It was around midnight; I jumped out of bed remembering that I needed to finish my son’s hair for school pictures. My son, who was six at the time, had his first haircut months before. He now wanted his hair back, so we were in the process of growing it out. So earlier that evening, I started braiding his hair, which was a chore. My children unfortunately inherited the cry-scream-kick tender headed gene from me and I had to take a short break. Well, I fell asleep longer than I expected with only half of his hair done.
I woke up and went to the restroom. Still sleepy, I glanced over at the wastebasket and noticed a whole bunch of hair sticking out of the top. I was trying to figure out who in the heck had all of that straight hair. Then I was thinking, well maybe the kids got into the hair that I saved from my son’s first haircut. I am embarrassed to admit it, but he had very long, RELAXED hair. He was five when he got his hair cut for the first time and like most moms, I saved it. My heart began to drop as I raised my left hand to touch the left side of my head and I realized that it was my own hair. What the heck, my hair was cut!
I told myself it was only a small amount that was cut. So I stood up to brave the sight and OH MY GOD, about a fourth of my hair was gone. I mean really gone, down to the scalp-GONE. It looked as if clippers were used to cut my hair off. The tears began to fill my eyes and I couldn’t breathe. It was as if my life had been taken away.
I felt a presence behind me so I turned around and it seems that out of nowhere there was my daughter, Olivya only three years old at the time. Barely breathing I asked her if she cut my hair. “Yes”, she calmly answered. I asked, “Olivya, how could you?” “Oh, IT WILL GROW BACK MOM,” she replied. I was devastated. I thought she was the devil. How could this perfect, sweet, very smart, very well behaved child that I created, betray me like that?!
I wanted her gone. I called my sister, who lived in the building next door and told her what happened and asked her to come get Olivya. My sister Shalonda is a prankster and she thought that I was trying to prank her. Her exact words were, “Marsha, I am sleepy and if I come over there and your hair is not cut, I am going to be mad.” She walked in the house to me balled up on the sofa crying my eyes out took a look at me and said, “OH MY GOD!” I cried out more and she took my daughter.
I had to get myself together because I had to finish my son’s hair and also be at work in a few hours. Normally I would have taken advantage of him being sleep so that I could continue his hair in peace but I woke him up to ask him why he let Libby cut my hair. Before I could ask him, he glanced at my butchered head and I could tell that he was confused. Then I asked him. He told me that he didn’t know that she has done it. I finished his hair and just cried for hours trying to figure out how I was going to work missing a fourth of my hair in the front of my head of all places.
I had to think fast. It’s crazy because that would have been a good reason for me to call into work, but I never thought of just taking off to deal with this extremely emotional and heartbreaking event. I mean, here it was, the worst day of my life and all I could think of was making to work on time. When I thought that it was a decent enough time, I called my aunt for a wig, went to work then immediately after work I went to the Beauty Supply Store and purchased my own wig. For the first time in my life, I was wearing wigs and I liked it. They were fun and I was cute in them. For a moment I was alleviated from the heartbreak of having my hair taken from me and was introduced to a whole new world. But I couldn’t understand why my head seemed to be throbbing. It was as if something had been raked through my head.
Later that day I got home, looked under the bathroom cabinet and saw three paddle brushes full of hair and of various lengths. It was as if Olivya had cut the hair and used the brushes to sort of vacuum it all up. I guess what was left ended up in the waste basket and I assume that she was vigorously brushing my hair. All of this and I was sleep.
There are many folk that claim that they are not their hair, but for me not having any was a big deal. I did not have a clear understanding of what I was going to do to get my hair back but I knew from that moment that I was never going to use chemicals to straighten my hair ever again. On that day, May 21, 2009, thanks to my three my old, I made the decision to return back to natural. On July 16th, the day before my birthday; I took the clippers and shaved it all off. Returning back to natural has been the most liberating thing that I have ever done and has changed my life forever.