Actually no, my hair is the thing I hate; second only right now to American politics, politicians and Congress.
It has never once looked like the hair of women in magazines or movies. It’s never swayed or bounced or shone like the hair in shampoo commercials – even when I’ve used the shampoo or conditioner or frizz tamer or whatever lie they’re selling. My hair just sits there on top of my head, shamed, frizzy and immobile. And, despite whatever I do, it has never once looked like Halle Berry’s hair. Her cute funky cut taunts me.
Those of you who know me, know about The Great Hair Bet of 2010 when Husband thought he could trick bet me into growing it out. This is how The Great Hair Bet of 2010 went down.
HUSBAND: I bet you can’t grow your hair.
ME: I bet you can’t grow your hair.
HUSBAND: Challenge accepted!
Six months later, he looked like a pedophile, seriously gross and creepy and, thankfully, cut his hair. I did the dance of the winner but then he said I’d forfeit if I didn’t make it to the December 25, 2010 deadline. Challenge accepted, I powered down and grew that fro and won The Great Hair Bet of 2010. Yea me!
I shaved it all off five months later. My taking care of my hair is hard.
I ran into one of the neighbors in a shopping center last week and, after the pleasantries, she said “My husband what’s to know what the hell you’ve done to your hair?”
She said it just like that.
Sadly, this is not the first time I’ve heard this. Husband has said it to me. Brother has said it to me. Friends have said it to me repeatedly – often after I’ve shaved it all off. And sadly, this isn’t even the first time a neighbor has said it to me.
But I don’t know what to do with it. Yes, it looks great when it’s long – sometimes. And yes it looks great when it’s short, or shaved or braided – sometimes. The other times it is just a holy mess.
When I was young, my mother would braid my hair every Sunday. The Sunday Hair Ritual would with the unbraiding of the style from week before, washing, detangling and combing out the mass of fro and then an hour of her yanking and pulling and twisting my head in awkward positions as she re-braided it. I, of course, would sit patiently while she braided, not a peep of protest or squeal of pain coming out of my mouth.
I miss those times where I had no choice in the matter. The choice of what to do with my hair can keep me up at night, not to mention the constant sobbing and occasional shrieking at the Gods, Why me???" with my hair clenched tightly in my fists . That’s why it’s often shaved off, down to the scalp, the way my mother hates it. It's just so easy to know what to do with that hairstyle – wear a hat.