"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Nappy Hair Affair

At R's Birthday extravaganza - August 2011

"...I say, it's in the arch of my back, the sun of my smile,
the ride of my breasts, the grace of my style...
I say, it's in the click of my heels, the bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand, the need of my care.
'Cause I'm a woman, Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, that's me."
Phenomenal Woman - Maya Angelou (1995)

It's been another fascinating, at times frustrating, month in my Nappy Hair Affair (for past posts see here and here). Whatever your ethnicity or type of hair, ladies I know that you can emphasize with the challenge of letting your natural hair texture have it's way, with NO chemical intervention (EEK!). Still, I've experienced so much progress that I felt it was time for another update ;-) 

Wearing a 'Sade' - hair slicked back in a ponytail or bun...

I've got to admit that for most of the month I've been wearing my hair in a 'Sade.' I did it for no-hassle-on-the-go-ease. But the unexpected upside was that the 'Sade' allowed my hair time to just...be. And the result has been that my natural curl is quickly reasserting itself and my hair is growing - growing in every direction at once, but happy, growing, and glowing nonetheless.

Taking my natural kinky hair to the beach (July 2011)

On the eve of my family's annual beach getaway I decided to let my nappy hair loose to have it's way. I carefully packed my straws, bobby pins, mousse and olive oil, and off I went! 100 degrees everyday, intense sun, wind, humidity and sand, and not a Black hair salon within 50 miles in any direction -how hard could it be? Actually, not so hard. I just let my hair do it's thing. And it's thing was pretty great ;-)

With my Mamma Fantastico (At R's birthday extravaganza, August 2011) 

Paris is coming up in a few weeks and earlier today, in the midst of putting the finishing touches on my itinerary, I momentarily considered straightening my hair for the trip - I know sacrilige! I was thinking about what clothes to bring, how I wanted to look chic, urbane and stylish and my chemical addiction reared it's ugly, over processed head. As I sat in my T.A.R.D.I.S. control room, fighting the craving, my eye landed on the stack of books I'm using for my upcoming Fall Semester. Several of them are textbooks, novels, and notebooks from my college days. As I was paging through one of my notebooks, I came across my handwritten copy of Maya Angelou's 'Phenomenal Woman:'

"Pretty women wonder where my secret lies..." 

Dr. Angelou's poem is about Black women embracing their natural beauty. A beauty that is real, sensual, and powerful. A beautiful power that is essentially rooted in brown skin, a round derrire and kinky, curly, nappy hair - things that are not usually celebrated about American women. That poem was one of the factors that first decided me to go natural. And today, it fortified my determination and gave a much needed shout out of encouragement to my Nappy Hair Affair - thank you Dr. Angelou!

My nappy hair is chic, urbane and stylish. Most imporantly, it's...my hair! Sometimes I can't believe that I'm still fighting such insecurites at 42 - sigh. So, Paris get ready - I'm bringing my Nappy Hair Affair!

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


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