“DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR. WHEN IT’S THE FEELINGS I WEAR.” SOLANGE
As you would have read in my first blog post (if you’re doing ? click here), I am currently transitioning. Transitioning in the Black hair community means transitioning our hair back to it’s natural state. For me it’s transitioning from relaxed hair, a chemical straightening process done every 4-6 weeks – I first had my hair relaxed when I was 18.
As I also transition from Foundations to Flights (job wise) and a recent unpleasant experience of my best friend, it’s made me think a lot harder about how I should “wear” my hair.
Working for a large beauty company, you would think that diverse beauty looks (make-up & hair as prime examples) were widely accepted/unsurprising. However, the ? ? ? looks on a Monday after I had a weave install/faux locs/Ghana braids/regrowth relaxed over the weekend showed differently (in comparison to counterparts who had their roots done…)
With Winter approaching the need to protect my hair is vital to it’s health, so I’ve decided to invest in my first wig. And I’m nervous AF. Not just because I’ve seen (as I’m sure others have) bad wigs, but partly because my director has only seen me once or twice.
1. On my assessment day where I had Ghana braids that were down to my bum but I wrapped into a bun #lookprofessional
2. My LinkedIn picture, with my boob-length Peruvian bodywave weave *two snaps*
So next year when I want to let my hair down after #WinterWig season: Christmas parties, my birthday (4th Jan, make a note), dates with Winter bae/Jesus keeps me warm (**delete as appropriate Roch) – do I need to prepare myself, or my team/manager? Seriously? Those of you who are more experienced with wig life or wearing your natural hair in the work place or braids/twists [comment below] – how do you educate the curious? The clueless? The ignorant?
A Senior male European Director had questions about my faux locs, so I explained the process and sent him a YT vid. One of my first managers, a Polish lady, was so complimentary of my weave and had a genuine interest, so I did the same (we watched the vid together actually). On the other side, a British team member said [about my weave] I should wear my hair down more often ?.
|My Hair Down||My (shortest) weave install:|
Tbf even comparing my own hair length to my shortest weave install, a few inches are neither here nor there… But I shouldn’t feel exasperated to explain my different hairstyles, when I understand or have educated myself on certain beauty regimes that don’t necessarily apply to me such as dying your roots or tanning. Yes, these may be more simple/easier to understand than the process of getting a weave, but seeing the below when you’re explaining a sew in for the nth time can be draining…
But what sometimes, and unfortunately, seems to go in hand with this lesson (and working in L&D I understand people learn in different ways) is the desire to randomly touch my hair. Own or bought – bish no. Class dismissed.
At work my Ghana braids, due to their “YASS” length, got the most attention and on two occasions people touched/stroked them without my permission which freaked me out. As shared with my friend who went through something similar with her natural hair – it’s an invasion of personal space, it’s rude and it’s almost daring us to be the angry Black woman which we have every right to be in situations like this.
Now I did have close work friends ask to touch the bottom of my Ghana braids and I said yes and I’m well aware MANY people would have
said hell no politely refused such a suggestion. But I didn’t to them and I can’t explain why… that’s on me.
So for future reference, the rule and not the exception is I’ll be wearing my hair how I like, confidently and as MC Hammer said: U can’t touch this.
RochRia (feat. Tamar Braxton)