i’ve been locking my hair for a little over a year now, and despite what some may think, such a style can require some heavy maintenance for the past however many hours, i’ve endured the arduous process of getting my hair done, which for me consists of re-twisting what hair people refer to as new growth. growing up in the era of lil’ bow wow inspired boy cornrows, i dread the moment i sit and submit to the torture, as i am what they call “tender-headed.” in other words, my sensitive head hurts a little too easily.
“does any of this hurt?” asked my mom, aka my part-time hair stylist, as the hair in her hand pulled on the perimeter of my scalp.
“yes,” i replied with false placidity, like a professional pain-taker.
“well, i wouldn’t know, you ain’t say nothin!” she admitted. “you gotta let people know when you’re in pain.”
such a simple conversation struck me like a lightning bolt. for whatever reason i have learned how to grin and bear it, thinking this as some sort of strength when it’s more like denial. aside from situations beyond our control, we allow everything that is inflicted upon us when we give silent permission, so it is our responsibility to vocalize the discomfort we feel at any given moment.