Self-Care Through Hair Care
I want to take you back. Way back for some and maybe just a little back for others. Back to a time when our mothers would traverse the kinks, coils and curls of our hair. A time when you might have been sitting in the kitchen for a couple of hours and black rubber bands and baubles were nearby. I remember it fondly as a time I got to spend with my mom. She’d talk, I’d listen. I’d talk, she’d listen. I still remember the last time my mom did my hair. I was home from college and had been natural for maybe a year. She smiled at me as I was diligently twisting my hair because, at that time, I lived for my twist out. She asked if she could finish my twists and I was happy to oblige. There was a little more silence as she focused on moving her arthritic fingers through my thick roots but there was still talking and still listening. When she finished I gingerly touched the softs twists and gave her a big kiss to thank her.
I recount this story because I want all of us to take a moment to reflect on those times we got to spend with our mothers, our sisters, our grandmothers, our aunts and all the loved ones who loved to take care of us and our hair. Often, natural hair is thought of as inconvenient, unmanageable. But as I begin to start to take care of my own daughter’s hair (the little she has), it has given me a greater appreciation of the hair experience. Those precious few moments in which I focus on just her, is time that I love and I feel so connected to her. That’s how our loved ones viewed us and it’s how we should view ourselves as we take care of our own hair. In that time of focus, we should love and connect with ourselves.
So, the next time you have a hair session, I want you to allow yourself to use that moment to self-care. Treat your hair and yourself with the same affections of the person who used to take care of your hair. Take your time to feel and enjoy the beauty you’ve embraced. And think about how you are the sum of all those who loved you and all those who love you today.
No matter how invisible the world is trying to make us feel, know that by taking care of our hair and of ourselves, we are displaying an incredible act of resistance and defiance. We do our hair because we care about how we present ourselves to the world. We care about this because we DO matter.
Bee Ramsey is the owner of Puff Apothecary, a natural hair nook located in BRIM every Wednesday from 5-8 pm. Puff Apothecary exclusively sells natural hair care products from Black owned businesses. Her column Puff Press, will appear weekly every Tuesday and will focus on natural hair advice, tips, recipes and more. Bee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.