I refused to get into the natural hair “debate” because, because, hmmm . . . , because, the fear of backlash for unnatural hair is the beginning of wisdom! Moreover, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, is still lying on my bookshelf unread. What can I add to the conversation biko?
My friend wears her hair natural. I wear weaves and extensions on top my relaxed bone-straight hair, but you figured that out already. When we meet, she oohs over my hair-do and calls me, hot mama. I look at her kinky-do, and say, “You’re gonna kill someone today!” Then we share what we’re doing in our respective spheres to change the world, buying and selling in serious currency—ideas. We talk about the kids, our men, and all the things that went wrong in Grey’s Anatomy. In other words, we revel in our friendship.
I wish this were true with all my natural-hair friendships. With some of them, after “the sermon,” I want to say, “I am not less of an African woman for choosing Brazilian, Indian, Peruvian, or synthetic hair, and I have nothing to prove or disprove. Touch my hair and I’ll touch yours. Oya, let’s be friends who agree to disagree.” But I keep mum. If age has conferred any wisdom on me, it is this: choose your battles wisely; hair may fall or may grow, turn brown or turn grey, but relationships transcend it all.
Nkem Ivara captures some of my sentiments. I won’t reinvent the wheel, I will just hide behind her natural hair . . .
I read a post on one of the natural hair forums on Facebook yesterday. The lady posted some photos of her hair and claimed she had been natural for 36 months. Turns out she started transitioning in September 2012.
Now I realise Maths is not my strong suit but even I noticed the numbers didn’t add up. My first thought was to point out that she has actually been natural for just 24 not 36 months and I was going to say as much when I stopped myself. I stopped because I had visions of all the comments that would follow. Comments that would accuse of me of not being supportive of a fellow natural. Continue here . . .
So, while I’m at it, I might as well share this: I am tired of this hair, hair, everywhere.
Take lemons, make life & jump for joy!