Contributions by other people

Molada Madison, USA

Women of African descent have or can have a love hate relationship with their hair. Two years ago, after wearing my hair "relaxed" since puberty, I decided to cut my hair for a number of reasons. I did not have access to good hairdressers. My funds were low. I saw pictures of other African American models with short natural hair that I liked. I was becoming increasingly ambivalent about straightening what God gave me curly.

When I first cut my hair I went through a spiritual metamorphosis that I was unprepared for. I looked in the mirror and an ancient Egyptian looked back. I was mesmerized by the sudden glow I emitted. I saw my cheekbones, the flare of my nose, and the fullness of my lips in a way I'd never seen before. My husband was so enamored by the new me that his constant admiration and advances made me jealous of me! People told me I looked ten years younger. I felt revived and new.

I examined the intricate pattern of my hair the way it twisted and turned, the way it looped this way here and another way in another location, the way it waved at the nape of my neck. I became so obsessed with the pattern and texture of my hair that my ten year old son made a comment about me "always talking about your hair." However much accepting I was of this new natural me, there were others steeped in the tradition of straightening hair. But getting back to nature has been quite a spiritual connection for me - a road back to myself, a road of self discovery, self respect and confidence.