Yes, this post is about edges.
Yesterday, on Mother’s Day, my beautiful aunt with long, flowing Brazilian weave and sparkling white veneers pulled me into a Black hair shop in the neighborhood. She thought she was being kind by buying me a small, round tub of Edge Control gel.
“You don’t really know how to do hair,” she exclaimed out of the goodness of her heart, for she really thought she was saving me from the savagery of my own coils. “This will help give you a sleek look.”
I took the tub, thanked her and examined her own flawless “edges”. Admittedly, she looked really good. She had a good career and worked side by side with prominent men and women in their dark suits, and high heels. Having untamed edges, like mine, would be so out of the question as to be laughable.
But I thought about it more as I tucked the little tub away at the bottom of a drawer. I know I wouldn’t use it, and I’d get ridiculed for having ” unkempt ” hair. Yes, my edges are undefined. I do not straighten my hair, why do I need to have sleek edges? Why is the quest for defined S-curl pattern hair such an obsession? What is wrong with our natural, unmanipulated hair? Oh, it looks non-European. It looks African.
We cannot fool ourselves into thinking we are liberated if we continue to internalize racism and these self-hating thoughts that perpetuate the Black community. We spend hundreds of dollars on “natural hair” products, manipulating our hair to look “naturally” less African, but we need to examine our motives. Are we trying to revive our African roots or just buy into another fad?