Sunday, July 23, 2006

Am I Not My Hair?

My decision to get Sisterlock-ed was predicated on years and years of frustration and unhappiness about my hair. I was the only of three girls to be blessed with an over-abundantly THICK and COARSE head of hair. A blessing AND a CURSE indeed!! While I have been told my entire life how fortunate I am for having this crown and glory, I have always had a strained relationship with my hair. To give you some perspective on this view: by the age of 7, my mother, bless her heart, had become so beside herself with trying to manage my hair and keep me in the cute little bows and plaits that everyone else my age had, including my sisters. For one reason, I was EXTREMELY tender headed (yeah, imagine that...all that hair and I had the nerve to be tender headed!). I pitched a fit every time she even suggested it was time to wash or style my hair. I would make all kinds of excuses as to why it just wasn't the right time to do my hair...'i'm sleepy', or 'my stomach hurts'. You name it, I claimed it...all in the name of keeping hands out of my head. The other reason was that it was not exactly a walk in the park to 'Do' my hair, once my fits were over...my hair was like a dense forest if you can imagine...one could definitely get lost...

So, she broke down one day and took me to the beauty shop where I was given my First Permanent. Yes, that was at age seven. I remember thinking, 'I can't wait to have a perm. Then my hair will be soft and straight and pretty.' Well, not so long after that,(maybe about 2 years) as I was getting older, I wanted more independence where my hair was concerned so somehow I convinced my mother to allow me to style my hair on my own. Big mistake. My once shoulder length thick straight hair began to break off in the back and on the sides due to lack of proper care. So, again, beside herself, and possibly by my constant persistance, I was again taken to the beauty shop to have my first - yes, you guessed it...Jerri Curl!! This time, all four of us took the plunge (Mom, and the three girls. come to think of it, I think my Dad got one too!) Anyway, this eventually turned into the Wave Nuveau - the not so messy version of the Jerri Curl. I was about 13 by this time and was quite happy with my fully styled asymetric 'do. It wasn't until I was venturing into high school that I began to truly take care of my straight permed (yes, I converted back to the perm) hair. I frequented the hair salon more, and tried to keep it well manicured. Well, from then 'till now, I've worn my hair in several cuts and styles including micro-braids to cornrows to kinky twists...all via extensions by the way. Throughout college I'd been known as 'the girl with the braids'. I think I can probably count on one hand the number of occasions where I sported my own hair. Well, the struggles I had with my hair and my self-consious idea of peoples' perception of the way my hair made Me look kept me in a whirl wind pattern of 'trying new things' which was really a way to 'do something' with my hair without having to take care of it and /or wear it naturally.

Back in the late summer of 2003, I met, or should I say, hailed down a young lady in the parking lot of the company I work for. The young lady had hair just past her shoulders and was two-toned with colored highlights. It was beautiful. I remember thinking....Ok, I know these aren't braids...they look like dread locs, but they are much too neat and small to be dreads. I had to stop her. So I did. She was very nice and explained that she was wearing Sisterlocks and that she was from Florida. She said that I could probably find a consultant in the Atlanta area who could help me with more information. So, that's exactly what I did. That evening I was surfing the web looking for any and all the information I could on Sisterlocks. Within a week I had a number to a certified consultant and was calling for a consultation. Well, long story short...I chickened out. I can't even say it was because of the expense of the process...I was just plain scared! I said to myself...are you really ready to take a step like that with your hair? What if you don't like it? Or worse, what if after a few months you grow tired of it and want a change...what then? Well, that cloud of doubt was all I needed to back out of the process. So, back to my trusty ol' regimine I went...weave, braids, wigs...and repeat...to the present day. This is a picture of me with my little one taken in April of this year. Like my hair? It's a wig. My wig became a permanent staple for my grooming. It was really sad.


Linda said...

I understand the dilemna that you faced. I went back and forth over 2 years before I took the plunge. Your little one is a "cutey".

Aundrea said...

Thanks Linda! Me too! And now I know we both wonder why it took so long! ;-) Thanks also for the note about my little one. Can't believe he's already 10 months old!

Maryee said...

I love the honesty of your testimony. If you've been to my blog and others, it seems the dilema is the same. I'm so glad you went ahead and took the plunge!! Thanks for sharing!!


Goodnapps said...

Girl I can relate completely. In fact, if I didn't know any better, I could take your story verbatum almost and put it on my blog. I swear it's identical. And that wig,
girl that's the same one I was wearing for 5 months after I did the big chop in preparation for my locks. Ain't that something!!!!