I Am NOT My Hair

For my whole life I have always measured my beauty on my hair. When I was a child I wanted long, straight, beautiful "white" hair- which is a tall order considering I have the nappiest, kinkiest hair by nature. So the better part of my childhood was spent in a salon chair, with relaxer in my hair. Once, when I was 13, my mother did an at home relaxing treatment to my hair, and even though it was burning to high heaven- the sign that it's time to wash it out- I just HAD to finishing watching an episode of Frasier; the result, hair- my hair- falling out from the roots and running down the drain. When all was said and done, I was bald 4 inches deep from my hairline. It took years before I could bring myself to watch an episode of Frasier.

And then there was my braid phase, and although braids are easy for day to day living- literally wash and wear- having to sit in a salon chair for 8 hours while synthetic hair is fastened to my head and the resulting migraine, is not for the faint of heart; neither is the $350 price tag.

After years of braids, I had the loveliest afro ever; it was big and beautiful. But because the hair gods love to tease me, the beautiful 'fro did not last long. Somewhere along the line, my hair started to break, and my once beautiful afro became a broken, tangles mess; and when the 'fro was gone, so was my confidence. I realize how foolish it is to allow something as simple as hair to dictate how I feel about myself, but since I was young I have always craved "good hair"; and taken drastic measures to achieve it- why else would I put relaxer ie. lye in my hair.?

While I was in Montreal recently, my friends were badgering me to shave one side of my head, and I flatly refused; the thought running through my mind being " what would I be without my hair?" And that thought stayed with me for weeks. Why do I feel the need to be defined by hair? I am writer, photographer, dj, cook, friend and daughter; I am creative, witty, stylish and happy. None of which are measured by the strands of waste sprouting from my head.

I am Bianca; I am not my hair.

I know this because I cut it all off!!

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And I feel great:)

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