Monday, February 8, 2010


When I first caught a glimpse of the news story regarding Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair," I had to read it. The idea he said, was started when his daughter asked him why she doesn't have good hair. I've never met Chris Rock or his daughter but in that moment my heart went out to both of them. As a parent, how do you answer that question? I don't think I've ever wanted to hug a kid I don't know as bad as wanted to hug that little girl right then. Good hair. Yes indeed. I don't have good hair. Why do some people have hair that always behaves itself and other people are doomed to look like Sideshow Bob for all eternity?

I have fried my hair more times than I can even remember in failed attempts to tame my unruly mop. My hair is extremely curly and extremely fine. And I have lots of it. I put relaxers, straighteners, ironed and ironed some more. It would look fine until I went outside. Then it went POOF! I tried to wear it curly. None of the curls are the same size or go in the same direction. I'd slather on the Frizz Ease and again, it would be fine until I went outside. A month before Katrina, I paid $400 to get the Chi done on my hair. It was fabulous. My hair laughed at the humidity. I woke up, brushed my hair and walked out the door. Brushing my hair had never been an option before, unless I was trying for an afro. The Chi needs maintenance. I am a very low maintenance kind of girl but I was going to give it a shot. Then Katrina came along and blew my hair guy to another state. Soon after, my hair staged a mutiny. I found myself at the end of my rope with my hair.

In the Goth subculture almost every female has worn dreadfalls at one time or another, the brightly colored fake locks tied around your own hair, myself included. I knew a few white people with real dreadlocks in the past. One of them was so fussy about his hair it turned me off to the idea of ever doing it myself. When I moved to New Orleans, I was surprised to see how many white people are running around here with dreads. I'd had enough of my own hair and something drastic needed to happen. I was either going to give myself a buzz cut and buy a bunch of wigs or get my hair dreaded. I chose dreads. I only regret now that I let my best friend chop off 12 or 13 inches of my hair during Mardi Gras 2 years ago. It was burnt but it would have dreaded nicely and my hair would be much longer now. I like long hair but I like long hair that behaves.

I swear, SWEAR, if I had only known how much peace a hairstyle could bring to my life I would have done this years ago. Decades ago. Zen. I've never had that kind of feeling before EVAH. I'd like to be one of those Zen-like people but I'm not. I'm a high-strung overly emotional spastic monkey most of the time. And I used to be much, much worse. I'm tickled that I have one thing in my life, my hair, that gives me some peace. I've had my hair dreaded for a little over a year and a half now. I went with a more natural way to get them, no salons (high maintenance) and no waxes. My hair went through many changes and at times, they looked pretty bad. Be patient I told myself. This takes patience. No one thought it would last long because if there is one thing I definitely am not, it's patient. Peace and lessons in patience. Who knew?

In the process of dread locking my hair I discovered something. There is a serious lack of hair accessories for dreads for people who aren't Rasta wannabes. Sure, I can find tons of stuff with the Jamaican flag colors, pot leaves, rainbows, and other things that make me want to puke. Yeah, I have dreads but I'm not Rasta, not a fan of Reggae, don't smoke pot or do drugs, nor am I a neo-hippie. If I have to classify myself, it's Goth-Punk-Straightedge. I don't drink, do drugs, or 'ho around. So what's out there for me and people like me? Not a lot.

I keep my hair covered at work because I don't want to get dust and crap in my hair. So I make my own bandannas and headbands. Recently I was talking to several people who have (awesome) dreads and the need to cover your hair at work. One guy works in construction so keeping crap out of his hair is a priority and since his hair is so long, he's stuck using the Rasta hats. Two others work in the kitchen at a restaurant so keeping grease and food odors out of their hair is the main concern. Again, the options are limited. Since I get lots of comments on my own head gear, it started the wheels spinning. I quizzed some of my locked acquaintances about what they'd like to have. I started sketching out some ideas. Then working on some prototypes. So far, so good. I think I actually have too many ideas to start with and need to narrow it down some. Then I just need to convince some of the dreadheads to model for me.

I make a ton of really cool stuff but mostly for myself. I've been looking for something I could make and sell. I think I've found what I was looking for.