I’ve always been eclectic in terms of changing my hair, even in the pre-natural days. For some reason, people are often surprised when they see me at work out and about.
"You changed your hair!" someone’ll exclaim. Or, "Oh, wow! Your hair is so different!" It’s taken me a while to formulate my proper response so that people learn how to inquire about my hair without me replying in a manner that might make them feel dumb. I don’t want to respond with an "mmhmm" or a "duh."
For instance, my super-coily hair stretches, so when it’s blown out or straightened, it looks a million times longer than it is. When my natural hair pattern is completely defined, my curls are the thickness of cocktail straws and only a few inches long.
My last hairstyle entailed a trim in the back with tiny bantu knots in the back of my hair, and super-defined, stretchy springy coils up top.
"Nice haircut!" some said, or "Oh, when did you cut it?" not knowing that my hair is as multifaceted as my essence. To each, I try to explain how my hair actually works. It’s like a living entity all of its own.
Beyond the understandable assumptions (many non-blacks are totally unfamiliar with black hair), it’s still surprising to me that some are so wowed by my differing styles from one week or month to the next.
That’s also part of the reason why I switch things up so much. My trademark accessory was such a staple, people started inquiring as to where my hair flower was when I’d go without it one time. Once I start becoming predictable, I have an overwhelming urge to change things.
Kinky twists, bantu knots, frohawks, cornrows, afro blowouts, braids, flat twists, chunky curls. Whatever the case, when someone makes the remark, “Your hair is so different!” I’ll say, “Yep, and it’ll change again in three weeks. Gotta switch it up.”