SuperBowl and Hair-Locking Milestones

As I write this, I’m infusing garlic with oil to make a garlic bean dip to take to our Super Bowl party tomorrow. The entire city is stoked–we’ve been hearing nothing but Bears hype all week, on the radio, on TV, in the papers. I almost miss working in the office just so I can go into my cubicle and say, “Who’s going to watch the Superbowl next week?”

Wait a sec. I did do that: at Daniel’s playgroup last Wednesday. A bunch of women hanging about watching our kids run around kicking balls. “So LaShawn, are you doing anything for SuperBowl?” “Yep, going to a friend’s house.”

Lotta of milestones. Is it a coincidence that the Superbowl’s taking place during Black History Month? That the two teams’ states exists side by side? It’s wild, but there’s another reason why I’m going to be celebrating tomorrow.

As of tomorrow, my hair will have been locked for a full year.

It was at Superbowl 2006 that I sat down with some twisting gel and olive oil. I had been reading up on locking my hair for several months before that, but it wasn’t until I got the call from my sister-in-law that she was getting married that I seriously considered locking my hair. I always wanted to do it, but had been too chicken to do so. But I wanted to do something special for my SIL, since she wanted me to stand in her wedding. Besides, my father had just started locking his hair. Just out of the blue.

So I thought, “Why not? If he can do it, why can’t I?” Thus, my locking journey began.

It hadn’t been easy. There were days when my head looked like I stuck my finger in an electric socket. I groaned in frustration when, after washing my hair, the locks would unravel and I would spend time twisting them again. One time, I cried because someone said I looked like a “hedgehog”. But I kept at it. I washed and twisted and washed and twisted…

Then one day, one of my twists felt strange. Not exactly harder, but the texture of it had changed. It got coarser. Tighter. Overnight it seems, my twists condensed into coils. I no longer needed to twist them when I washed. I could even use conditioner and they wouldn’t unravel. For the first time in my life, my hair began to grow, and not just longer. My hair grew stronger.

I have a picture of myself when I was twelve, or thirteen. I’m wearing sunglasses and got a smirk on my face. It’s my favorite picture because I wore a weave on the back of my head to make it appear that I had longer permed hair, and it flowed down the back of my neck onto my shoulders.

I’m not quite there yet, but when I shake my head, I can feel my locks scattering about. The back ones are creeping down the back of my neck. It won’t be long before they actually touch my shoulders. Granted, I still got lots of frizz on my locks, but it’s okay. In fact, sometimes, after I was my hair, the frizz turn very curly and it actually looks cute. I look cute. When I pass a mirror nowadays, I can’t help but think, Wow…I look cute! It’s a nice, nice feeling. I don’t have low self-esteem issues or think I look ugly, but, well, let’s just say that nowadays, there’s a different look to me. One that I really, really like.

Well, the last episode of Paranoia Agent is on, and I got garlic oil to tend to. I’m gonna tie up my locked hair, then call it a night. Go Bears!!!

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