The Long and Short of My Hair

It's almost midnight on a rainy night in LA. Twenty minutes ago I had a pair of scissors in my hand. I was thisclose to snipping off all my hair.

But I chickened out.

I have a lot of fear about cutting all my hair off and as the days continue to fly by, I've been reflecting a lot about what's behind this fear. I know folks will say that it's just hair and it'll grow back, but when you're a black woman in America, such a laissez faire attitude toward hair is not so easy to have.

I've found that getting to a place of comfortability with my hair is a little like unpeeling the layers of an onion. Like dealing with an onion, peeling back the layers of hair can also cause a few tears. It makes me think about the insidiously racist messages about beauty that black women, including yours truly, receive.

One of the most recent layers I unpeeled was chemical straightening (also called "relaxers" in case you didn't know.) Over the years I've gone back and forth with relaxers. In high school and college I used them, but didn't have the money for the upkeep so my hair didn't always look so hot. Post graduation/post life in China, I stopped straightening. --I need to learn how to use the scan function on my printer so you all can see some photos of how big my hair was after a couple of years of growing out all the straightened ends. I think it stood a good six inches horizontally off my head. I'm sure it would've been bigger, but since my hair was also pretty long, the weight of it pulled all the bigness down a bit. I'm not kidding. It was seriously the biggest, awesomest hair ever.

About four years ago I started straightening it again, mostly because I felt pressure to seem more "professional". It's hard to sit in a meeting with a principal or district official when you feel like you have the biggest, most unprofessional hair ever. Whether the pressure was real or a result of my own psychosis is certainly a fair game question, but let me just point out that we do live in a world where last fall, a Glamour Magazine editor told a group of lawyers the following:

"First slide up: an African American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the 'Glamour' editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was 'shocking' that some people still think it 'appropriate' to wear those hairstyles at the office. 'No offense,' she sniffed, but those 'political' hairstyles really have to go."

Of course, Glamour did whatever damage control they needed to do at the time. But, I'm still waiting to see the pages of their magazine really reflect the diversity of black hairstyles. Actually, to take it a step further, I'm still waiting to see the models in the magazine reflect some true diversity, period. But maybe I'm somehow skipping over all the pages with black, Latina and Asian models.

Anyway, I was increasingly dissatisfied with straightening my hair. Every time I went to get my hair done, it took like five hours. It was also expensive, both in terms of the salon cost as well as styling products/conditioners. I needed all the conditioners and styling products because the more straightening and flat ironing you do, the more damaged your hair becomes. It's like a vicious cycle because it takes more and more effort to make it look decent.

I'd been considering going back to natural for about a year because I was sick of the straight hair and how flat and boring it was. The final straw was last July when I transitioned out of my job. About a week after I left, I went to get the roots of my relaxed hair touched up. My stylist was super busy chatting about her daughter. I was exhausted and not paying attention to any of it. Before I knew it, she ran the chemicals through not just my roots but through my whole head of hair. This is SUCH a no-no, not to mention it's never taken too much to straighten my hair in the first place. This second application of chemicals was a total disaster. My hair felt rough, it would not hold any kind of curl and it looked like straw.

I vowed to never go back to her again and then spent the summer dousing my hair in all sorts of deep conditioning treatments and avoiding my flat iron unless absolutely necessary. I figured the long term solution was to find a new stylist, but the thought of doing such a thing was really overwhelming. Most black women have the nightmare stories about the stylist everybody else swore was awesome and then they walk outta there half bald! AAGH! It's really hard to find someone you can trust.

I also didn't want anybody I needed to drive an hour through traffic to go see. I didn't want anybody's cousin Re-Re who did hair in her garage. And as much as I loved Dominican stylists in NYC, I didn't want to pay the Dominican stylist who'd opened not too far from me the extortion-type rates they were charging. So, I wore a lot of hats.

It wasn't till after school started last September and some issues with my eldest son feeling confident about his blackness emerged that I started really reflecting on how straightening my hair was sending my boys the wrong message. How could I tell them to be proud of their skin and hair when I was constantly chemically altering mine? And again, it's not like changing from flats to heels. Whether we like it or not, black hair is politicized. Because there's so much baggage tied to our hair, I felt like I was going along with the societal message that a woman of African descent is not as attractive if her hair is not long and straight.

I thought about how my son would see billboards of Beyonce up in Hollywood and he'd always comment that he liked her hair. I started explaining how it wasn't really her hair, that it was a lace-front wig. He'd look at me like I was crazy, and to tell you the truth, it made me feel a little crazy to be explaining it all to him. I thought about how I didn't want him to turn into one of those guys that only likes long, straight hair, or, even worse, one of those brothers that proudly proclaims that he only dates girls with light skin and long hair. I think if I ever heard my son say that, I'd throw up. So, I realized he needed to see a role model of natural hair in the woman he most closely identifies with. And that would be me.

In the past, growing out my hair from a relaxer wasn't such a big deal because I'd had stylists that didn't leave chemicals on too long or run them through my hair twice. So the difference between my natural hair and the straightened hair wasn't as noticeable. I'd rinse it with water in the morning, throw some leave-in conditioner and hair gel in it and run out the door. It would all curl up nicely. But this time though, it's really noticeable because my hair is so straight.

Since the end of October, my solution has been to straw set my hair. I wrote about all of that here so I won't rehash it. But once every week, I roll all my hair on straws and then dry it. The whole process takes about two and a half hours to do, but compared to the five hours I was spending dying in a salon plus daily styling, it's totally worth it.

However, I've been thinking for awhile now that I need to peel another layer off the hair onion. I need to just cut off all the over-processed, straightened ends and only have my own natural hair. I don't like being tied to a straw set but without it, the straightened part of my hair looks horrible. If my hair is shorter, I can just rinse it and go. But, I've never had short hair in my entire life. The shortest my hair has ever been is chin-length and I hated it.

I'm so afraid to cut it because I'm worried I'm going to look awful with a six-inch 'fro on my head. I do have a measure of vanity in my bones and, in case you didn't notice, I live in Los Angeles, the vanity capital of the world. I'm not trying to look like a buster.

Then I think about all those messages we women get about long hair and how all that feels like it's doubled for black women. I question everything, so I wonder, am I still perpetuating this racist insanity of aspects of a black woman's worth being tied to long, straight hair? Should I just take the plunge and chop it off? I know some of you have taken that step, so I'd especially love to hear you weigh in on this.

I know that with each layer of societal brainwashing that's removed, I get closer to my true self. I'm just not sure if I'm ready to give it a go with the scissors.

Comments

red said…
Wow! What a post. The pressure on black women to have hair they don't naturally have is insane.
I think short, curly hair looks really sexy, if that's any help.
Unknown said…
I feel your pain because my sister was the one that got the curly hair. She has always reemed me about my waves, but I made her stop once my neice was born. I did not want us to perpetuate the madness! Her hair is like yours. BEAUTIFUL. If you think you can stand it, I would cut it to get the damaged hair off. Or maybe you should wait until the rainy season where you can wrap it if it does not come out the way you thought. I think it'll be cute though. But I bet your boys will flip out. Men LOVE hair no matter the texture, color, they just love it. Uhhh, I DONT KNOW EITHER NOW!

Just know that either way you are a Queen! You are Love personified ~ and definitely, as India Arie sings, you are not your hair!
Anonymous said…
I've seen your beautiful face and I KNOW a 6inch natural would be lovely on you.

Have you considered locs?
Anonymous said…
Cut it, Liz.

If you want it short... cut it and wear it how you like.

Two of my sisters (one 46 the other 34) wears their hair naturally, and have for years.

Go for it!

GF
Anonymous said…
House is right, men just love hair any which way, just as long as it isn't lank and uncared-for! It's crazy you can't just have it the way you want without all the negative stereotypes about afros, dreadlocks or whatever. What the hell is a 'political' hairstyle when it's at home? Are they all thinking Angela Davis? Good luck with whatever you decide anyway.

Oh, btw, I didn't realise Beyonce wore a wig either. We blokes just aren't as sussed about hair as you females!
Anonymous said…
As a black woman you have so many choices that other races don't have, braids, dreads, locks, waves, curls, weaves, relaxers or natural. However you choose to wear your hair it should be about you and what fits into your lifestyle and not based upon society. I have braids right now and only one white man in my office has said they like them. No one else has said anything because they feel uncomfortable (and if they say the wrong thing they WILL get cussed out). I love the braids because they fit into my lifestyle. Just be you!! If you hate your hair short don't cut it - choose something else.
Lisa Johnson said…
I transitioned from a relaxer to a wavy perm to fully natural over about a three year period. When I finally cut off the last of the processed hair, it was pretty freeing. I hadn't seen my real natural hair in about 20 years! I realized that I liked it! I also realized that I wasted a ton of money with the wavy perm, because I didn't know that my natural hair was already kind of wavy. My mother remembered that that's what my hair was like when I was little. Who knew?

I've received a lot of compliments about it, but I'm sure there are also people who don't like it and don't say anything. What really got me to do the final cut was I kept dreaming about myself with natural hair. In the dream, I'd look in the mirror and was smiling at myself thinking how I loved my hair. Maybe kind of vain, but I woke up and felt like it was the right thing to do.
thailandchani said…
Funny... the India Arie song came to mind for me, too, as I read this post.

I think Cyndee said it all in this case. :)
Ian Lidster said…
This was very enlightening, Liz. I know a couple that adopted three little Haitian orphans a few years ago and they realized in short order that they had no idea about how to deal with their hair. They contacted local Family Services and they sent a black staff member over to show them how to do it.
I personally think all people should wear what is indigenous to them with pride. So many times in Hawaii I've seen the young Asian girls who have died their lovely natural hair blonde or red. It's jarring. As jarring and silly as an afro on a person of European extraction. But, an afro on those who established the fashion looks great, even from a retro perspective.
By the way, I'm really glad you didn't cut your hair.
Brianna said…
I know I don't have too much insight here, but I think people should just wear their hair how they think they look best. I realize that it's become somewhat engrained in us to think "long and straight" looks best, but the more that other people go against that and still feel that they look fabulous, other people will begin to acknowledge it to. I know it's not the same, but Rhianna was told by her record company to NOT cut her hair because they wanted her to have the long hair like all the other R&B divas, and even though it's still processed or whatever, she looks SO amazing with short hair. She just did what she wanted and now everybody else is buying in.
Jameil said…
ran the chemicals through not just my roots but through my whole head of hair!?!?!? NO!! i got tired of the whole getting your hair done process too and had been wanting to go natural for a while. i was also piling up the relaxed hair behind the nappy roots. finally i just decided to cut it off. I FELT SO FREE!! people loved my hair short but i didn't so i def. don't ever want to go back to that again but it was freeing to say "Social restraints or not it's my hair!!"

i sent glamour a NO YOU DIDN'T note and got a "this isn't how we feel. that staffer doesn't work for us anymore" response. they did a piece on it but like you said, i want to SEE IT!! i always look for black people in advertising of mags.
Lola Gets said…
Hm, how to tackle this question...Well let me say first off, if you truly want to love your hair, dont try to cut it yourself. Go to a hairdresser and have them cut the permed ends off and then trim the hair into a style.

I cant truly say that I had "short hair" because I never thought I did. But, if you look at pictures from 5 years ago, I did! I had a natural that was probably 5 inches long. I would wash and put leave-in conditioner in it, and then jet. The following days Id then put on headbands so I had that "Afro-puff" look. But thats how I wore my hair for years.

With hair about that legnth, you can still style it with braids, twists or get it pressed. So, Id say go for it, but use a professional please!
:)

L
Anonymous said…
Cyndee - I'm white and I just love braids, they're great! Yes, the others are probably nervous they'll say the wrong thing.
Lisa Blah Blah said…
I bet you would look cute with short hair! A few years ago, when Viva was a toddler and I didn't have time to deal with my hair, I got it cut short and curly. I'm talking really short, like Halle Berry in that James Bond film (name escapes me). Anyway, it's a cute look. I got lots of compliments and it gave me an excuse to buy hoops and dangly earrings to accessorize. :-)

But yeah, definitely get a professional to cut it.
1969 said…
I think you would look sexy and smashing with a naturally short curly fro. However, I do think if you cut it, you need to get that initial cut done by a professional.
DO NOT CUT YOUR HAIR BY YOURSELF AT HOME. Whew!

That being said....your hair only defines you if you let it. Why can't black women wear their hair straight, curly, natural, nappy, weaved...however, we want!

I think you should do whatever makes YOU happy.
Liz Dwyer said…
Red,
There is a lot of pressure and sometimes it's weird to even step back and acknowledge that the pressure exists. Whenever I see short, natural hair on other folks I like it. I just worry it might not look so hot on me!

Houseonahill,
I'm always thinking about that song as well! I try to remember that, but in the day to day, it's hard. So kind of you to say all that though. It's encouraging. The rainy season won't roll around again till November and something will clearly have to give before then! I'll bet my sons will flip out too if I cut it. They don't think I should cut it but they're starting to like it better like this instead of straight. When I ask my husband what I should do, he says, "Whatever you want," which is such the safe, noncommittal answer! AAGH!

Jali,
I think I need one of those computer programs where they take your photo and then put different hair styles on you! I have considered locs but if I don't feel them after a year, snip snip, and if I'm already in a tizzy over possibly cutting my hair right now, imagine me chopping some locs off?

Gunfighter,
Good for your sisters! My sister is coming tomorrow and staying for a week -- my initial plan was that I was going to cut it when she was here so I could take her to a salon for moral support. I don't know if I'm going to do it since I'm having such a freak out over this!

Nick,
True, healthy hair is the best hair, not long, fried hair (which is a good chunk of what's on my head!) It is crazy that I have to think about this. I think the Glamour editor was insinuating that any style a black woman might pick that is natural/not chemically altered, not straightened, is making some sort of black power, militant statement. Like if you have your hair natural you wear underwear that say "Death to the White Man" across the ass or something! And yes, Beyonce and most black stars (and some white ones like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton) wear fake hair all the time. Some of it is because all the styling would kill their real hair. But most of it is to fit an image.

Cyndee,
True...I have seen white folks with locs and it's not cute. LOL! I do think my choices should be independent of the pressures of society, but it's often hard to discern how much of my decisions are my own and how much are unduly influenced by the imagery and cultural pressure around me. And I can only imagine the uncomfortable stares...those morons!

Anali,
A couple of folks have suggested I texturize as well. But it still keeps the cycle going, and how do I know I won't get another stylist that'll jack everything up again? So I think I just need to be natural. My hair changed a lot after my second pregnancy so I'm not even really sure what it'll look like. That is a really cool dream though! I need to have one of those!

Chani,
Yeah, Cyndee's a smart lady! She's got it going on! (She's my big sister ;0)

Ian,
I always feel so bad for kids in that sort of circumstance. I've known a few over the years. Sadly enough, many black folks don't know how to care for their hair either. There's been a lot of misinformation out there, but thankfully there's a crop of websites that have sprung up where folks can now get good info on caring for black hair. And you know, I think my husband's non-committal answer about the hair is really him hoping I won't cut it either, so he's right there with you.

Brianna,
Great point. I loved when Rhianna cut her hair. I thought she was an alright artist but that really made her just stand out so much. It made her less "average hair weave" type. Less boring. And I think straight hair looks good on me but I think curly is better.

Jameil,
And then had the NERVE to tell me she did it so my hair wouldn't frizz up in the summer heat. It was not cool. I wanted to cry...but I guess without that happening, I might not have been pushed over the edge into trying to go natural.

I got that note from Glamour too. I'm like, "Yeah, sure." The issue of "W" with Keira Knightley on the cover...I think there were zero black folks in it and maybe one Asian model. It was ridiculous.

Lola,
I know, I won't cut all of it myself, although I have been snipping ends here and there. I think I'm getting a little too scissor happy though! LOL! A couple of other bloggers gave me a couple of ideas about natural hair salons here in LA. I think I need to go have a consultation with a stylist.

Nick
I hate to say it but some of the folks Cyndee works with are just total morons and definitely will say something dumb and racist!

Lisa,
I may harass you later about where you get yours cut. I can't remember the name of the Bond movie either. I just have the image of her getting out of the ocean in that orange bikini. Too funny I can't remember anything else!
Liz Dwyer said…
1969,
I hereby solemnly swear to not cut my own hair! I promise!

Maybe the problem is that I really don't know what will make me happy. I have the fantasy of how my hair will look but the reality might not be all that cute!
the joy said…
I feel you. My hair has never been long, but I cut the relaxed part out of my hair when I was 16. I had to wait for my "new" hair to be long enough to do something with.

I sometimes wonder if I should press my hair for job interviews, but I feel its dishonest, because I'm usually too lazy to do more than wash and go, or braid it (my profile pic was a few weeks ago when I had a few days off to play with my do).

And what is it with the Dominicans? Are they born to do hair? I told my cousin I was wanting to go to the republic and she said "ooh and they could hook your hair UP!"
Unknown said…
Be you. I have gone from the straighting comb to perm to natural to perm and back to natural. It has been short, sawed offed at the ear, dyed bright orange (think comedian Carrot Top), past my shoulders, and breaking off at the ends (your incident with the double perm). But what I have learned is that whatever you rock, make it yours. You, your inner you defines what is on top of your head. No one else.

Society and our family (my father told me no one respects a woman with short hair) tries to impress on us what is needed in this world known as America. But we are a melting pot. And we need to express ourselves and our culture. Culture meaning all the different races that make our eyes, nose and hair.

But to reaffirm another post...if you cut it off...get a professional. College sophomore year with shears is a night I truly want to forget.
it's amazing how much they have managed to make us hate ourselves...sigh.
while i believe one has the right to wear ones hair however one likes, i do think this process you are going through is a necessary one. unfortunately, we don't all take the time to do it as with so many other processes (excluding the chemical one). good on you for taking it up. me? i enjoy my hair natural and can safely say i've been chemical free and loving my hair for most of my adult life. personally, i find chemically straightened hair most of the time to look dead and fake. not to mention what the chemicals do to our environment. i've shaved my hair off, worn dreadlocks, braids, twists and found a very strong community of people, the world over, who are very supportive and open and not so narrow-minded as the glamor editor you quoted. good job on this post and i look forward to delving even further into your work.
all the best,
lab
Anonymous said…
Knickers that say Death To The White Man - lol!
David Sullivan said…
I like natural. My wife doesn't wear any makeup and thats how I like it. True beauty is the confidence someone carries in their appearance.

Love yourself, then others will follow. If they don't...fuck 'em.
Sundry said…
Darlin', first off, you are so beautiful in face and spirit that you could go bald and still turn heads. You look fabulous in that little hat (paperboy style hat, do we call that?) with no hair around your face.

As Kris Kristofferson once wrote, "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." You should probably experience the freedom of short hair at some point in your life, and why not now, when the long hair isn't pleasing you so much?

I know there aren't the politics involved with my natural waves, but I'm always trying to blow dry them out. They're only in style every other decade and I feel like I look scruffy most of the time.

When I had my hair razor cut short and all I had to do was wash it and tousle it a few times with my hand as it dried, I felt so free and happy. It lightened my spirit, honestly.

I love the way you write about these issues.
Liz Dwyer said…
The Joy,
I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you should change your hair for a job interview. I used to always go get mine done right before I had to give big presentations at work. Our world generally sees straight hair as being more professional, and I felt like I needed an edge of sorts.

I think the reputation Dominican salons have is well earned for getting your hair amazingly straight with a lot of body, but they use a LOT of heat!

Moody Gemini,
Did you really do a Carrot Top color?? I love red hair and I'm thinking of putting some henna in mine because the family of gray hair I have keeps multiplying.

Black Girl on Mars,
You make me think about how I am so appreciative of the internet and the way it connects black women who need the support to break out of relaxed hair mold. It's hard to do it without support and encouragement. I also think natural hair looks much better. It has more life to it.

Nick,
I also hear there's a matching bra to make a complete set.

David,
When I wore my hair natural occasionally I'd flat iron my hair and people would go crazy over it and act like it was the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen. It really got annoying because they'd say, "Oh, you look so much better with straight hair." So I've had to learn to tune that out. As far as makeup though, undereye concealer is a friend of this insomniac! But I think moderation is totally needed and no makeup works for me too.

Sundry,
It is a paperboy hat but I don't know if I'd look too hot bald! Britney Spears didn't but that model that was in Rush Hour 3, Noemie Lenoir did! Well, hopefully I'll never have to find out.

It's not fair how curly haired girls are always made to feel less than by folks with straight hair. It's a relatively new phenomenon. Back in the day, curly hair was all the rage! We need to have a curly hair revolution!
Liz - I hear you. I wore relaxers for years and it was killing my hair. I have a natural which was NOT easy to have in L.A. I am now wearing chin length twists. When I was in Toronto seeing relaxed hair was rare. Being here in Rome most of the women here have naturals, braids or twists. The women with relaxers are mostly Americans. I read over 70% of American sisters are relaxing their hair so it's hard to go against "the standard of beauty".

I do believe people should what they want but I hate that in the States straight and long = beautiful. I think it's b.s.

Good for Rihanna. It is ironic that her cut and Posh spice's are the hottest right now.

I wrote a long post about the Glamour "don't" and the editor sent a reply to my blog. I'm glad that editor got fired. Natural doesn't not mean sloppy or unprofessional. I have seen many jacked-up weaves. :)

I know you read Afrobella. Her blog is a great resource regarding natural hair care. Good luck.
Anonymous said…
I dunno, I simply see hair as an accessory. I'm the woman who will cut all her hair off and then two weeks later wants to put a weave in it.

I dont judge anyone or how they choose to have their hair. But while there are some women who have hatred issues, I think there are some women with natural hair who want to think if your hair is anything other than natural you hate yourself. And they annoy me just as much as those who think anything other than long and silky is unattractive.
I love natural black hair. It looks fabulous on a beautiful woman, which would definitely be you.

The Glamour fashion consultant was brain-dead. I fail to understand why unstraightened hair on a black woman is any less professional than unpermed hair on a white woman.

(If Angela Davis had dyed hers green, I supposed green hair would be a political statement.)

Hair is a sensitive topic with me now. I had a haircut a month ago which still looks like a fright wig - half-little boy in drag and half-50's housewife.

Hats are the answer.
Nerd Girl said…
I transitioned from permed to natural wearing braids. If I had to do it over again, I would've just cut the perm out.

Having said that, there is no easy answer. I wear my dreadlocks proudly, but I know that I am judged on a daily basis because of them - some judgements may be positive, I don't believe that to be the case about most though.

I totally feel you on the length issue - when I have hair anxiety, mine is usually tied more to the length of my hair (about 5 inches) than the fact that I'm locked. But people tell me almost daily how great my hair looks, and their comments help buoy me along on my not so great feeling days.

I think you should do what will be most comfortable for you. Maybe a trip to the wig store is in order? You could try on some shorter lengths before you commit to cutting your own hair.

I co-sign wiht a previous poster - let a professional do it no matter what! My mom had an awesome stylist (in Claremont though) and if you're up for an hour-long communte for your initial cut, I'll be glad to pass her info on to you. I've always thought if your initial cut was done properly, any stylist could continue to follow the lines.

Good luck - keep us posted!
DJ Black Adam said…
Nice and informative post!
Unknown said…
I've been natural since 1996. I've had a caeser, Angela Davis fro, twists and now a modified mohawk. My hair is super curly and can be dry so I do deep condition
(ojon and miss jessie's products are my current favorites).

I know it's hard to buck the vanity capital of the world but think of the money you save by getting off the relaxer train and think of the freedom. I have an incredible stylist in Soho who I would love for you to go to because she will ease you into loving your natural hair.

Whatever you do, make sure it works for you. I remember how many times I've had black men (who didn't know me) say to me that they would give me money to put a relaxer in my hair. Or when I had my caeser, kids would yell out Sinead O'Connor.

Experiences like that would hurt but yet reminded me that the only person I truly had to make happy was me.

RE: hair and job...I've never had any problems with being natural at work. I believe mostly because I have stayed in the entertainment, non-profit fields.

That's my story.
Please keep us posted on what you decide to do.
Anonymous said…
When I left my psychotherapy practice, I shaved my head. My stylist wouldn't do it so my husband shaved it in our living room. I was bald for about 2 years. I loved it! Really loved it. I had the white professional woman's streaky hair thing before.

I say, go natural. What do you have to lose? Everyone applauded my efforts - you'll look so sexy for summer.
Anonymous said…
Go for it Liz...I've never had chemicals in my hair...my daddy is from Ghana west Africa and growing up he always said he would cut my hair off if I ever got a perm, and at 30 I'm still too scared to get a perm. But I like it because if I want it straight I press it..then I can braid it and if I want it curly I use the homemade miss curly curly pudding (recipe found on long hair forum.com) and I keep it natural that way. Cut it..Its healthier!
Mango Mama said…
I don't have much more to add other than what's been said, except you'll know the exact right time to have your hair cut. That's how it was with me. I just came to a point where I had to shed my head-full of dreads and since that moment about three months ago, I haven't looked back. I also think it's important to note that whatever you choose to do, you'll transcend other's dated and sterotypical expectations if you feel comfortable with the look you choose to rock. It all starts from within.
Anonymous said…
Beyonce got a nose job!:( She didn't need a nose job. Damn. There are so many ethnic celebrities getting plastic surgery thinking that it will make them more beautiful when all they are really doing is conforming to the white ideal of beauty. Not that people of color can't have sharply defined features, but there is a reason why Asians tend to have certain features, Hispanics tend to have others, etc. Because it looks good. Because they go well together. It's about balance and proportion.

It really is none of my business. People can make themselves look like a cat if they want to. But when I see celebrities get surgery to conform to a social ideal, that really bothers me. Beyonce does not look more beautiful. In fact, I would say she looked more beautiful with her natural nose. "Perfect" is not necessarily beautiful. Now, she looks bland. Like a bland Barbie doll.
Unknown said…
Oh the hair issue. In terms of relaxer being applied all in your hair instead of at the roots. My mother did the at home super duper revlon maximum strength relaxer and every touch up included perm ALL up and down my hair. I am surprised I never went bald!!!!! I did notice my split ends virtually disappeared when I stopped relaxing LOL

I know interviewing I always get scared of my hair, if people will think I am a hippie or not professional enough. I haven't had too much of a problem with it though. I do know that I didn't do a big chop either when I went natural, I just let the relaxer go away on it's own and rocked a bun or ponytail on those special days.

Obviously almost nine years later I am completely chemical free, but I got plenty of the when are you going to do your hair, you look a hot mess, you should go to my hair dresser conversations with people who just didn't understand.

In terms of professionals doing your hair, I haven't been to a hair dresser since high school. My mother did all our perms at home, and when I trim up my hair now, I do it myself. I have gotten so DIY, I make my own hair products, my husband is getting scared, I am ordering shea butter and jojoba oil by the barrel :)

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