See my curl? Pretty darn proud of that curl. In fact, my entire head is pretty much covered with em. My hair is about the shortest--kinda--than it's been in awhile. Which brings me to one of the birthdays I missed recently. It was May 26th and the day belonged to my chum, KC.
Been knowing KC since 1978, which I'm amazed since I claim NOT to have been born yet. We worked at the same place. Had a crush on him. Even informed his name was so 'macho'. Come to find out, KC was gay. When I heard that, I thought KC was just happy. Not too versed on anything not heterosexual I was.
Well, KC taught me. And good.
You're asking what does this have to do with my curl. Well, to me--lots.
Anyway, KC introduced me to my first gay bar, the healing powers fruit juices mixed with vodka and gin and at the holidays, yummy spiced wine. Oh, did I mentioned I smoked my first joint at KC's house? And for the first time ever, had a crush on a guy where another guy had a crush on him too. We'll call the object of affection, Jiffy Jeff. If KC reads this, I can see his smilin' face! All in all, let's just KC showed life did exist beyond what I knew. One of the most memorable times was at a bar called The Baghdad" where once upon a time, I could dance to the entire eight plus minute version of "We Are Family" take a swig of an adult beverage, and dance some more. These days, I'd need an oxygen mask...
So where DOES the curl come in-especially since the picture posted here was snapped today?
Well, for one of MY birthdays, KC treated me to a haircut by a stylist who actually had a license to cut hair. I'll be honest, I was thrilled about the hair cut, because I did need one, yet I was a bit worried because the stylist was Caucasion. What did she KNOW? I thought. She might have even said, they don't do black hair, KC will have to remind me of that.
Anyway, what she did do: cut off alot of my hair. Damaged she said and not more she could do with it. The result was a small afro about an inch off my head, which I didn't know what to do with. My hair had NEVER been that short, plus the fact I had NO left ear, would be visible to the world. I had been born with microtia (all I had was the tip of an ear lobe on my left side) and had covered that side of my head for most of my life. And at this moment in time, I was 20 something. I was petrified to go to work on Monday, in fear of what my co-workers would say. My little ear, that's what I called it, had never been exposed so. What to do?
Well, KC babbled how I could now get a 'jheri curl'--the IN style for black hair then. My hair would be healthy and all's right with the world. When my boyfriend (KC and he hated each other--but that's another post) saw my hair the next day, his first comment was, "Well, you look black now." He was serious. He was also an idiot. And KC now remembers on the way to see another chum, we were 12 miles from our destination were, he began to lecture me about said boyfriend...
OK-back to our story--I did get eventually get a jheri curl. I loved it, even with all the goop you put on your hair to keep the curls activated. If you were round back in that day, you know what I'm talking about. Fast forward to 2010.
My hair is now kinda short. A wisp of hair barely covers my little ear. Doesn't much matter these days if my ear shows or not. When folks meet me, they folks can't decide whether to look at my little ear or the top of my scar, courtesy of my open heart surgery. I don't hide either one anymore.
On the hair, I chose willingly to have my hair like this. I've gone natural, since right before Christmas 2009 . Back when KC treated me to my first really good hair cut, I didn't know I could still get curls withOUT putting chemical on it, ala the jheri curl. All was so foreign to me. I didn't know anything, and really thought I was going to come out of there with some really chic 'do. In my opinion, I didn't. Quite disappointed.
Today, I have soft, wrap around your finger curls. The stylist who trimmed my ends, a couple days ago said how she wish she had my curls and my hair was 'beautiful.' Also she couldn't wait to flat iron my hair next time, because my hair is long--well, it'll be close to my shoulders.
Natural hair has shrinkage when you apply products to curl it or even in water-so the actual length is misleading. I use about three ingredients to keep my hair curly and experiment with stuff to find what works. I'm amazed of the compliments received. Shocked really. When I was younger I didn't feel the natural look--too plain. Too militant. Too scared to try it, is more like it.
So I thank KC for the hair cut those years ago. If I hadn't experienced that then, I wouldn't know what to do now. I LOVE the feel of my hair. And to also think, I never once thought I would ever be as attractive as other black women. Intimdation spread with a layer of lack of self-confidence I had...then.
Black IS beautiful, baby.
Happy Belated Birthday, my Love, and THANK YOU!