I remember the pain that preceded the pleasure of having long, beautiful locks when I was an adolescent. I may have been pouting when my mom told me to “grease my scalp” and “tie up” my hair at night, but you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t pretty when I was whipping my hair back and forth as I walked into my 6th grade classroom the next morning. The hours and tears spent in what at times seemed like Hell’s kitchen bracing myself as my mom removed the hot comb from the stove’s flames all seemed worth it when the other girls in class told me that my hair was so pretty and being able to confidently remark that it was all mine.
I wouldn’t say that my mother highly regarded long natural hair, but every time I walk into her house with a crown of freshly purchased bohemian curls she gives me the side-eye before commenting how “nice” my hair looks. I’ll never forget the time my sister went from brunette bob to a short Monica-esque crop with burgundy highlights. I thought the look was cute for her, but my mom was too busy lamenting over the lost length to even notice.
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