I meant to relay this incident a few weeks ago, but I sorta forgot about it.
When I stopped in Albany on the trip I took last month, I was with my boyfriend (aka Mr. Smooth) and his family. He spent part of his childhood up there, and we stopped to visit family and friends. I met a woman with shoulder length locks who inquired about the twists I had. You like your hair in twists I'm sure, she said. I bet they are easy to maintain. I told her that they were. From there, she catapulted into her hair story, about how she always had her hair natural but got the Dominican Blowouts and when she moved she couldn't get them done anymore one so she relaxed. Then her hair broke off but she really didn't know what else to do so she continued. Finally she got locks because she was tired of the breakage.
I just didn't know how else to manage my hair, she said with a shrug. It gave me a feeling that she wasn't really happy with her locks either but it was the only way she felt she could deal with her hair. I wanted to tell her how versatile natural hair was, but I didn't know her well and as soon as she finished her story she moved on to other things. What bothered me was how she felt about her hair she projected it on to me in some ways. She assumed because my hair was in twists that was proof that it was the only way it can be managed. At that moment I suddenly wished that I had done something else to my hair.
One thing I love about the natural hair community is how it taught me that many things my hair can do. Remember I grew up with the same mentality, that natural hair was only good for braids and twists. I felt bad for her but there was nothing more I could say. Except continue to support the natural community as a whole, and keep up with this blog. It's a challenge for myself to prove the beauty of natural hair. I think it's also safe to say that it's the same mission SP has taken up. I truly realize the importance of this community.