Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

My Natural Hair Catharsis

My Hair Crush, Ms. Ross (from

I love hair! And I love when hair looks good. To me, it doesn’t matter if that hairstyle is dyed, weaved, relaxed, permed, natural, or any conglomeration of the aforementioned; if it looks good, I can appreciate it. The thing about a great hairstyle is that it has the power to induce confidence in a woman who may not have had any when she inched bed-head and all toward the shop on a Saturday morning. And to me, one of the most beautiful things a woman can possess is a fierceness fueled by self-confidence.

So when I found myself cowering behind my own hair for yet another year of my life, I began to ask myself some really tough questions. If I truly want to be natural, what’s really holding me back? What am I so afraid of? If I can’t even wear my hair the way I really want to, how can I ever hope to instill in my own daughters a self-love and personal confidence necessary to help them live their best lives? I’ll admit that my real reservations were all superficial or tied to people in my life, people who had either never or hadn’t in a long time paid for anything associated with my hair. Most importantly, though, there was my husband, who had been incredibly supportive of all I did or wanted to do, but when it came to my hair, I think he really liked the long, silky tresses cascading passed my shoulders. Although he never voiced it, I could tell that he was quite apprehensive about the prospect of me ever cutting my hair. He would often play in my hair as we lay in bed or sat next to one another at the movies. I was really worried that he wouldn’t find me attractive.

I can’t wait for my hair to grow out because I LOVE this look! (from

One day, I woke up and realized that if the man I love would leave me based on a hairstyle, he wasn’t worth loving. I cut my hair that morning.  I had to force myself to go out in public with my self-cut look. There was no tapering, trimming, or styling, just a very rough cut. I figured that if I could go out to eat (actually sit down in a restaurant for an hour) with this new hair, I could do anything.

I’d be lying if I said that I have been totally in love with my hair since that day. The truth is that I often look in the mirror and wonder what in the heck to do with the curly mess atop my head. Sometimes, I’ve even longed for the “simplicity” of a relaxer and a ponytail holder. Thankfully, a spray bottle with water, olive oil, and conditioner and a handful of bobby-pins isn’t a very expensive or time-consuming remedy. And the freedom of not being tied to a beautician’s chair for hours every other week keeps me grateful for the moment of spontaneity I had nearly a year ago.

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