A letter to my curly, frizzy, thin hair

My Dearest Curly, Frizzy, Thin Hair,

I never understood you.

I’ve known you all my life. We were born together. Your black strands were my beanie cap on my newborn head. But as I grew, you twisted and turned into a fine thin fuzz that refused to stay down. You loved to frizz when the rain tumbled down. You loved to dry out when the sun’s rays licked you.

I never understood you.

As we both grew, you became multilingual. Your bangs spoke Ebonics, the sides and nape of my neck spoke Spanglish, and Swahili was the native tongue on the top of my head. This led to styling challenges as I grew up. You were my style Tower of  Babble.

I never understood you.

My Mom didn’t get you either. She became a two trick pony when styling you. Her go-to Do’s: The bun and the mousy dual plaits. You looked so skinny that you curled up like little pig tails on each side of my head. Literally. I hated that because you weren’t long, thick, wavy and bouncy like some of my friend’s hair. Later for Barbie blond stuff, I wanted my hair to twist and bounce like La Toya Jackson. I would think, “ Why can’t my hair do that?”

I never understood you.

I was happiest when I made you into an Afro. It seemed the United Nations on top of my head came together in harmony. But Swahili always broke off in the back.

Ironically, friends admired and complimented you,  they ran their fingers through you and called you pretty and soft, and “good”…. They wanted you for their own hair! But to me, you were a puny, scrawny peep squeak among thick, black healthy, muscle bound locks.

As we grew older, we went through changes. For a decade I subjected you to chemicals. I made you curlier, straighter and more colorful. But you eventually rejected all of those enhancements by promptly falling out. Ugh, so freakin’ sensitive! Why did you reject my attempt to “make you better?”

I never understood you.

And now, as we both age, you perplex me even more. Now we can add gray to our world of hair textured hair languages. They gray will not behave. And more alarming is that you are also thinning. You were already skinny. I suppose I should have appreciated the kind of thin you were in back then.

I still don’t understand you.

But my dear hair, I’ve come to realized you can’t wear certain looks unless I add more hair, and I refuse to do that, So I wear you like you are. You frustrate the heck out of me. And now that I’ve gone back to embracing your natural roots, I’ve learned to be patient with you. Accepting you the way you are is a process. And I must say I do love running my fingers through you. One thing I learned, no matter who you are or what kind of hair you have, you always find something wrong with it. That gives me comfort because I’m not alone.

So Hair, consider this my letter of acceptance. A reaffirmation of how blessed I am to have you — at least most of you, in my life.


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    I pursued a satisfying career in the advertising industry, served as a volunteer mentor and parent educator at my two (now grown up) sons' schools and have actually stayed happily married for over a quarter of a century. However, my most gratifying achievement was raising my sons well. I'm not saying there wasn't a little bit of hell raising going on, but you live and learn. Now I'm passing the knowledge on to you. My goal is to turn these nuggets of wisdom into reference books for parents.

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    Check out my other blogs: "Trending Over 40", An informational blog for those over 40 who find themselves social-media challenged, http://trendingover40.com "Black Copy" Reflections of a veteran ad chick, http://eldhughes.wordpress.com. You can find samples of my ad work on this site. Simply click on TV and Print tabs. Also check out my company, Hughes Who Productions http://hugheswhoproductions.com. We develop games and animation for casinos, marketers and educational institutions. Thank you for your interest. Blessings... Edye
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