Hair Drama is a non-fiction book that chronicles the journey
that an African American woman has taken in the world of hair through the many
different styles, processes, times, and attitudes toward African American women
and their hair. It is designed to be a
learning tool showing the many challenges and pressures that have been put on
African American women regarding hair.
This book is a true testament of the African American woman’s journey
into the pursuit of the perfect and ideal style and how that, at times, ties
into a woman’s self-esteem. The chapters
in the book take the readers on a walk through the past, present, and future of
hair. More specifically, the book provides details on historical figures such
as Madame C.J. Walker and the Bronner Brothers, the hair care industry, hair
care through the decades, spiritual, health, and cultural aspects of hair, the perspectives
of men and women, and the relationship with corporate structures.
After I locked my hair on December 26, 2001, my mission was to tell a
story about my plight in finding myself through my hair, being comfortable in
my skin, loving my distinct African features, and truly loving who God made me
to be. It is my estimation that women of
African descent continually connect hair with self-esteem and self-worth to the
degree that we look at extremes – if our hair is “nappy” or “kinky” then it is
bad and if our hair is “straight” or “loosely curled” then it is good.
Hair Drama is designed to be uplifting, inspiring, empowering,
and a conversation piece for African American women and women in general.
CHAPTER FROM THE BOOK "NO MORE HAIR DRAMA" Chapter 9 The Rebirth of Me
grew my locks long, wore the style for over six years, and I started to
feel weighed down when I exercised and in my day-to-day activities. On
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, I decided to cut my hair. When the
beautician cut my hair, I felt as though a weight was lifted off me. I
felt reborn. There was also a moment of sadness that I felt because I
had long hair for so long that a part of me was missing when I cut my
hair. However, since I am not afraid of trying new things, I was happy
that I took the chance and did it.
After I got home excited
about my new do, I got the look of uncertainty from my family, and at
that point, I started to second-guess my decision and became upset by
their reaction. I asked myself why I was so unnecessarily distraught
over this. After a short period, they were used to it and thought it
was very becoming on me.
I felt a number of emotions after I got
my haircut. As one part of me was reborn, another part of me died as if
I was in a state of mourning. I received many compliments everywhere I
went, and I was told by several people the style suited me. I had to
remember that India Arie reminds us that we are not our hair.
She took a bold stance when she cut her hair completely off in protest
because we put too much emphasis on hairstyle and texture. I understood
the ideology of hair just being hair, and if it is cut, it can grow back
which is no big deal,right? I do not know why I was uncomfortable with
the thought of how other people would receive me with my new style.
The bigger issue was why did I care? I began to realize that I still
have a slight problem with being concerned about what people think.
Nevertheless, I was happy about the change.
As I looked at
myself again, I realized why I made the change. I recreated myself into
something new and fresh. The new style gave me some pizzazz. Truly,
it was a rebirth. Why was I upset? It is not as bad as I made it out to
be, and my ill feelings were not based upon what I thought about myself
but about what others perceived me to be. That is where I made my
mistake. The style was not a mistake but my concern about what people
thought of me was. We must realize that if we do not love ourselves,
then who will. It is only hair, and I had to realize in this new
transition that I am NOT my hair. There is so much more to me than what
you see on the outside. I thank God for the realization of who I am on