Everybody Panic!

Put A Hat On It

Thursday for The Root I wrote another hair post … this time about black people and their “issue” surrounding the hair of children. Namely, people assume you don’t love your kids if you don’t do “something” with their hair. Of course you can love your kids and let their curls grow wild, but you will get unsolicited advice, constantly. Maybe even a Blue Ivy petition. Because folks are crazy. Crazy about hair. So, when you want to have fun with your kids but are vaguely aware at how judgmental people can be, do what my dad did. Put a hat on it.

As a girl child who had a lot of hair, I can tell you that this is a controversial issue. Once upon a time in the 1980s, my father decided to let my sisters and me tag along with him to the grocery store. It was an early Saturday morning and we’d all slept all over our hairdos. He, ever resourceful but not having any clue about what to do with black girls’ hair, stuffed hats on our heads and announced to himself with pride, “STILL CUTE,” and took his cute babies out with him.

He was so proud of himself! Then he came home to my mother, who was, initially, pleased that he’d given her some precious alone time without her three children mewling about, only to recoil in horror that he did not comb our hair before allowing us to leave the house.

“But … but they were still cute?” thought my father. Never mind that groceries were purchased and private time was obtained.

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