by Candace of Kiss My Curls
I was a freshman in high school in Milwaukee, WI. My blue-eyed, blonde-haired, straight-stranded friend Becky (yes that was her real name) wanted me to curl her hair for a special occasion that was coming up. I said sure! I was a whiz with hair, even back then. I grabbed her curling iron, thinking, “this is going to be a piece of cake.”
Yeah…not so much.
Even after using the hottest setting and spraying her hair with the stiffest hair spray, I COULD NOT get Becky’s hair to curl. She ended up leaving my house with one stiff lock of hair and the rest of it just as straight as when she first came over. I remember thinking, “for straight hair being praised for being ultimately ‘easy’, that was some hard ass work.” Since then, I’ve realized that someone with more experience probably could’ve figured out how to get Becky’s hair to curl beautifully, but I didn’t know the rules, so to ME it was unmanageable. Because I was UNFAMILIAR with straight hair, straight hair was UNMANAGEABLE. Do you see where I’m going with this?
After watching the Dr. Drew special and hearing the term, “manageable” over and over in relation to the term “good hair”, I felt the need to address this. The term “manageability” is relative, just like the term “good.” Using one word to describe another does not further define it. However, the fact that there was no confusion when the definition given for “good hair” was “more manageable” shows that to many people, it’s not relative. In fact to most, it only means one thing; the straighter your hair is, the easier it is to deal with.
This belief has to change. The natural hair movement has made some great strides, but we have yet to deal with our negative language. We still envy other textures and assume that we must describe our kinky hair as “unruly”, “unmanageable” and “too thick”. Not the case. Yes, when I first went natural, my hair was VERY unmanageable. But that was MY fault, NOT my hair’s. Though my hair has gotten no closer to straight, I can now manage it very well. Give me a straight-haired person though, and it’s Becky all over again. Even curly hair is somewhat of a mystery to me.
My point is this: Learn your hair and its limitations. Learn its strengths and build on those. More importantly, know that EVERY texture has its limitations. Everyone has to have SOME kind of daily routine and EVERYONE has to ward off unmanageability. In the video below I talk (or rant, rather) about some the true roots of our beliefs, these terms and what needs to change. I think that Dr. Drew has started a good thing, and I hope that other talk shows do the same.
Candace currently lives in Chicago, IL, where she manages www.kissmycurls.com with her sister, Janna, who resides in Huntsville, AL. Started three years ago, www.kissmycurls.com strives to encapsulate the fire, ferocity, and uniqueness that is natural Black beauty, and works to empower every reader through tweets, pics, posts, and random blog blurts. 🙂 Follow Kiss My Curls on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/