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column formerly known on my old blog as ‘The Hair Boggart’

Somewhere between February-March 2011 was the last time I had my hair relaxed. I didn’t do the Big Chop so I felt like Fawkes on a Burning Day* all these months every time I had to beg my sister to help me with my hair. Its been about half my life, a decade, since I last saw my hair in it’s unaltered state.

So last month I was afraid to take my braids out but after I “broke up” with my last fib (friend in bed), I just wanted a change from the long braids he used to pull on. I co-washed it in the shower and it shrank and curled up. I moisturized it with what was in the house, then I felt it.

Hundreds of tight curls all over my head. I was amazed. I couldn’t stop touching them. The ugly, frizzy remnants of my relaxed hair that I had been afraid to cut off stuck up out of my new growth, making me look like a right damn fool in the mirror. I asked my mom because I was afraid to cut parts of my hair that didn’t need cutting; she objected completely, yelling, “NO, DON’T CUT YOUR HAIR! You already knew what I was gone to say…” She never wanted my hair to be short because she’s a hater apparently. [I could tell you about the time we were picking out my brother’s casket and she said, “We’ll be having another funeral if you cut your hair again”. (A stylist in Seattle had cut my hair without asking about my previous style, a bob; because of all the new growth, she assumed it was damaged beyond repair and cut it even without consulting me, which wasn’t my fault.)]

So, my mom? Asked the wrong person.

I consulted my friend back home in Atlanta and my sister: “Cut that shit off” consensus. Their trust in me to know what to cut off helped me trust myself. I squealed and laughed as I cut, terrified and joyous. I scraped up enough money to buy coconut oil and shea butter after reading around a bit.

My hair is about the only good thing in my life right now. I need to take pictures and keep a journal of my hair journey.

*reference Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets