so I can see you

My grandmother used to tell me,

I love when you wear your hair back, so I can see you.

Even before hairstrike2014*, her words lived in my heart and I would hear them when I pulled my hair back, “…so I can see you” and I’d smile. But the truth is: when I wore my hair out, I felt like “me.” I LOVE my hair; it makes me feel beautiful. I love that it’s big, unruly & demanding. It can’t be big enough & even on days when it’s not doing what I want it to do, I still think its pretty amazing. But if I am my hair, in the sense that it’s a physical manifestation of my spirit, which I think it is, then what’s to be said about me being exhausted from my hair… I came to the conclusion that I was doing too much, hair included.

I started the hairstrike to do less and to get my sanity back. As much as I love my hair, it was driving me crazy to always have to do it. I was on the brink of Britney y’all! I saw an umbrella & clippers in my near future. So, from day one, I welcomed the relief from the hairstrike. It’s been wonderful to not have to mess with my hair and to have a reason not to “do” it. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of Curls & Cocktails when I accepted the challenge. I already knew I’d be hosting and that my anniversary would be a big event for me. Wearing my hair out seemed like the natural, no…the expected…the RIGHT thing to do! It was an event celebrating hair and as the host, I felt an obligation to have huge fabulous hair! Wearing my beautiful hair tucked away seemed like a big FU to the hair gawds and if it never grows to my ass for my wedding, I’ll know exactly why and have no choice but to accept my punishment.

I wore my hair tucked back to C&C. I am committed to preserving my sanity & I’m so happy that I did. It was the right choice for me. The longer I go without my hair out, the more I see me…a different side of me, maybe a less complex version of me. When I see pictures of myself from C&C, I looked stunning & all I see is me. That beauty is a reflection of my regained sanity from staying focused on my commitment to be the simplest form of me & abstain from changing my hair every time my mood or mind changes. Ironically, the consistency of the hairstrike is changing how I see “me” and what makes me feel like “me.” My spirit needed to be reined in. I’m obviously experiencing chaos and instability in facets of my life, which are manifesting in ways that I manage my hair. I was seeking control, gratification and beauty from my hair, from the attention I gave to it and that I received from it.

Each day I wear my hair back, I gain a little more sense of the areas that I really need to gain control and find a balance in. I feel more relaxed, more beautiful and ultimately, more like Me. My Hairstrike Halfietruth: My hair enhances my beauty, but it doesn’t define it and it never has. I still believe it’s the physical manifestation of my spirit, which at times, does need to reined in. My hair & spirit were all over the damn place and while my hair has nothing to do with my light, it has a lot to do with my sanity, which has everything to do with my light. The chaos was compromising my sanity, thus dimming my light and skewing how I saw myself and what made me feel like me. All I saw in the pictures of myself at C&C was my light, just me… how my grandmother sees me💚

*hairstrike2014 is a month-long movement started by Charmaine Daude (IG: @charmsie) as a way to take a break from the exterior things that bring us attention & admiration; letting people know that hair is a part, not the whole, of self; taking control back or breaking pressure from physical expectations; and deep conditioning from the inside out! -CD

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Kenya Raymer is a writer, blogger, dancer and the hostess of the natural-hair meet up Curls & Cocktails. She is a self-love enthusiast who uses her natural-hair platform as a space to discuss hair and all things beautiful & real. She is loving in Nashville, TN, where she promotes the local eats, animal rescue, self-awareness, personal growth, happiness and finding comfort in your own skin.

7 thoughts on “so I can see you

  1. You are an inspiration! Well said, girl! I am mid-hairstrike also, and an having revelations of my own… Thx for sharing 🙂

  2. Love this hun!!! You are gorgeous inside and out, with or without your hair. I’m glad you were able to deep condition from the inside out!! (I love that metaphor!! I just wanted an excuse to use it..lol)

  3. This is a really late reply, but I just had to let you know how much this post has inspired me. Back in April I decided to get the big chop because I was tired of trying to manipulate my heat damaged hair. I was super nervous about it and was looking online for some inspiration and noticed you were missing from IG. This post didn’t really stick until after my hair cut. My hair was kind of like my security blanket. I always had long hair and I was always trying to cover up acne, or a blemish or my big forehead and even tried blending in with the wall once. (yes true introvert here) Fast forward to me getting the big chop, the first person to see me fresh out of the chair was my Aunt. My Aunt is a big hair person and I just knew she was going to rip me a new one for cutting all of my hair off. But she didn’t, she stared at me for a long time and said I like it…I can see your pretty face now. I immediately thought about this post. You are a true inspiration. I’m loving my TWA and realizing each and everyday how much I’m really not my hair.

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