So I won’t even go into explaining what it means when you’re told you have “good hair”. I mean the definition is different to whomever you talk to about it. But what it really does is irritate me on how this term is a “norm” with black females. I would love to say its a compliment being given because of some way your hair is but most times it is stated with a backlash of envy and resentment!
I have what I call crazy azz hair but have been put in that classification of having this type of hair. I have a curly look that I get by just washing my hair. I put in some conditioner brush it out and then pray! Yup pray that the curls workout somewhat without me looking like it had my finger too long in the socket! Otherwise I can blow dry it and BOOM straight hair! And with that my hair makes people look at me with envy. I can’t tell you how many people have pulled at my hair, stroked my hair or just stared at it as if they will divine how my hair came to being.
Growing up I just went with the flow and said “thank you” and tried not to deck those who reached out and touched. Now I become upset inside. You would wonder why right because they are just being nice and making a compliment. I thought that was the way it was but when you really look at their eyes you see the truth of it. There is that tight lip smile that comes with the compliment and I wonder if inside they are thinking of taking a pair of scissors to my hair!! Why is there so much importance given to hair?? I know almost 99.9% of women think about their hair. As a black woman though the hair translates to more then just an accessory. “Good hair” puts you that much closer to being what society accepts as good! Which is what makes me so upset when its said to me. Cos you know what buddy?? I’m just me and my genes gave me this hair. No way am I even try to emulate something that is not me. So when people try to justify my hair (and you know there has got to be a clear and concise reason why I have this type of hair) “Are you mixed?” “Do you have Indian in you?” “Are you coolie?” I kindly grit my teeth and say that I am African. What African with that hair? No not possible! Newsflash it is! I am the product of two Cape Verdean parents. I would go into how the islands were a slave depot and therefore a lot of mixing and such to create the genes we see today but why bother? They should take it at face value of who I am and not pigeon hole my looks.
I don’t have this desire to look or be accepted because I look a certain way by closed minded individuals. I strive to make the best me there is. Sure I look at some skinny person and am like “good Lord how does she do it?” Am I envious of her figure? Heckz yeah but it’s due to me not having put my 100% into loosing weight. So you want to have my hair style then work on it dangit!
And there are people who have now joined the new “natural” movement. That means not processing the hair and trying to use very little chemical products. One would think that people like me would then be saved as women embrace this whole new natural look of dreads and curls right??? Wrong?! I now get the question of how exactly do I get my curls to go that way?! When I kindly share my hair routine (which involves a lot of praying) they aren’t very satisfied. Makes me wonder why you even bother to harass me and ask??
I really think the real issue is just loving yourself and liking what you see when you look in that mirror. I know that as from my personal struggles this past year it was hard to do that very thing. I didn’t however not like myself due to comparing myself to someone else. I just didn’t see what I wanted to see reflected back and became bitterly disappointed. I wish though all women regardless of race could be happy with themselves. There are women who are tall that wish they were small, women with red hair and freckles wish they were anything but and the list goes on and on. Is it easy being you?? Heckz no! You think the first time I stepped out with the mess on top of my head I was comfortable? No it was a challenge to not keep touching it and trying to fix it. Now?? I wear it proudly and my friends are not ashamed to tell me that it’s due to my hair that they can always find me in a crowd!!
So please celebrate you and think twice before commenting that someone has good hair! Why not just say you have really nice hair? Or that you love the way it (insert nice comment here) …. that is much nicer and more respectful.