Sunday, April 15, 2007

Imus brings up sensitive hair issues

Not that I'm a ho--can a granny be a ho?--or because my hair is nappy. But I do have hair issues. Very serious hair issues. All my life my hair has been coarse, wavy, and there was too much of it. I had surplus hair. I had hair extensions before hair extensions were invented. To be more precise, I had 200,000 cowlicks. Each hair went its own way.

The ideal in the suburban high school I attended was straight, lanky hair. Parted on the left, usually, although some free spirits may have parted it on the right. Curled up at the ends, if you must. A small bow or barette was permitted. And that was that. I differed greatly from this ideal. It made me feel, as George Gobel used to say, that the world was a tuxedo and I was a pair of brown shoes.

My aunts felt for me and took me to hairdressers, who would clip, crimp and tease my hair into some semblance of the current style. After my next shower, the status quo ante was restored.

I wonder how much money has been spent on making curly hair straight, or straight hair curly? I do know that Madame C J Walker, the first 20th century African American woman to be a millionaire, made her fortune in hair products.

And so--to quote someone else who has been in the news lately--it goes.


That Broad said...

I'm a straight haired mom of an curly haired kid, I have to say, curly hair takes so much more work. I've tried many things over the years to tame her wily locks, some have worked, some have been dreadful.

We finally did a home relaxer kit only a couple of weeks ago. We did this not because we wanted her to have straight hair for aesthetic reasons, but because it is just so much easier for her to manage.

dick stanley said...

My own hair is thinning out so much, it would be fine with me whether it was wavy, curly or straight. Just some more of it. Meanwhile, for curlies, here's a site run by a couple of friends of mine: