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I am me; complex yet simplistic; diverse yet ordinary ~ I am a treasure that only those who gain entry can truly understand.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Passing Judgment


3 a.m. and I should have long been under the covers, clear into snoozeland. As usual, my mind is cluttered with so many thoughts. Something deeply personal has been tugging away at me and I've recently decided to share it with whomever takes the time to read my thoughts. Perhaps it can be a source of comfort for other women facing similar challenges.

For twelve years I wore my hair natural. I decided to loc it when I realized that the free flow look I desired could not be achieved and maintained easily. The year was 1997, and my baby boy was only 5 years old. My boyfriend at the time had locs and had the perfect loctician in mind for me to work with. The sister's name is Yendys and she was infamous in the Flatbush area at that time for the natural haircare student.

I was eager to learn, anxious for the absorption of all the knowledge she has to impart upon me with regard for the proper care of my new natural head of healthy hair. I allowed Yendys to cut my hair down to nubs. (I'll share pictures later)

Over the years, my hair grew and the carefree nature of caring for my hair was a joy! Wash, twist, oil the scalp and go... It was all such a beautiful experience. About six years into loc'ing, I began to notice a little change. My locs weren't growing as they had been, and something seemed off.

As the days turned to months, I'd begun to really see significant change -- my hairline was thinning. I made an appointment to see my dermatologist and after several biopsies of my scalp, foams, potions, ointments, dietary changes, pills -- her suggestion was to incorporate Rogaine into my daily routine.

(to be continued, sleep beckons and I must answer the call...)

7 a.m.

The bottom line is that throughout this ordeal, I learned that my 'slight' anemia also included a dangerously low level of vitamin D (who knew that had an impact on hair growth), low levels of ferritin (a direct relation from low iron levels) and so many more health related issues. I have been definitively diagnosed with traction alopecia and have undergone a series of monthly steroidal injections to my scalp for more than seven months. I used to count the number of times the needle would plunge into my scalp and lost count after 70. My mother was with me during that particular visit to the dermatologist and when I removed the gauze protecting my eyes from the spray that attempts to freeze the scalp and slightly divert the pain, the look on her face was one of utter horror! I smiled to let her know I had survived another round of torture.

This past Saturday after my visit to the doctor, my mother begged me to stop. Then she told me that the injections are affecting my brain and I couldn't help laughing til I cried. My mother understands how the loss of hair can make a woman feel less than beautiful. Genetics have caused every generation of women in my family that we can recall to have worn super granny wigs. Sorry, but I'm way too young (and cute, I think -- lol) to wear a blue haired lady wig. The picture at the top is my current collection of lace fronts. Quite a rack up in 7 months, right? Who would ever have thought!

I posted this because in these months I have had really bold women approach me in the street as they fail to look into my eyes, yet find their eyes resting on my hair line which has been replaced by a lace front wig -- one that I have become such a master at masking that you have to be up on me to see where it begins and my natural forehead ends. Their question to me always begins with, "is that a...?" Before they can continue, I stop them and reply with the defiant, "YES!" and a bodacious smile. From there they ask where do I get them done -- and the eyes open so wide when I tell them that I take care of my own hair prosthesis. (lol)

I have had women stare -- I have been insulted by others who talk about the texture of the devices -- but the compliments are what touch me most.

Please remember not to pass

judgment

on others because you never know what's going on in their world. Share a kind word instead of a harsh stare.

Sisters, remember to love on one another.

Brothers -- show sensitivity!

And Wendy Williams -- please tell me how to apply a wig clip -- lol

*comments welcome -- please share with a sister OR brother who can relate*

2 comments:

the-soul-within said...

Todd Grundy
Now I think I know what you meant by your tweet the other day (Saturday?) where you said you hope other women don't have to go through what you endure. As I get to know more about you and the trials and tribulations that challenge you in life, I am more & more impressed at your strength of character and how your pleasant outward demeanor continues to shine forth so brightly.
Today at 9:53am

the-soul-within said...

Blanche Phifer
Trel you are a beautiful sister inside and out. Always has been and always will be without a doubt in my mind!

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