Part 1: It all started here…
Picture this: A 7 year old Andreea walking/running around the house with a T-shirt (sometimes even a nightgown – the longer, the better) draped over her head with scrunchies, barrettes, flowery hair clips and knockers attached to it…
This was my creation; a “shirt-wig,” and if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear the original concept of a lace-front wig came from my 7 year old self, but I digress.
I would leave this contraption on my head all day long, pretending the shirt was a head full of long, flowing hair all belonging to me. I would flip it, style it, twist it, you name it. That shirt-wig made me happy and I felt beautiful when I wore it.
With the shirt-wig on my head; I would pretend that I had hair like Pocahontas who, at the time I thought was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I would watch the Disney Movie all of the time and I had Pocahontas plastic decals all over my bedroom walls. To this day, she is the only character I ever remember wanting to be, embody or look like.
All of my fantasies of this beautiful hair came crashing down one day when my sister, LaDreena, snatched the makeshift shirt-wig off my head and threw it to the ground with laughter. To make matters even worse, we were in the backyard playing with our cousins and family friends and everyone was around to witness this. Humiliated, I ran back into the house, (leaving my shirt-wig on the ground), into my bedroom and cried. I was crushed.
After that day and out of pure humiliation I stopped wearing shirts and nightgowns on my head. I suppose it was also a realization for me that the the “hair” I was sporting wasn’t actually real and I then considered that something to be embarrassed about.
Reflecting on those instances I realize a few things; one of them being that as a child I only associated “Pocahontas hair” as beautiful. Long and strait hair is what I wanted and I can’t remember wanting hair like any of the Black women I saw, even in my own family.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that from that moment forward, even as an adult I never really wore fake hair aside from cornrows and box braids during the summer. I was never into weaves, wigs or extensions (except for the senior prom and winter ball in high school – I couldn’t risk sweating out my do on the dance floor!) I preferred to “deal” with my natural hair on my own with Pro-Styl Gel, Pink Moisturizing Lotion and lots and lots of hair clips!
I didn’t like or love my hair so much as I tolerated it throughout the years; but from the moment my sister snatched my wig forward, I had a certain defiance about wearing “fake” hair that ignited within myself.
And so, my hair journey began.