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Hair Life Lessons

By Jerjuanna Cecille

It’s interesting I have or can remember a lot of my early childhood life but I always forget where I put my keys or debit card. My nature hair journey starts when I was little. My earliest hair memory is crazy! I had the braids with the beads on the end of them ,like Venus and Serena did back in the day. A whole lot of them too, I mean every time I turned my head I hit myself. You could hear me coming minutes before I even got there! Anyways, me and my brother were fighting over this dumb power ranger doll that he had and I wanted. I mean fighting Fighting! The doll had a metal hard head and soft body and it was in between us as we were fighting. So once my mother broke up the fight all I saw was the shock on her face and where her eyes gazed on the floor. As I looked back to the floor there was, one of my braids with the breads still on them laying on the floor. My brother had pulled a whole braid from my scalp! It was that day that I realize how serious hair was!

My hair has always been full and thick and long and pretty! I have worn it in various ways. My mother didn’t like doing my hair because it was so thick, but I can remember looking forward to wash days. When she would prepare the side of the sink for me to lay on, she made it extra soft because I was boogie at a young age. She would even make a neck brace for me. I would climb on counter lay down, she would wash, scratch, rinse, condition and I promise it felt like she was taking all the pain away. We would talk for what seemed like hours and then it would be time to either go get it braided or crocheted or blown dried or hot comb (the devil’s comb). Once she got tired of all that thickness in my hair she turns to the creamy crack (please forgive her).

As years would pass, I would come to learn that my hair was a staple to who I was and how people perceived me. Being a people pleaser by nature this hair of mine so thick, long, and cute became a burden and a curse. If I didn’t get anything done to it people would ask what was wrong or think I was just being lazy. If I did get it done people would give me compliments that I would internalize as fake love and that no one really saw me.

Then 2015 changed everything! I had just gotten out of a really serious and hard hard relationship, I honestly didn’t know who I was or whose I was. I was alone in a new state, city, and school that looked nothing like what I was use to! I had been wanting to cut my hair for a few years before but people kept saying no it’s so pretty it’s so long it’s so thick. It’s who you are! Yet, I was so lost, so down, so broken that the simple fact that people only saw the beauty in my hair but not the brokenness of my heart just broke me even more! I remember walking into the beauty shop and telling the stylist that I wanted to go natural but I just wanted her to cut my ends not all my hair. She replied, “baby you either gone have faith and do this big chop or you gone be stuck in fear and get this perm.” I don't think people knew how big of a deal it was for me to cut my hair.....Hair, that I had been growing all my life (24 years to be exact). Hair that people praised, so thick and cute! I could do just about anything to it, my beauty was in that hair, there was pride in that hair (and not just mine either). But I was so tired of fear and being afraid of what others may so I cut it off! I began to see change was necessary to get clarity and purpose. To experience a depth of a relationship that I had never tried to pursue.

It's been four years since I cut my hair. Some just saw it as a new look, many thought of it as foolish (my family was BIG MAD) some didn't care. Sometimes I really miss my hair!!!! Just like sometimes I miss being in a relationship. The crazy part about this natural hair journey that I'm on is that I learn so much about myself. With my hair it grows so fast yet slow at the same time so I have to be patient with it. I had to learn how to love it at it's low stage... Ugly stage..shedding dead hair stages... And the shrinkage is so real!! Like it's growing but I can only see it when I pull it.

I can apply those same things to myself! I am growing up so fast yet slow at the same time. I have to be patient with myself because where I want to be is not where God needs me to be. And I had (and I'm having) to learn how to love myself at my low stages, high stages, ugly stages, shedding dead (not literally) people stages, the broke stages, and the single stage. And the shrinkage (humbling) is so real!!! I'm growing but I can only see it when I push myself!!

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