Social media has a way of turning your pain into pure hilarious pleasure. Once such way has cropped up in #BlackTwitter feeds with the #BlackSalonProblems. I nearly died a thousand deaths on scrolling through the story of my life. The patch of hair you thought would just be five more braids ended up being 25 braids, a takeout meal and you rocking your hair stylist’s toddler to sleep. I dreaded walking up the one block to get my hair pressed back in the day. This thick Medusa-like hair (middle schools kids can be so mean) would be scorched beyond recognition. Long, thick, black and smelling like charred wood. All to be done one month later. No pain, no gain.
India.Arie lied to us all when she insisted that we were not our hair. I believed it for all of ten seconds. The other ten hours and fifty seconds was spent getting my hair done on a Saturday with my college roommates. We barely had time to get dressed to make it to ladies in free after all that! We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner while there. My hair was the Halle Berry cut. Why did it take that long?!
I thought I reached the promised land when I left behind hair trials and tribulations nine years ago after getting Sisterlocks. My curly ends bobbed around my ears. Then the strands got longer and the locs began to have a mind of their own. Now I too dread washing this waist length veil of hair.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my hair. But I realize Black Hair Problems is here to stay no matter if I was buzz cut or Rapunzel leaning from the tower.
It is the experiences, the memories, the trauma of managing life with Black hair. The curls that lasted until humidity slapped you silly. The “kitchen” that stayed frizzy no matter what you did. Those baby edges that you laid flat and swirled with the black gel. The receding hair line you’re still hating your dad’s side of the family for. The look your man gives and hides immediately when you walk in the door. The latest product that joins the other dozen on your bathroom counter. The silent resignation you have when you click “pay” for those bundles. The bad hair day hats, scarves, head bands you keep on reserve.
So I keep scrolling, chuckling, belly laughing. Yes we are our hair.