Remember the very first time when your mom felt that you had ‘come of age’, and she finally used the hot comb to straighten your natural locks?
This was like exploring brand new territory or completing your initiation into womanhood. That was much different from the days when we draped towels over our head, pretending it was free swinging hair.
With that fresh press, you simply couldn’t pass a shiny surface without checking yourself out; which warranted such comments from mom like, “don’t forget how to act now”, or “stop swinging your head or I’ll put the braids back in!”
I was nine when my mom did my first press and curl. When she showed me the final results – long black tresses that came to the middle of my back – I was in awe. In my mind I was thinking, “now why can’t I have hair like this all the time?”.
Needless to say, those awesome results floated away like dust in the wind. Halfway through the day my hair was back to defying gravity again. It started to frizz during second period, and by third period (I had gym) all bets were off.
It didn’t help my self esteem when a few of my teachers gave me the stank eye and some friends asked, “What happened to your hair?” And no, I didn’t even have hair ties* at the time.
I don’t even think I was skilled enough back then to secure my hair in those little bong-bongs anyway. Seriously, I wish mom had given me some bobby pins* and hair ties*. I recall going into the bathroom and trying to “flatten my hair.”
Looking back, I can remember feeling embarrassed of my hair in its natural state; due to the fact that I was always told my hair was ‘bad’ or ‘nappy,’ or ‘You’re not going anywhere with me with your head looking like ‘that!’ I’m sure we’ve all been there.
What about more recent events in life when maybe your hairstylist suggested you trim ¼ of an inch off your completely dead ends; then you totally freak because it looks as though they took off 5 inches.
It could be because your perspective of measurement is distinctively different when dealing with hair length, or maybe your stylist is just plain scissor happy. Either way, there is definitely a long-lived obsession with long hair. But where did it come from?