Hair, Defiance and the art of being an Adult

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I’m all about freedom, independence and have no problem calling myself a womanist. I want other women to succeed. I’ve also been “adulting” oh so hard since the age of 2 and have little tolerance for immaturity and adults “acting out” as a coping mechanism.

Lately I’ve been witness to what I consider a disturbing trend though. Grown women going through some serious THANGS and using their hair as an outlet of expressing their frustrations, defeats, joy and hopefulness. Along with any other emotions they have ever felt. The use of hair as such an outlet is not new and black women have often been forced to wear their hair in certain styles because of the real fear that a black woman in her most natural state supposedly poses to society, whether it be the fear of sexuality or power. I actually condone cutting hair, rocking weaves, braids, or any other style, but what I will not condone is using hair for childish, attention-seeking purposes simply because life isn’t working out the way you’d like it to. When your self-expression could actually be leading to your detriment, it is time to reevaluate.

So how could your hair be working against you? Well, in many ways. While it’s not always fair, it’s the world in which we live. If you are looking to change jobs or just job searching in general, the rule should be keep it simple and neat for the job interview. If you’re wearing braids make sure they are well-kept and that they do not have four inches of new growth and hanging on for dear life. The same goes for locs. Locs require maintenance just like any other hair style. Either learn how to maintain them at home or splurge on a loctician. And then there’s color. If you want to wear your hair neon green because you’re mad at the world, go for it. But don’t go into a job interview with that green hair or that chip on your shoulder. Potential employers are not the people you should be seeking that kind of attention from and most could care less about your current mess. Plus I’m going to let you in on a secret. Few people look good with neon green hair. Your Facebook and Instagram followers are lying to you.

Another issue is you could actually be damaging your hair. Your troubles won’t last always but you could be left with hair issues for a while. If coloring or relaxing your hair at home be sure to follow the directions on the box. Or better yet just go to a professional.

And the third issue, stop embarrassing your kids. Maybe you don’t need a mohawk or to have one side of your head shaved or to be 70 and rocking box braids. All of these things, well, I’m just saying them. But it’s for the good of black women everywhere. Be an adult and face your problems, admit your faults. Don’t spend your days manipulating your hair in the name of attention seeking and recognition and saying eff the world. Use your hours – even the darkest ones – more wisely. If you go through your storms with dignity and grace you’ll come out with dignity, grace and so much joy that others will want to hear your testimony. If you go through your storm with it written all over your face, hair and social media footprint, you’ll come out of it with damaged hair, disappointed that you didn’t get your way, and setting yourself up for another setback. We are all better women than that, but some of us never want to hear it. So I’m telling you what your mama and Facebook friends won’t – “Stop being a brat, get out of the mirror, get off the internet, get out of the house and get YOUR life.”

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