Black Hair Matters

Forgive me. I’ve tried writing three different blogs about racial inequalities, Antifa, or Black Lives Matter, and I've deleted every one. I wanted to give you a blog that will right all the wrongs in the world. I want to give you a blog that will turn this country down the path of peace and unity. I want to give you a blog that would give everyone in the entire world unicorns that fart rainbows and ice cream. Rather than use my social media platform of 136.7 followers to preach the virtues of understanding, respect, and making good life choices, I will do what I do best and give you (and me) a little break from the doom and gloom to bring you some much needed levity and laughter.

While you’ve been watching the news from the media outlet of your choice reaffirming whatever you believe about what’s going on in the world, I’ve been studying the grey hairs of “experience” emerging from my scalp during my 3 month, involuntary boycott of hair salons during the Covid-19 quarantines. And it’s troubling, I’ll admit.

As I stare in the mirror, reflecting on what a great year April of 2020 was, I remember how cool it was for me to grow boobs at 10, which enabled me to buy liquor without a fake ID at 15. I remember, not as fondly, how my hair started turning grey at 25 so I could start spending a fortune on dying it at 30. I justified dying my hair black by saying I was only going to dye my hair black until they came out with something darker. Wouldn’t you know, that never happened…the “coming out with something darker than black” part. Over the years, I would try mixing different colors with my black hair, like pink streaks which made me look like a “cherry mash” milkshake. One time I added teal for that “black and blue” look. One time I went plum crazy and dyed my whole head a dark eggplant color…only to go back to black once the color faded.

My mother died her hair black until her 60’s, which totally makes my predisposition towards dyed hair a genetic condition. Black hair has kept me looking Italian and Middle Eastern much longer than those other silly hair colors like blond or red. In fact, sometimes black hair has made me look so Italian and Middle Eastern that I’ve barely had time to notice the bald spot emerging from the center of the back of my head. Unfortunately, having black hair has cost me a fortune in wax, because goodness knows I don’t want those stray hairs around my eyebrows to meet in the middle and give me that cereal killer appearance. Although the thought of having my upper lip and chin hairs get so long that I can use them to comb-over that bald spot is starting to become a possibility. One hairstylist suggested I try Rogaine or wearing wigs to cover that bald spot. Why spend all that money when you can just get a new hair stylist?

Now, 3 months without a hair appointment, and I’m seeing the real “me” hair come in for the first time in 25 years. It’s Rolling Stones painted black and 50 Shades of Grey. It’s Morton salt and McCormick pepper. If you bury your head in my scalp, it’s like petting a zebra at Busch Gardens. My hair is streaky, freaky, and geeky, and I kind of like it. Only a year ago, if I saw one grey hair emerge above the black fray I was on the phone with my stylist begging for the first appointment, bringing the required amount of crullers and orange juice, or crullers, orange juice and vodka, depending on the time of the appointment. My first appointment since Covid is Sunday, and I’m still bringing alcohol…wipes. I'll be wearing a mask which will make eating that cruller a bit more difficult. I don’t know if I’m going in for a color and cut, or just a cut. I know with men, grey hair means you can charge more for consulting, at least that’s what my ex-husband told me. With women, if grey hair still means you’re still going to make less money than men only now it's going to be harder to find a job...then I've just realized I'm going to get a cut and color, because black hair, matters.

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