I continued to feel like an alien in the workplace, well, at least when it came to my hair. There were very few Black consultants never mind Black people with natural hair. I transitioned from a TWA, to twists (that I’d occasionally wear in a twist out). I never felt like my hair was approved of by my colleagues. Believe it or not, this was somewhat empowering. I realized that since I didn’t fit the typical beauty standards I might as well venture out and fully embrace my natural hair. After all, whether I wore straight twists, arranged my twists in an updo, or wore an afro nothing quite meet with other’s approval so I might as well do whatever I wanted.
This led me to experiment with my hair and with hair products. Oh my goodness. Hair products!!!!! Over the course of my life, I must have used a million and one hair care products. Let’s see: African Pride, Aqua Net, Ampro Aveda, BB, BB African Royale, Blue Magic, Carol’s Daughter, Crème of Nature, Dark & Lovely, Dax, EcoStyler, Elasta QP, Head & Shoulders, Infusium, Isoplus, Johnson, Let’s Jam, Lottabody, Luster, Mane & Tail, Motions, Murray’s, Nexxus, Optimum, Organic Root Stimulator, Pantene, Paul Mitchell, Queen Helene, Revlon, Royal Crown, Smooth ‘N Shine, Suave, Soft & Beautiful, Soft Sheen, Sulfur 8, Taliah Waajid, Ultra Sheen, Vidal Sassoon. I’ve purchased picks, brushes, rat tail combs, wide tooth combs, blow dryers, diffusers, hooded dryers, ponytail holders, scrunchies, clips, etc. I could probably go on but I think you get the picture. I don’t know who said it, but I think the large number of products I’ve purchased indicates how important hair is and was to me. I remember the hopefulness that would fill me as I purchased a new product. Might this bottle, jar or can contain the elixir that would help my hair “behave”? Might this new gizmo help me tame my mane? It would be awhile before I learned that my hair had a mind of its own and no amount of coaxing or teasing would make it do exactly what I wanted.