to cut or to grow: a quick 4c diatribe


when I get home, solange

amongst the stresses of visa delays and flight nightmares lies a very real pre-travel conundrum my 4c comrades must confront: what to do with our hair. it’s almost an abroad rite of passage. between protective styles, beanies, satin hair scarfs, and 12-hour wash days stands my momma telling me to either lock it up or cut it off. and right beside her is me, Dewayne, looking like a Michael Jordan crying meme. BUT THIS AINT FUNNY!!

to quote the legendary audio: “I’m tired of this GRANDPA!!”

and why is it so dang hard to find someone to do my hair out here? you would think in such a bustling city and after all the DEI panels/social justice newsletters, uni’s would at least place an Afro salon within walking distance. like what is going on? but actually, real DEI work looks like having Afro hair salons within walking distance, but I digress…

more seriously though (I was only half joking), between the series of long hair care sessions and figure it out morning hairdo’s, or to quote the iconic Mariah Carey, “Imma do the best I can with what I GAWT! (dj drops diddy’s all about the benjamins),” my hair journey has been a very introspective experience. the lessons learned while maintaining my hair have provided clarity to the line of questions being abroad have led me to ask myself. lessons on breakage have taught me that knots are not battles, but an opportunity to learn the choreography of my curl pattern. and this dance requires a gentle and attentive touch, one that is willing to stay the course and understand. protective styles have taught me that growth comes from letting be. because sometimes, action is not needed. sometimes with knots, the quickest path to harmony is patience and enjoyment.

so enjoy.

however, beyond the transcending lessons in love and care learned along the way, they still need more Black hair braiders/barbers near Oxford and all PWI’S because these self-done parts in my hair aren’t clean nor even! AND I WILL DIE ON THIS HILL!!

ps to pwi’s: it is not very P of y’all