I Am My Hair

Imaginehair. The elusive, coveted “good” hair. On some days and for some people, that is my hair. Or was. Or can be. But you should know by now – 

Don’t. Touch. My. Hair. 

For, I am my hair. My hair is a collection of memories twisted together with thread bundled in intricate knot and layers of life’s undulations.

My hair is my identity. Natural, braided, crocheted or straight there is mystery hidden in my hair. My kinks hold secrets. Pain and joy; that is mine to reveal. An extension of my body and my SELF. On my dime and in the style that I choose.

My hair is my crown, a melody in the wind, my hair, Is…

All the embellishments sewn and braided onto my hair have independent integrity. Their meaning amplified into my shine and ‘joyful noise’ when I turn my head.

My hair is not immune to the weather, a flimsy umbrella, or a shower cap. I have to tackle frizz, knots, twist, pin and part, dye the gray out and trim my ends. My neck and aching lower back can attest.

My hair holds memories of being sent to the person who could ‘do my hair’. To tame it, quiet it down. Not unlike, the me in the world that held her tongue and had her hair hot combed until it did not offend so I could be “heard” in business meetings. All to “fit in” and make you feel comfortable.

And yet, you still touch my hair without permission.  What is YOUR reasoning for touching? It seems you are asking – how are we different? My question in return – how are we the same?

With this work, I have created a bridge on which to meet you.

Created during open studio yarn wrapping sessions, I invited the community to wrap and hitch knot thousands of yards of yarn, recycled sari thread, plastic cord, trim, ribbon, sequins, trim and pom-poms onto 100′ of cotton ropes.

More than 100+ participants have already imbued their essence, becoming a part of each rope, as we discussed the trials and tribulations of our gray hair, teal hair, thinning hair, hats, wigs, weaves, braids and locs. Despite these differences, we found a common denominator amongst us all, HAIR.

Please Don’t. Touch. Our. Hair.

But you should know by now …

Don’t. Touch. My. Hair.