I recently trimmed my locs. Yes I know what some will say, but i had too! My hair was thinning out on top because of the pull of my locs and I wasn’t going out like that! I know and have seen too many undercover bald dreads and I’m sorry. For my life, I just couldn’t live that way.

So I decided to cut my hair. We had all taken a visit as a family on Mother’s Day to see my Mother. All safe and social distant like. When I asked my mother if she would let me borrow her set of clippers. Naturally she was reluctant because in the past I had borrowed her clippers or liners and never returned them or returned them worse off than before. Of course this is all rumor and speculation as I would never do such a thing. Me? Never! Indeed with a little persistence and a bit of renewed faith in her son my mother let me borrow her clippers. I must admit she is probably the single handed greatest mother on earth.

When I got back home later that night I got to it. I grabbed the clippers, grabbed a pair of scissors, a towel, a mirror and approached the bathroom. Thoughts ran through my mind. My hair. It had been apart of me for sometime. People identified me by it. It was something I had grown accustomed to, like a piece of me. What about all the stories and time that had passed growing this hair? What if my head looks funny when I cut it all off?

One by one. I cut each loc off of my head. I had trimmed them before but for maybe 6 or almost 7 years I had not had a total haircut. Now I wasn’t holding it down like Bobo Ashanti from Jamaica or nothing. I was styling my joints. Getting linings and all that. However It only goes one way. Either you’re in it till the end, as far as the hair goes. Or you are not. Me, i’m not feeling old enough to be walking around with the George Jefferson so I had to go to work.

After awhile i had gotten through cutting my locs off and then I grabbed the clippers. Now, all love to my mother, she is the greatest, but them clippers wasn’t hair cutting ready! I had a bit of a struggle getting through my hair at first, but with persistence and some $20 Wahl liners from Walmart I eventually got it down to a clean baldie. Which actually wasn’t so bad! My hair was a bit damaged up top i could notice but I presumed it could all be remedied. I hadn’t been eating, drinking or sleeping right for sometime as well as exercising regularly. I had since picked back up those good habits and knowing that I knew I’d be fine.

I wasn’t though. My scalp wasn’t looking great and in some places up top where it was already thinning looked even worse. My teenage daughter out of everyone made the most fun of me. Such a cruel jokester at times. I always wondered where she got that trait from? However, to much chagrin of my daughter I continued on. It seemed like it was taking forever for my hair to grow although it wasn’t that long. I’m just impatient. I attribute it to rest, exercise and diet. I been out here getting it in. I’d rather be Benjamin Button than Benjamin Franklin if you can catch my drift. So you know, the situation up top is looking cool. Things are under control. I got my durag, always rolled up, I hate it hanging, ain’t my style. And I’m back on the chase. Trying to get them butters as we used to say back at Case Highschool around 97 in Racine, WI.

Taron Barker drives on some fool from Park high school back in 1999. T Barker had them butters NO LIES. That boy was cold back in the day.

In high school my waves were so deep if you stared too long you might get seasick! I ain’t lying! They was deep! I damn near had dolphins and sea animals dancing in my mines. Type crazy! No lie! Well, i ain’t gone hold you on that but for real they was crazy. It was these two twins that used to meet me every morning singing my name and talking about my waves noo lies. They was crazy. I swear i had the wave before you knew what being wavy was! Highschool was crazy! I even got into a real fist fight with Taron Barker, the local hoops king of the town at that point, over waves. My waves were spinning like crazy! I was sitting at the lunch table, brushing my hair, when Taron said “nigga you aint got no butters!” And I forget what my reply was but it was something brolic. Next thing, we are in each other faces. Over some damn waves! When I say the Nineties was really, real! I mean they was for real, for real, for real. We ended up scrappin later, both leaving with a few marks. It was nothing after that though. Just two giants colliding in the bleak of the waves.

Waves are real deep in the community. I remember being 14/15 and staying in the bathroom brushing for hours probably. Whole can of murray’s. You know the murray’s, you gotta rub it till it gets hot so it can slide on. And you never use a little. You got to get it right! Hot towel that you get hot from running the bathtub or the sink water. Get your hair right and then boom! Lay that towel down till it aint hot no more then tie the durag on tight. I used to wake up at night hurting from how tight my durag was but that’s a part of the sacrifice to get them waves mayne.

Nowadays it’s not that serious! Although I might as well try since I can right! Get them butters then folks! On the G! Go crazy! Like we say around these parts. It ain’t nothing.


Author: Armstrong Ransome

I break bread, ribs and hundred dollar bills.

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