After years (yes years) of wearing wigs and weaves, with brief intermittent spurts of wearing my natural hair out or having my husband shave my natural hair off just so I can wear wigs easily and not have to fuss over my natural hair while living abroad for years, I took the plunge. I did the bold move of going to Bliss Salon RI and shaving my hair off.
When it came to my hair, it was all about convenience and NO maintenance WHATSOEVER. I was able to throw a wig on and go. Going to the beach and not having to fuss about my hair is amazing. The drawback: if one colossal wave hits this ocean lover, I can kiss my wig goodbye.
Let me point out that this did in fact happen to me on a camping trip way back when. Needless to say, the wave pummeled me for a solid minute and I got out of it breathless and wig-less. Current me would have given zero F*cks and rocked my malnourished hairs, but 20-something Baddie was still cultivating her boldness. She scurried out of the ocean, grabbed her scarf and draped it around her head like a head wrap for the rest of the weekend, claiming she was cold (to her credit it was late September so that was a valid excuse).
Fast-forward to now and I laugh maniacally at that recap of that afternoon. Wow, how foolish of me to have stopped an awesome wetsuit boogie board session with one of my childhood besties because I did not want him (or the world) to see me sans a wig. Oh, the shame!
This brings me to my current-day realization that I was hiding behind my fake hair for a variety of reasons. The two main reasons:
Yep, I will readily admit being an educated, successful black female professional in corporate America has its obstacles. The state of my hair is allowed to be a topic of conversation by managers and co-workers, like I am some sort of exhibit at a science museum. That gets old fast. The commentary, the questions and the “hmmm… I like your other hairstyle better. It’s more suitable for this environment,” are nothing short of infuriating. I was trying to climb the corporate ladder, so weaves and wigs became the go-to. Super easy for me to get done and my hair stopped being a constant topic, now hoping my skills, intelligence and qualifications could take center stage.
After I left corporate America for a long while to live abroad and pursue my Masters in Australia, tending to my natural hair seemed like wasted time in paradise. I didn’t even really know what the heck to do with my natural hair anyway after years of NEVER dealing with it, so I was not starting that journey in foreign lands. Luckily, good ol, Australia had a beautiful East African population due to proximity and I found my fave wig shop so I was set.
Beautiful Little Fool
Fast-forward again to present-day, just barely into my 30s and light years wiser. I feel most, if not all, girls and young women epitomize the Daisy Buchanan quote out of one of my favorite story books, The Great Gatsby:
“That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Literally, that is pretty much what society molds us to be for the better part of our youth. We follow suit because, like Ella Fitzgerald said, “Youth doesn’t need friends — it only needs crowds.” We are all putting on a show to get what we think we want in youth. Then we grow up and find out we had it mostly wrong. There is so much more to life and more you can offer, especially as a woman, than your beauty, body or the dumbing down of your intelligence.
Let It Go
In light of all this recent soul searching, health obstacles, deep-diving to the darkest depths of my being to pull out the vaulted experiences and memories that subconsciously scarred me into diminishing my self-worth and dwindling my self-love, I LET IT ALL GO!
I realized my hair was a part of that letting go. My hair was simply just a fake barrier dulling my shine and man, do I have a dynamic shine. I quite literally liberated myself from my fake hair, check out my Instagram post. My inner goddess (yep, call me corny) is out and with a powerful energy that is unstoppable. Like one of my dearest friends texted, my twin flame, “YOU LOOK STUNNING! A GODDESS INCARNATED!”
That is literally exactly how I feel. I feel stunning, dynamic and more beautiful than I ever have, and I have NO HAIR. I am fully embracing this natural hair growth journey and whatever comes along the way. Learning how to manage and care for a neglected piece of me, growing with it and DECIDING BLISS.