“Are you ever going back” is a question I’ve been asked a time or two over the last several years. The answers to questions regarding the professional are still yet to be seen. The personal? That’s concretely concluded. But there’s one question that lingers regarding my mane that stumps even me from time to time.
My journey with hair, my own and that from others, has been an unpredictable one. As I reflected back to the many looks of my hair and other’s hair on my crown it dawned on me that I’m thinking about going back. I’m thinking about giving the wigs a vacation and seeing what lies beneath:)
I’m the most avid fan of hair accessories. I’ve tried weaves, wigs, and braids over the years and have truly appreciated them all being there for me during my time of need. Not just for cosmetic purposes, but hair accessories have certainly been my “go to girls” for times of trouble that have come too many times to matter at this point. I’ve lost hair to Graves Disease and anesthesia. I’ve lost it to “at home in the kitchen do it yourself perm and color on the same day kits”. I’ve had to take a hair hiatus to recuperate from a couple of surgeries and in dealing with what they say will be a life-long battle with lymphedema (As Sweet Brown says…Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
I’ll be the first to admit that I was anti-other’s hair in the beginning. I remember secretly thinking “I’ll never do that” as my sister sported a black, Lil Kim-style, bob wig one summer in the 90s. She looked cute, but I just couldn’t see it for me. I’ve since grown to love the bit of “spice” changing hair can give. I’ve grown accustomed to not having to curl my hair in the mornings and saving my arm with lymphedema a great deal of pain. I’ve appreciated the weave being there for me during special occasions and how tree braids came to my rescue just before surgery, stayed with me for years and granted my lavish locks down my back. I’ve relished in the notion of “giving my hair a break” and not having to display my all-natural coif. I’ve even been empowered by the questions and comments from people who have known my health struggles and the help my hair accessories have offered me. Regardless of what’s been on my head, I’ve always wanted women to know that they can be as fabulous as they want to be with a little help if needed…and when you’re at your worst it’s okay to look your best.
With that all said, I’m still thinking about going back. Taking a trip down memory lane I saw pictures that reminded me of the precision, unmovable layers cut with a custom-created Honey Auburn color by Patrice Ethridge. I remembered how I missed the healthy, long locks and the “gone with the wind, but not blown by the wind curls” only expertly styled by Toya Long. I thought about what kind of message I might send if I decided (if only for a while) to take it all off. Let’s be clear. I’m 40. I have Scott and Johnson in my blood which brings along with it a great deal of wisdom and gradually thinning hair. My hair and I have been through a lot. I don’t expect to uncover a resurrection of the old, but I’m thinking about giving the new a try and being fine with whatever that may be. Who knows what I might discover? I may just like what I see. And as an ode to India Arie, I’m always mindful that “I am not my hair” and I’m not anybody else’s either. Regardless of what’s on my head what’s in my heart is what matters most.