so common with us? It is a cultural thing. It is that simple and it isn't strange or weird, neither is it because we hate our Afros and want other people's kind of hair. We just get bored, and love to spice things up. We have been wearing our braids since we were 4, and our mothers adored us in any kind of hair they did for us. So we might decide to rock our fros' today, locs tomorrow, a weave next week, or a wig in 2 weeks. Today we feel like the short bangs but tomorrow, we want our hair flowing like the rivers through our backs. It is just the way it is. Many of us want to spice things up, we love to, and we do.
Before 2015, I was a bit shy about going out in my natural hair because I was terrified about the many questions that people might ask, or the kind of unwanted attention it might bring. So, I would always make my hair based on trying not to be too sharp about the change. (why did I care so much?)
I Strategized. Sooo, let us say I had a long weave of 16 inches and wanted to go short - 6 inches. I will go get a 12 inches or 14 inches so that the change won't be so obvious and so they don't ask too many questions.
But again, why did I care so much? In May 2015, I decided to leave my hair out to work and I am glad I did. To answer my friend's question, of cos people ask questions. Some people do because they truly want to know and I don't mind explaining. If you know me, you know I can talk about hair ALL DAY LONG lol. But some people are ignorant, they will ask you a million times and make you feel like you are fake and all that interesting stuff. Some people will stare at you like a specimen ( maybe not at work) and some will make ignorant statements.
In 2013, I left my hair out (it was semi-natural) and I did a scarf like style and while I was trying to rock it in confidence, I remember a co-worker said I looked like Aunt-Jemima on the syrup container. LOL! seriously? I think I had a long term daze from what she said, and obviously didn't like it but kept giving an awkward smile. That statement made me go wear extensions ASAP. Aside from her ignorance, why did I let her statement get to me that much? Some people will even come tell you what they prefer on you and what they think you should wear. rme. lol. I think only a few people can tell you what they prefer without you asking -your spouse or partner, children, and sometimes, your hair stylist.
Do I have to tame my hair or make it look more consistent to make other people feel comfortable? How does my hair affect what I do and how well I will still kick ass doing it?
I remember working at a place where I wasn't allowed to wear braids. I only wore weaves. They mentioned that hair should be clean and all that - soooo rude! It was from management at the top and my braids wasn't part of their image and they had this rule in their corporate binder. I didn't complain much though but quit after 2 months for some other reasons including this. I should have done more than quit.
After sometime, I decided that I didn't care anymore. I stopped caring what anyone in the whole wide world thinks about my hair and what they think I should wear. I stopped caring that people will ask questions. In fact, I have auto answers to certain questions. "how long did it take, did it take long?", "ya! I hear black hair doesn't get as long" ( lol! do not get me started on that ) " you changed your hair AGAIN??!". loool. Thank you audience, for taking your time to notice my gorgeous crown. If I can, I will answer your questions. If I can't, I will smile in appreciation or give you a look at the lack of it. I just stopped caring because I wanted to DO ME!
So you may see me in my short natural shrunken hair today, braids tomorrow or a long flowing weave next week, and it w
ill still be me, and in all, I will look beautiful in them all.
ROCK YOUR HAIR GIRLS! Every Hair-Type is Beautiful No Matter How You Wear It.