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Curly Nikki

On the Couch with SeaMonster

By January 27th, 202122 Comments

On the Couch with SeaMonster

The Day I Became Wild and Wooly

Becoming natural was an organic transition for me. I’ve done it all- – weaved, curled (Jerhi Curl!), braided, wore extensions, and permed. Loved to play in fake or real hair. Loved wigs, and I am glad I did it. I used to have slumber parties where I would do my friends hair until we fell asleep. My number was provided to the emergency hair/braid weave extension list. I was the girl you could call, if you needed emergency help putting in or repairing extensions. We used to sit in the beauty shop for hours just talking about hair. I do not have a license; I was a beauty shop groupie. My friends and I ended up being hair models just because we were there so much. I loved fake hair, fantasy, rainbows in my head, and creativity. I loved beauty and ogling over a stylist creation, loved talking hair, going to the latest hair guru, then sitting there trying to learn new stuff. It kept me out of trouble.

Relaxers never really worked with my hair type. I had to cut off the old relaxer due to over processing almost every time I went to the beauty shop. My hair is hard to relax, by the time it is straight enough to warrant spending money to straighten, it is a bunch of limp noodles on their way to the hair grave. Consequently I never had to work up to a big chop, it just happened every few months. I was okay with this, thought I looked good. Hey, anytime I wanted hair, I could buy it!

Then the recession came. Money was tight. I majored in accounting and became outraged at the black female hair tax. The idea that a company would expect me to come up with an additional two to four hundred dollars a month to be considered professional as my non-kinky coworkers. Or that I was supposed to give up an additional four hours a month to align my hair to another cultures’, just to go to work… ridiculous. So I decided I would only work for companies where that was not required. I refuse to pay to be black! Oops, I think I got off topic.

When the recession came, I quit doing hair, my friends didn’t have money for nice weave, people started doing their own perms. Oh, just to let you know my friends include Jewish, Irish, Italian, Mexican and Middle Eastern fros. Most of them are rocking Brazilian blowouts now. They should call them bazillian because of all the money and time they cost. My best friend in the world is an Italian/Mexican; we went through straight hair envy together. We bonded by complaining about every straight haired skinny model/actress, while we got our hair straightened. We were a secret mop top band.

Then, I started wearing my hair braided, took a rug tool and hooked some cheap plastic hair onto it. Nothing expensive. After a while, I took it down, and had this big Afro, so I wore it to school. People laughed at me, but I kept wearing it. I went on a dating site, started chatting with someone, and when I sent him a picture of my monster fro, he never contacted me again, lol. This was what was growing out of my head, and I felt some affection for it. Furthermore, I had shoulder length hair for the first time in my life.

On the Couch with SeaMonster
This bush became important to me. It was a way of becoming me. It allowed me to ask myself questions. Why don’t people like my hair? Why do they ask me what I am going to do with my hair? Why do they stare at me? Why do strangers come up to me, and laugh? I now became aware of the fact that me, brown and comfortable, eating an ice cream with kinky hair, was a revolution. I could no longer afford to pay for somebody else’s hair. I didn’t have time to deal with perms- why am I straightening my kinky hair so that I can curl it then tease some kink back in it? I met me, and liked me better.

It was different when I was just playing with hair, and having fun. Once I realized, I was inadvertently taking part in self-hate; I was mortified. Move over, because I am not ashamed of me anymore here is my confession. I do not have good hair, I am not mixed, trace my roots straight back to Africa; even my buckteeth are straight off the boat. My brown skin, big eyes, heart shaped lips, and nose could have swam over here never meeting a European along the way. My hair can stand straight up defying gravity; no, I did not cut my hair, it can coil out into the sun or shrink to my scalp at will. Each hair makes an individual decision; there is no collective. It was realizing that what are you mixed with means-only someone other than the despised Mother Africa can take credit for any beauty I displaced, so what is it? I am not an Indian; the only Indian on me was the hair I bought. Realizing that, what are you going to do with your hair means, aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Hide that you are African, and participate in being ashamed of what God made you like the rest of us. What ever I am is what I am.

One day I woke up wild and wooly, hair defying gravity so that it could showcase the rays of the sun. The warm glistening of the sun inflamed my scalp and I… The warmth stimulated my brain to open up a mystery. She allowed me to accept and love everyone, because I have learned to accept me. Each day I am growing into my wildest, shame free-self, redefining my self to who I always knew I was. On that day, I realized that my hair was only half as wild as me. ‘Wild women, we don’t worry…’ The part of me that was hidden from myself is being set free.

It was the whispers, stares, laughs, and taunts that made me natural. It was realizing that waking up in the morning, washing my hair, taking a swim, and going to work is considered a revolution. Since being a revolution is so natural for me, I relish doing it. Being born with kinky hair forced me to deal with being a woman, I started to notice what some of my wavy/straight sisters were putting up with-breast size, weight, figure, and plastic surgery shame. One revolution will cure you from unnecessary battles. Imagine being born a revolution! No need to fight or have a cause, just stay alive, and it is a revolution. Think about that.

22 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    really nice ma shaAllah

  • Anonymous says:

    "It was realizing that what are you mixed with means-only someone other than the despised Mother Africa can take credit for any beauty I displaced…" I love this comment

  • Annabel says:

    Revolutionary post, poignantly written with a lot of character and personality! And can't we talk about that hair, it's gorgeous. Anyone would be a fool not to see that.

  • B. Carter says:

    SeaMonster, eh? lol. Nice Post! Continue telling your story, it's awesome.

  • hairscapades says:

    I love how SeaMoster writes!!! I started reading her posts on the GOC blogs a couple of months ago. She is so whimsical and creative and lyrical in her storytelling!! Great to see her on here!!

    Shelli

  • DrChuck24 says:

    I enjoyed this article….thanks for this!

    www.youtube.com/TinoM24

  • Bianca says:

    Wow! Beautiful!

  • Tonia says:

    Truly fantastic!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    My sentiments exactly.
    Let the church say, "AMEN!"

  • Anonymous says:

    that was such a good post! thank you!

  • Anonymous says:

    This was brilliant and one of the best stories of transition that I have read.

  • Levone says:

    Great read!

  • Anonymous says:

    This spoke volumes, it brought tears of pride to my eyes!!!! I wanted to stand up (at work) and shout, "NOW WHAT!!!!!" Lol (I can be a bit militant at times lol) This post is a fantastic gem of self discovery and I salute you (and all the rest who dare to BE)It is such a blessing to embrace and be all the way true to you…it is a feeling that is almost too prolific for words. Anyway, thank you for this

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't consider playing around with hairstyles (straight, curly or weaves) to be self hatred. Not until you look at your hair in whatever it's current state and think "I wanna be white" or "I wish this wasn't my hair". No one accuses white girls who curl, dye or straighten their hair of self hatred.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love your absolutely true analogy of the question we naturals have all been asked. "What are you going to do with your hair"? Those people are surely asking you to participate in being ashamed of what God made us like they themselves. Love it!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Spoken from the heart!

    "…Hide that you are African, and participate in being ashamed of what God made…"

    Thank you – thank you – thank you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Girl you channeling Pam Grier and Soul Train. Great read.

  • Anonymous says:

    I loved this piece. Thank you so much for it. I love the idea that the very nature of me is a revolution. How empowering!

  • Anonymous says:

    So inspiring and well written. This makes me more proud than i already am for being natural. We have to learn to love not just our hair but ourself in its entirety.

  • Esther says:

    You're beautiful. Amazing piece.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree, one of the most convincing articles i have read as a reason to go natural.

  • Anonymous says:

    So beautifully written!

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