Dear Valued Barber Shop Patron,
There comes a time in every black man’s life when he develops the urge to communicate his politics to the world through the expressionism that comes with growing his hair out. Just like every work of art is a political expression, so is every style of hair growth, in the sense that you are communicating your agenda to the lookers on and even the universe. Think of the Afros in the 70’s that encompassed both militancy and outlandishness, the locks starting with Dred Scott in 1855 down to the knotty look worn by Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins in the NBA.
But what happens when black men grow their hair? Physiologically, as the hair shaft lengthens, the outermost layer, called the cuticle, begins to open its flanges like a honeycomb to help the growing hair breath better. The cortex, the middle layer, extracts more oil from the sebaceous glands to nourish the hair so that it can grow strong, and the inner most layer, called the medulla, is where the melanin in the hair lives and activates an antenna like communication with other kinetic elements around it. These three components in the hair shaft of the black male collectively cause his hair to coil. Hair is composed of polypeptides which are elements of protein, just like the DNA strand is composed of poly-peptides. This is why it is called a poly petide chain. The chemical inclination for peptides is to coil as they grow, which generates more virility and sensitivity to elements of nature like wind, heat, electricity, magnetism etc. Forgive me if I’m getting too deep with the science lesson, but I’m trying to illustrate that when a black man’s hair grows, it changes in structure both physically and metaphysically.
Therefore, when we cut our hair after it has grown so drastically to become a conduit of energy and a receptical for natural forces, we have to exercise care in how we go about removing the antennas or tentacles. If we don’t exercise the proper care for the sensitivity of our hair transformation, we can permanently damage its “kink configuration,” if you will. Most barbers, after being told by their client that they want their hair cut completely off, will put a big guard on the clippers and essentially rip the hair strands apart, instantaneously making the hair low, but frizzy because it has been broken off and hacked the way hay is by a field hatchet. This is never good for your hair, and is also not good for your soul. The hair being hacked that way breaks the hydrogen bonds that your coiled hair worked so hard to reform into something that became an energy attractor. When the hydrogen bods are shredded asunder, by a big clipper guard hacking through your hair to get it short in a few strokes, your hair has no choice but to stick up like a wild weed. Spiritually your connection with natures forces is abruptly halted, causing a laps in your other senses’ consciousness. An inexperienced barber will tell you that your hair has no choice but to stick up after being taken from one extreme to another, and that it will not wave until you train it for about a week. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. A master barber can take his client form knotty fro to luscious waves in one hair cut.
The proper way to do this is to cut the hair down gradually, the same way you would if you were shaping and shortening an afro. By free handing the shortening process, you don’t tear the hydrogen bonds asunder, rather you rearrange them during the process of the cut. The hair should shaped and shortened, preferably, with clipper that gives a sharp cut like an Andis Master or an Oster fine cutting blade. Once the barber has freehanded your hair to a pliable shape, shortening it to the extent that you can slightly see your scalp through the strands, your barber should then apply the use of a guard. Using the guard at this stage will ensure that you are still rearranging and reforming the hydrogen bonds instead of shredding them because the hair is short enough now to be taken down in a smoothing process. As the hair is smoothed shorter and shorter with the guard, your waves will start to show if you have a natural wave pattern. At this juncture the barber should begin using a brush to lay your hair down as he cuts instead of using a comb. As the waves are brushed while the guard smoothes the hair interchangeably, the hydrogen bonds are being cemented into a wave pattern because the gradual and deliberate process preserved the bonds. As a finishing touch, the master barber should brush your hair with a soft bristle brush after he lines it. This will cause the waves to accentuate so that your barber can cut the loose ends with either his liners or his Andis Masters. Only a master barber has the acumen to make your hair look like it has been worn in waves for months, when in reality it was made to look that way in one cut from an afro. Never underestimate the scientific expertise of the master barber. If you like and appreciate these informative posts, please follow! Your participation will be rewarded.
Master Barber, The Funhouse Barbershop
524 N La Brea Ave Los Angeles 90036