I’m in hair heaven. I got my hair done last night by my new hairdresser. But seriously, “hairdresser,” doesn’t even begin to describe my new holistic, natural hair care expert. She looked at every single one of my locs, scrubbed my scalp with a homemade sugar-coconut-lemon-grapeseed scrub, and treated my hair and scalp with a delicious smelling balm of essential oils. Basically, she hooked me up. I’m floating in a cloud of geranium and lemon oil. Lovely.
And yes, I know: the story of my hair pales in comparison to issues of real import, such as voter suppression, reproductive justice, and shameful shenanigans in public education – all issues on which I am trying to collect my thoughts. Still, I won’t underestimate the significance of hair. As much as I blast India Arie’s “I Am Not My Hair,” we would not all have responded so strongly to that song if there wasn’t something there. Poems, Essays, Dissertations – tomes weighty and light – have been dedicated to Black women and our hair. The first American woman to be a self-made millionaire was entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker, who built a black hair care empire.
I am not my hair. My hair is not my crowning glory. Yet there is something to be said for a beautiful head of hair. I am more confident when I think my hair looks good. I know that my stress, my diet, my general well-being, are all reflected in my locs. Biblical lore tells us that Samson took his strength from his hair. Maybe it’s just the care and attention that comes from the careful ministrations of having your hair done.
Whatever it is – today, my locs are glossy (kind of) and smooth. My scalp is calm. And I am prepared to take on the world. Thank you, Ahava.