I\’m jus\’ sayin\’

March 29, 2008

My Hair

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 12:19 am

Subject: All things nappy…
Focus: Hair
Real Focus: My hair!
Today’s Motto: Proud to be nappy

Been talkin’ hair and at first it was the main reason for this blog.

P.S. You can click the photos in order to see larger versions.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way you look at it, I’m a rebel. I hate the status quo and will find whatever reason to do something to show that I ,

  1. Don’t respect status quo
  2. Don’t give two shits if think I’m an idiot for it (except the parentals who make me tremble with fear)
  3. Will bust your chops if you even suggest I should be doing something to fit in.

So the whole idea that I have to dress a certain way and look a certain way in order to get the same opportunities as everyone else really rankled me. Especially when it came to my hair.

The idea that some people can get away with either keeping their hair short and those of us who didn’t want it short had to sit for hours on end, every weekend to get our hair done in order to be considered decent, to me seemed like the height of oppression.

So I took a journey of self discovery that included purging myself of ideas that had been fed into my mind. Here is the map.

After high school I kept my hair natural for a while, but was convinced to get it straightened. For about seven years I spent weekends in the basement of Mary Stuart Hall getting shampooed, poked and scratched with curlers and then finally sat under a loud, hot dryer that made my sinuses hurt. Then when I got home I hated the hairstyle so much I’d spend the next hour trying to do it the way I want it to look. So after a visit to the hair salon one day in 2000 the lady told me I didn’t have enough hair for her to style. So, I was done with it and I got my little brother, DJ Twonjex, to cut it all off.

pauls-album-002.jpg

I started growing dreadlocks. What a journey! I wrestled with my demons and won.

dread1.jpg dread4.jpg dread7.jpg dread13.jpg

So, as is usual with all things I got so obsessed with my hair, which in and of itself is quite understandable. When you spend 3 hours every Saturday twisting your napps into gorgeous locs, a lot of love dwells in it and it’s almost as though every experience and every battle and every victory and struggle is locked up in there. I was very attached to them.

dread15.jpg dread17.jpg dread18.jpg

Then the time to grow again presented itself. I met someone who made an amazing argument and believe it or not, about 1-2 months after I cut my locs off, India Arie came out with her song I am not my hair. Anyway, the attachment to my hair needed to be adjusted. The pain and growth that had infused my hair, the frustration of school, a failed relationship, the joy of new friendships and the demise of old, all needed to be purged from me. I needed to be able to detach myself from the identity I had found as a black woman with dreadlocks.

So, on the 1st of October 2006 I sat on the balcony of our apartment and my buddy cut my locs all the way to the root.

dread19.jpg

So I’m learning again, learning about my ideas and what has shaped them. I’m adjusting my ideas of beauty and it’s conventions and what place society’s opinion has in it. I’m learning and it’s going to take a minute or two.

dechair-004.jpg novemberhair-007.jpg marchhair-007.jpg

Well… that is my hair story. I’m nappy and I’m happy to be nappy. Loving the nappy happiness.

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4 Comments »

  1. I like women who sport short hair.

    Comment by 31337 — March 29, 2008 @ 7:45 am | Reply

  2. Your dreadlocks were so gorgeous, it hurts to read that line where you cut them off. 😦 Why, why, why?

    Grow the dreads again. (But take good, frequent, obsessive care of them, unlike me.)

    Also, you are of a certain warm beauty, you know. Your dread pictures are particularly beautiful. 🙂

    Comment by The 27th Comrade — March 29, 2008 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  3. @Three one…. Some women carry it beautifully!
    @27th… I get it from my sister!:D

    Comment by imnxtac — March 29, 2008 @ 5:10 pm | Reply

  4. I’m reading this almost four months later and I have to say I really loved the post. You looked terrific whatever you wore on your head. But the dreadlocks really rocked, IMHO.

    Comment by Minty — July 15, 2008 @ 9:58 am | Reply


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