Hair Paranoia: Oprah Winfrey and the Rest of Us

The above image I “stole” from the Huffington Post. I don’t know who the photographer is. Sorry.

Wow! Imagine one of the only topic a twit(s) on Twitter could think of was to tell Oprah that her weave looks nice. She promptly had to tell the entire world that the so-called-weave was actually her own hair. Her hair is awesome. I nod my head in respect, and wonder: why do we seek to tame our hair when it doesn’t need it?

These are the times we live in. Everyone (okay, for the few that are thinking about it) believes black women, for the most part are bald, or close to it. If we happen to have a substantial amount of hair (take your pick: past the shoulder and thick, or between shoulder blades and blunt cut), then the hair on our heads actually belongs to someone else. It was not something due to nature, nurture or genes.

I’m not surprised that a woman, who is a billionaire, would have (a lot of) hair on her head. It makes sense to me. She can afford to have every single strand looked after. If she was bald, it would, in my opinion, have to be due to disease, or incompetence. I don’t ascribe a lack of hair on some black women due to being black. I know in my own past I simply did not have a clue of how to take care of it. Trial and error can take a lifetime.

I have to admit that for a natural hair Nazi (said tongue in cheek), aside from a quick glance at a person’s head, I don’t think or care whether the hair is real, weave, wig, glued in, relaxed, not relaxed, permed – you name it. People, especially these days, are preoccupied with other concerns, and they on average, wear horrible hairstyles. Most people, I suspect, simply don’t care either.

There are, however, exceptions.

My Hair Paranoia

I am afraid to wear my hair loose, blown out, or flat ironed in public. In the past, black women have come up to me to touch my hair and offer commentary on it. As a black person interacting with other blacks, I’ve always felt that we have the truly unfortunate habit of being too familiar with one another.

Never would I look at someone and speak loudly about their hair, clothes, complexion, weight, or appearance. Yet, this is something that black people love to do. It’s extremely rude, vulgar, low class, disgusting behavior, yet too many are proud of it.

The worse is, not only the loud, and public commentary, but this belief that they can touch at will as well.

Even on days where I think I wont see anyone (black) if I am wearing my hair out, I feel as though all-eyes-are-on-me. I wish it were my imagination. People think you don’t know that they are staring. I used to wake people up from a nap on the trains of NYC just from staring. Trust, eyes have weight.

I admit it: I’m hair paranoid. Rarely do I wear my hair out. The few times I have, there’s this niggling feeling that each and every time I do it, there’s going to be some loud mouthed, overbearing, heavy staring black woman waiting to persecute me. In order to fight this, I’ll have to wear my hair out more often, until the paranoia fades, as well as invest in a fantastic new iPod, and taser. Just kidding about the iPod.

For Example @ The Baltimore Natural Hair Expo

Props to the Organic Root Stimulator folks! Great products from nice and professional people.

I wear my hair braided at the root, with the rest twisted. I twist while it’s damp to moderately wet. I load it with product; I’m very heavy handed. For the time being (my mini personal challenge), I’m not blow drying, or using the flat iron. I sit under my dryer to finish. This results in nice tight, shrunken twists. I also wear a scarf to cover nearly half my head to pull the hair back and off of my shoulders.

So, one of the first things a vendor, who was supposedly selling a product, couldn’t wait to tell me was my hair is short, and that she relaxes her hair! Oh wow! Does that stuff seep into the brain? Does it lower the IQ? I wonder. Mind you now, this product only covers the hair, that’s it. The little, itty, bitty, vendor even went so far as to show me her long, long, long micros! And her scalp! It was as though I was supposed to be impressed with long, long, long, fake hair!

Have we not truly become a crazy group of people?

It’s just hair, and generally speaking, folks need to please keep their stupid, ignorant, and uniformed comments to themselves.

If, and when, I form my black female rap/rock group – we must call ourselves The Insane Hair Posse.