Sunday, December 24, 2006


Someone posted the following survey on a message board. I deleted the demographic questions.
See my responses below. Feel free to respond as well.

Marketing Survey for Natural Hair The purpose of this survey instrument is to find the attitudes generated by African-Americans between the ages of 19-40. For the purpose of this instrument “natural” hairstyles are as follows locs, afros – all varieties, corn rolls, bald, and very low cut hair (women only). We know you value your time and we would like to thank you in advanced for your participation in filling out this survey. Please take a moment and fill out this brief survey. Thank you.

4) Do you like “natural” hair as defined above?
A. Yes
B. No
C. No, and I never would
D. Like it? I have it now

5) Would you wear a “natural” hairstyle as defined above?
A. Yes
B. No

6) Would you be in a relationship with a person that has a “natural” hairstyle?
A. Yes
B. No
C. Maybe

7) Do you think that “natural” hair is appropriate in the professional world?
A. Yes
B. No

8) If you were going to wear a “natural” hairstyle, which would you choose?
A. Afro
B. Locs
C. Corn rolls
D. Bald
E. Short / Fade (women choose)
F. I would not wear any “natural” hairstyle
Twists (not on original survey)

9) Fill in the blank. “Natural” hairstyles are__________.
A. Sexy
B. Professional
C. Crazy (sometimes)
D. Normal
E. A no no in the modern world
F. No thought

10) Fill in the blank. People who wear “natural” hairstyles are________.
A. Lazy
B. Free thinkers
C. Anti establishment
D. Trendy
E. Normal
F. No thought

11) True or false. “Natural” hairstyles are more acceptable for women.
A. True
B. False

12) True or false. “Natural” hair looks better on men.
A. True
B. False

13) Fill in the blank. Whites in Corporate America find “natural” hairstyles______.
A. Scary
B. Offensive
C. Acceptable
D. Normal
E. Unconcerned

14) True or false. “Natural” hairstyles are fine for academics, artist, and entertainers, but not for business professional.
A. True
B. False

15) True or false. “Natural” hairstyles are fine in all aspects in today’s world.
A. True
B. False

Black women and Their Hair - Back in the Day

My Hair Story

I wrote about the other "n-word" sometime ago and now I'm finally getting back to my story. In the beginning, I had no hair. My mother would pull the few strands that I had to the center of my head and secure them with a bowrette. As I grew, my hair grew. She really didn't know how to take care of my hair, but she tried her best. My cousin would do my hair for special occassions. She was a kitchen-tician until she opened her own salon years later. I still remember Saturday mornings in her kitchen. I was small enough to lie down on the countertop for her to wash my hair in the sink. Then, she'd sit me between her legs in front of the stove and press my hair. She always had to redo the edges because the naps were rebellious. Later, I was introduced to creamy crack and I faithfully went back for a hit every 4-6 weeks for almost 20 years.

My hair was fairly healthy until I went to college. I couldn't afford to go to a salon, so my friends and I did each other's hair. I experienced overprocessing and a lot of breakage that had to be "fixed", ie. cut, everytime I went home for a break. I started considering "going natural" in late 2002. I just wanted to do something different with my hair, but I wasn't completely sure at the time. My cousin gave me my last relaxer that December while home for Christmas break. By the time my birthday rolled around (in late January), it was time for me to do it again, but I decided against it. Instead, I alternated between straw sets, roller sets, and braid-outs for a couple of months. It was hard to manage the battling textures, but I did not want to cut my hair. I've never wanted short hair for myself. I knew my friend's roommate did kinky twists very well, so I asked her if she would do my hair. I wore my hair in those twists from March to December. Each time that I took my hair down, I cut a little bit more of the permed ends. I actually cut several inches once and told myself that I was either going to stick to the natural thing or I was going to have a short permed-style. Either way, my hair was going to be totally different from anything I'd ever done before.

In December 2003, I went home for Christmas break and my friend cut the remaining straight pieces. I looked in the mirror and wasn't pleased. I almost regretted what I had done. I didn't know what to do with my hair. She tried to show me how to do comb coils, but that seemed like it would take forever. I slept on it and wore a shrunken fro the next day. Later, I sat in the mirror and decided to try to twist my hair. I liked what I saw when I finished. I left for Little Rock that afternoon to see a friend before anyone in my family saw me. When I went back home, my mother looked at me and said, "Well... you're still cute. At least you don't look like _____(a guy we know with the most unmaintained looking hair ever)." My grand debut was that weekend when we had a big party for my aunt's 80th birthday. A lot of people were shocked, but some of them complimented me still.

I am a recovering permie. I have been relaxer-free for 4 years. I have experimented with different products and styles and I'm still learning about my hair. Sometimes, I get ugly stares and nasty comments, but I don't let it get to me. I am more confident about my hair and my natural beauty thanks to the help of several individuals and websites, like and others. Now, I am able to help other people who are transitioning or contemplating discovering their own natural beauty.

My hair is nappy and I love it.

Well, I really don't care 'bout a whole lot of nothin'
'cept greasin' my scalp,
give my kinks lots of lovin'
Cause I am nappy baby, nappy as can be.

I move right along,
kinks never gone.
I'm just nappy baby.

Love & Nappiness: "A Celebration of Nappy Hair"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? According to the owl, it only takes 3. How many glasses does it take to get to the bottom of a wine bottle? I guess I'll find out tonight because I can't get the cork back in and I don't want to waste the wine. I didn't even buy it, but I still don't want to let it go to waste. That's alcohol abuse.

Tonight, while I was cooking, I thought about the last big event I attended in college. It was called, "The Sip" - a huge party where everyone dressed up and looked classy for the first half of the evening, until the champagne corks were popped. After everyone started drinking, it was a free-for-all. Tim was the president of the frat at that time and I sat at his table. I was alone. I had a boyfriend, but he wasn't there. He let me go to an event looking extra sexy surrounded by fine men in suits, and he wasn't there. I wanted him there. I had a good time, but I wanted him there still. That night I saw my first college crush. He graduated a couple of years before, but he was in town that weekend and decided to come to the party. I went out in the hall for a break during the dancing and he was there and we started talking. I was shocked that he still remembered me. He told me he always liked me. I remember the day I told my friends about this fine man who sat next to me in class my freshman year. He had a lot of hair at the time and I called him Maxwell. He told me he always liked me. It felt so surreal. He always liked me. I was a little tipsy, but I was very coherent. I knew what was happening. He always liked me and I liked him too. It was weird that I saw him that night when I wanted my boyfriend to be there with me. I don't believe in coincidences. That night was a defining moment for me. It helped confirm some things. I saw him again a year later when I went back for graduation.

I don't know what made me think of that, but I had a good time at that party. That horrible summer was bookended by that night and my departure to New York.

I want a scalp massage. It doesn't feel the same when I do it. I went to a few male hairstylists before, and the best part of the experience was when they washed my hair. I don't want to pay anyone to do it now. I think Trent washed my hair before, but I'm not sure. I remember washing his hair, but I can't remember if he did mine. He always took care of me. He still does when he's available.

I don't know if I really had a point in writing this tonight. I'm on my third glass, and I'm finding it hard to keep my head up. It's resting on my shoulder as I type. I think there's enough for half a glass left in the bottle, but I can't drink it. I'm retyping every other word as it is. I'm going to sleep soundly tonight.

It takes 3.5 glasses to get to the bottom of a wine bottle.

I had 2 songs in my head today. One of them was Bonie Raitt's song that is below. I'll choose the other.

I am not forgotten.
I am not forgotten.
I am not forgotten.
God knows my name.
He knows my name.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Pursuit of HappYness

Yesterday, I saw the movie about Chris Gardner as portrayed by Will Smith. During his narration, he mentioned the Declaration of Independence and how Thomas Jefferson included the phrase, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Happiness is not guaranteed, but we, as humans, are always seeking (pursuing, chasing) it. We try to obtain happiness by making more money, using drugs, seeking fame, being promiscuous, and so much more. All we really want is to be loved and to be happy.

When I grow up I want to be happy. I want to be loved. I want to be a wife. I want to be a mother. I want to be a productive member of society. I want to be a blessing to others. I want to make a positive impact on everyone I meet. I want to be used by God so that other people see him in me and they are drawn to him.

The past few months have been challenging for me, and I'm still growing. I'm expecting great things from myself, and I will not be disappointed. Last week, I came across a scripture that really stood out to me. I reread it and then looked at the chapter and verse so I could go back to it later. It turns out that it was the same numbers as my birthday and it's also the book with my name. I sat there in amazement thinking about how I really needed that message and God directed me to it at the right time.

"...Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women." Luke 1:28

Last week, I thought about a poem I learned way back in 3rd grade, called "Don't Quit". I still remember most of it. I will break my tradition and end with a poem instead of a song tonight.

When things go wrong
as they sometimes will
When the road you're trudging
seems all uphill
When the funds are low,
and the debts are high
When you want to smile,
but you have to sigh
When cares are pressing down a bit
rest if you must,
but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns
as every one of us sometimes learns.
Many a failure it turns about,
when he might have won had he stuck it out
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You might succeed with another blow.

(I forgot this part)
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
it's when things seem worse that you must not quit.