Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why Can't You Just Comb Your Hair Faster?

So, I just thought I would share a funny conversation that happened between me and my mom a few days ago. I had just got out of the shower and water was leaking into our kitchen from the bathroom and my mother was slightly irritated.  She wasn't mad exactly, but she wasn't pleased either.  After I got dressed, I started cleaning the water up off of the floor and my mother said I needed to start taking shorter showers.  I told her all I did was detangle my hair and I moved as quickly as I could.  Her response was, "Well you'll just have to move faster."

Normally when my mother makes comments about how long it takes me to do my hair, I just shrug them off and keep it moving.  But I'll admit, I was slightly annoyed too.  There was no anger, but I was tired of always being told how I should handle my hair by people who's hair is nothing like mine.  No, my mother isn't relaxed, but she only wears her hair flat ironed, so she never deals with her true texture.  Neither does she have a length goal for her hair.  So rough handling and quick detangling sessions don't phase her because she's happy with her hair's current length.  I (somewhat) jokingly responded to her, "Well, why don't you start wearing your hair in it's natural texture and tell me how fast you can get through combing your hair."

But of course, moms know everything and they can't be told anything different.  She responded, "I have worn my hair natural.  I used to wear it short and curly.  I didn't take forever to comb my hair."

I retorted, "But my hair is longer than yours was when you wore it natural.  The more length there is, the longer detangling is going to take."

"Not necessarily."

Hearing that, I stopped focusing on the water I was cleaning and just stopped and looked at her for a second.  What was she talking about?  Her come back didn't make any sense.  And I tried to make that clear when I said, "Mommy. That doesn't make any sense.  Even if a person's hair is stick straight, if it comes down to their waist, it's going to take them a longer time to detangle their hair than someone with four inches of curly hair."

Unmoved, my mother again said, "No, not necessarily.  It just depends on how fast you go."

At that point I just decided to let the debate go and just said, "Okay, Mommy."

But that little exchange made me realize that my mother will probably never understand why I handle my hair the way I do.  I don't know if it's just that she doesn't understand that speedy detangling sessions result in broken hair, which retards hair growth, which is something I need if I'm going to grow my hair to my waist, or if she just doesn't care.  Honestly, it's probably some combination of the two.  Even though she tries to be as supportive of my natural hair journey as she can, I think my mother is skeptical about me reaching my goal length.  And if she doesn't believe it's possible, all the steps I take to make sure I'm not breaking my hair off just as fast as I'm growing it probably don't make much sense to her.

If she had it her way, I would just comb my hair as fast as she does, with no regard for the tangles I'm ripping through, and therefor, the strands I'm breaking.  But, luckily for me, she's not in charge of my hair care.  I am.  And as long as I'm in full  possession of my faculties, I'll treat my hair the way it deserves to be treated.  Not as a difficult burden that needs brute force and speed to be tamed, but as a delicate and beautiful creation of nature that must be handled with TLC.

So, in answer to her unstated question, no. I can't just comb my hair faster.  Why can't you comb your hair slower?


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