I tweeted the other day about what I was up to. I made plans to get my hair did. As a bi-racial kid I was continually stuck between two worlds. When I spent time around my caucasian friends they would gather 'round and fondle my hair in amazement. They would use words like "weird" and "kinky". I would go to white predominate salons (and sometimes still do) and get the reactions, "ohh... um, we don't *know* how to cut "ethnic hair." When I spent time around my African American family and friends my hair was fawned over. "Girl you have "good hair"..." I was told. "You got white folks hair, I wish I had hair like you," my cousins would tell me. I was stuck in the middle. Being African American and White I have found myself frequently stuck in the middle.
Regardless of where I landed on the Black enough, not Black enough continuum, I experienced life as an African American kid. In my culture you got your hair did and so that is what we...well, did. I was braided and beaded, relaxed, and corn-rowed. I was hot combed, greased, flat ironed, crocheted, and weaved. I wore silk scarves and slept on silk pillow cases and woke up, often, with bead indentions pressed into my cheek where my head wrap had slipped off. The result was always the same- I returned to my primarily white neighborhood to astonished friends. How did you do THAT to your hair? 15 years later my white friends are asking the same questions: "How did you do THAT to your hair?"
So I got my weave and everything was lovely. I was bouncing around Siloam Springs with my "diva hair" (as I affectionately dubbed it). I was frequently stopping to look at my locks in the mirror, winking at myself, and having people give me strange looks (trying hard to figure out what changed).
But something was off...
For anyone who has worn a weave before you know that it gets ITCHY. Your cornrowed hair underneath builds up from sweat, shampoo, etc and after awhile your head will begin to itch. This usually sets in around week three or so. Suddenly my head was itchy, uncontrollably so, and it was driving me CRAZY. I shampooed my weave really well and dried my hair making sure to get all the water out. My head STILL itched.
After a couple of days of extreme itchy pain I crawled up on my bathroom counter top and inspected...because the itching was real and I needed to find out why. I pulled back the diva weave and inspected- a FLEA. I found a FLEA. *Tiny black, bloodsucking death bug!
Noelle, our lovely Australian/Chow Chow mix, had an infestation we've been battling.
Guess where she sleeps? Our bed.
Guess what little critters found a nice place to rest under my cornrowed hair? Her fleas.
Tiny little fleas like dark moist places and my heaping amounts of diva hair sewn into my cornrows was the perfect place.
I promptly freaked the hell out and cut out all of my weave. I had several spots where I had been flea bitten (hardy har har) but there was NOT an infestation in my head. My skin is crawling even talking about it... something brushes my arm and I jump. I get a little neurotic about bloodsucking parasites.
We are still fighting Noelle's fleas and my short hair is back.
I only took one pic of the weave- and you can't really see it that well, sadly.
And when people ask, "Hey where is your weave, it looked great?" I am a little afraid to respond, "Oh, ha! I had to take it out- the diva weave got fleas.
... some days I can't believe the bizarre things that happen in my life.