Hump Day: Me and My Weave

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Hump Day: Me and My Weave

Spring was rearing its ugly head. I was not prepared. Winter’s doughy paws had deftly jacked me up a pants size (or two). My skin’s hue was that of old skim milk, my hair was thin and crispy, and my self-esteem was not high.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Why was my hair thin and crispy? I'll tell you why. One night a few years back, I was bartending behind a candlelit bar. Candlelight does a lot for people because, as we all know, it casts a very specific glow on those who bathe in its glory. It’s a glow that screams, “I’m good-looking!” when, in fact, the party in question may be the farthest thing from it. Candlelight also relaxes people and makes them feel more amorous. It’s responsible for around ninety percent of the times I’ve been asked out. Thanks to candlelight, I’ve been made love to on numerous occasions.

Now, let’s consider one of its less favorable qualities. Candlelight lights things on fire. Flower arrangements, jugs of assorted nuts (I’ve seen this happen), promotional fliers, bar napkins, and hair…ponytails, to be exact. It was just another frigid night at my stank-ass dive, and the place was empty save for one garrulous Welshman and his taupe fedora. I was grouchily stocking beer as I leaned over one of the coolers, sweating like a man-beast through my V-neck t-shirt when, all of a sudden, the Welshman leapt across the bar and started beating me on the head as if it was a bongo, and it was time for his solo in a lesbian drumming circle. Whipping my face up from the cooler, I shouted, “What the fuck is your problem?!” Then I smelled it. Burnt hair. I looked around and saw little needles of finely-dyed mane floating to the ground like confetti.

“Your head was on fire,” he explained calmly. “I was trying to put the fire out.” My hand jerked to the back of my head. That’s when I felt it: the stump. A stumpy little ponytail-shrub spurted angrily from the crown of my head; whereas, only seconds before, a long spool of silky radiance had dwelled in its place.

“When you bent down, your ponytail fell into the candle, and it burnt right up!”

Comments [4]

Joanne Robertson's picture


I was just watching Chris Rock on Oprah talking about his new movie about hair.

Oprah kept saying "It's something white women don't understand" ... I kept yelling (in my head) at the tv "Um, yes I do Oprah"!!

Ok, maybe not culturally .... but as a naturally curly haired person I have the same drama.  The hair product, the straightening, the GHD's ... not wanting to get it wet in a public place, as I can't just let it dry & "run a brush through it".

Oh yeah, and then there's the people who've said to me "Brush your hair" Shock

Apparently alot of people equate non-dead straight hair, with messy hair!

Robin Rigby's picture

I've heard about this film

I've heard about this film and it's not just about black women wanting straight hair, it's about black women thinking that black hair isn't beautiful.  As I understand it, the film looks at how beauty is measured by many black women by how much they can make their hair look like white hair.  

As to women with curly hair wanting theirs to be straight and women with straight hair wanting curls- It took me a while to be wholly comfortable with the fact that not only is my hair ruler straight, it's also very fine, very thick, grows forward, won't hold a style and I have 2, possibly 3, cowlicks.  I've embraced it and just have my hairdresser cut it to go with what it wants to do.  I would love to see more women embrace their natural beauty and that includes embracing their natural hair. 

Fastgurrrl's picture

That’s when I felt it: the stump.

OMG, I almost spit out my almond butter!

Not2Taem's picture

Weaving a spell?  

Weaving a spell?   Smile