Monday, August 29, 2016

Hair Me Out!

Disclaimer:  Definitely talking more to my African-American readers today, but keep reading for some good info.  

I think it is safe to say Yung Joc won (or broke) the internet on Friday, August 26.  Don't believe me?  Well, all you have to do is a simple Google search and you will figure out exactly what I am talking about.  

Did you take a few minutes to go have a look, if you didn't already know?  Great!  If you didn't and just decided to keep on reading, I think I can sum it up pretty good for you. 

Yep, that's my tweet!  Sorry for messing up his name, but the way my phone is set up, it likes to spell things correctly.  Well, now we can get back to this post.  

For as long as time, the African-American culture has had an obsession for hair, in my opinion.  I'm only speaking for myself, but hair just seems to be pretty important.  When we are little, the person doing our hair gets to have the adventure of telling us to hold your ear, stop moving, or even give us an occasional slap on the hand (or shoulder) with a comb.  When you get a little bit older, the pain of the burn from the straightening comb turns into the pain of a chemical burn.  As you get older and can totally decide what you want to do with your hair (and probably pay for it yourself), you can either keep the perm or let your hair go back to its natural state.  

That's what I decided to do in 2013...I went natural.  In fact, you can see in my Twitter photo my hair in its natural state.  For me, I had absolutely no clue how my hair was going to turn out because my mom has naturally curly hair and my dad has naturally wavy hair.  I tried to not do the big chop, but my hair started breaking so I found it best to cut it all off. 

I thought I was going to be like my mom and have naturally curly hair, but then it got longer...and longer...and longer...and I noticed at each dramatic length, I had a different hair texture.  At my current, and maybe final length, my hair is extremely coily and I love it!  Don't get me wrong - I get a good arm workout each time I have to twist it and style it, but it's totally worth it!  I love the versatility of my natural hair.  If I want it straight, I can go get a blowout (because I don't have the patience to do it myself).  It I want to not really do anything to it, I can get in the shower (or use a spray bottle), wet it, use some product, and call it a day.  If I want a style, I take the time to do some twists and it can last for a few days.  Then, if I'm feeling really lazy, I will pay someone good money to give me a protective style to last me a few months.  Right now, I'm currently enjoying faux locs and I have about 2 months to go before I take them out.  So...why in the world is it so wrong for a man to want to change up his look, just like us ladies?

I wish I had an answer to that question.  Now don't get me wrong, I had a few good laughs.  Let's be real, some of the memes were (and quite frankly still are) pretty awesome.  However, now that I've had some time to think and see some other posts, I have a different conclusion.

Yung Joc did nothing no different than what I did so many years ago and what some women continue to do each day - make a change to their hair!  In fact, many men do this same thing, but nothing is ever said.  

For instance, James Brown was wearing a perm (or a wig) before my generation was even born.  Katt Williams is known for absolutely slaying the hair game at each of his performances.  And I think the last time we saw Michael Jackson's hair in its natural state was when he was with the Jackson 5.  I don't ever remember seeing any of them with hair looking like the photo to the left.  I mean, I could be wrong and if I am, please correct me.  However, even if you can find a photo, think about how many times you have actually seen them wear the style during a performance.  You might be able to count on one hand the number of times you saw their hair in their natural state.      

Main stream media, as well as our own mentality, wants us to see our men as thugs with nasty dreads or any other hair style that is deemed ugly or trashy.  Maybe that is why it is so hard for us to see them with any other style than those ugly or trashy styles.  I mean, personally, I'm a fan of locs, when they are properly maintained.  I'm thinking about doing it to my real hair, so why would I slam anyone who has them?  And anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a huge fan of the messy hair look (see photo to the right).  

I love getting up in the morning, shaking out my hair, and then heading into the office.  In fact, some of the women there tell me I am their motivation and that makes me extra proud of my melanin.  Although I have been working for the same organization for almost 5 years, I have only been primarily in an office setting for the last year.  Corporate America has a certain expectation when it comes to hair, but I am proud to work for an organization that accepts all hair types and even allows me to wear a head covering (in the form of a beautiful scarf) when my hair is just not cooperating.

So, I know when I need to be a big girl, and right now, I need to be that big girl.  Although he may never read this post and definitely probably not care to even know who I am, I want to sincerely apologize to Yung Joc.  Why?  Well, instead of just laughing at the madness, I joined in on it by retweeting a post on Twitter.  He didn't deserve that because he didn't do anything to me.  And ladies, seeing as how this whole natural thing is very new to us, we need to tread lightly.

I remember the start of my natural journey and one of my male cousins asked me why are you going around with a nappy head?  However, I had another male cousin tell me I like the change up!  Same bloodline, two totally different reactions.  Truthfully, my dad is still surprised I haven't gone back to the creamy crack, but he absolutely loves it when I wear my hair in bantu knots.  My mom is just in shock I cut my hair to begin with because I cut it when it was the longest it had ever been.

How about we do this - learn to embrace ourselves and all of the greatness of our versatile hair?  I guarantee you, if Yung Joc wanted to go back to a curl (or whatever is under the hair slay), all he has to do is get it wet!  Honestly, now that I've had the time to really look at it, I like it.  However, you know I like different looking stuff and this is truly different.  Hmmm....maybe you need to try something new.     

Photo credit: Shayla Em
Photo credit: WolfmanBlacque via Visual hunt / CC BY
Photo credit: ImagePros via / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: DioBurto via Visualhunt / CC BY-ND

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