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© Copyright 2018 by Rabih Ahmed

Hair Chronicles

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

 

 

For the semi- permed, fake natural girls
Like me

Who can feel the war between the new growth
And those laid follicles
I love the big afros I see walking around
How beautiful those puffs take up all the space in the room
And demand you to look at them
Hair so beautiful we might not need even glance at your face
Because you are your fro's keeper

Now my bone with this is

I am already tied to my hair
I am addicted to my ability to be "laid" today
Corn rowed tomorrow or bantu knotted next week
To be able to do whatever it is I want with my hair
Without the routine of deep conditioning or long hours of detangling
Frustrating hours with that natural beautiful hair

Now what I find is that my permed hair
Is wanting to cut itself off without my permission
        She feels so insecure
By the volume around her
And she thinks she needs to grab that much attention in the room when she walks in
She needs to be dyed brighter so you wont miss her
She is dying to be a part of the Afro-centric turn of the era
That rebukes the errors of eurocentricity
Those chemicals and all that electricity
Used to burn our hair

But I'm not ready yet
Too many times for Black women
Our hair is tied to our politics
And micro managed to the microscopic level
But childddd, when I slap that cream
And I leave the Dominican salon
That hang time be swinging from left to right

Arie said I am not my hair
Yet my hair is mine
And should be a representation of me
You see
The war between my natural new growth and my permed hair
Speaks to the stages of my growth
I no longer am cool and smooth around the edges like that permed hair
I am becoming rigid and rebellious
I no longer give a damn about who it is
If you dont love me then the coils in my new growth will escort you out
And gracefully slide you down the permed hair

And show you what dismissal is like
I refuse to be my hair
Be hang time
Or be a hidden under a afro
Yes I know
This is how our ancestors wore their hair
But my people were raped so many times
I must have 3 different curls patterns
3C- "Ohh yes! Your curls are gonna be lit"
4A-"Your curls are nice"
Till you reach the kitchen and you hear

"ohh your curls are gonna be tight"- 4C

 

Pay attention to the stratification of our hair

And the distinct gratification of the few

So if my curls dont show you how many times
We were raped
Then I know

They will ever grab the attention in the room
Nor be dyed a color you won't miss
 Be a full member of this Afrocentric era

For now I have no category
But the semi- permed, fake natural girl
Who's mind will not have a string tied to her scalp
Who's face will be clearly seen passed the bantu knotted curls

or whatever may have you
Im just on my own hair journey 

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