New Year, No Edges

My first post of the New Year was going to be a blog entitled Things Only the Blood of Jesus Can Fix featuring these poor, misguided souls. You may have seen these faces in the news:

This woman went to style her hair like the German Eagle of war. For why?
This woman went to style her hair like the German Eagle of war. For why?
See?
See?
Abaaaa. Warren this??
Abaaaa. Warren this??
This guy needs no introduction. The dude who spent $150K on surgery to look like Kim K and ended up looking like this?
This guy needs no introduction. The dude who spent $150K on surgery to look like Kim K and ended up looking like this?

me no edgesBut then I went to the salon to get my hair done two nights before we crossed into 2015 and decided to take a step back after I looked in the mirror after the stylist had finished her work. She had robbed me of my hairline, like a robber in the night or like a politician exacting an Edges Tax. This woman had taken it all! This was no time for me to be worrying about the woes and fopperies of others. I needed Jesus’ transforming power to fix me – or my edges, more precisely. I needed the Lamb’s transfigerational, redeeming, hot and holy blood poured out all over my edges, for it is only Christ’s magical hemoglobin that has the authority to restore them. Hei! I am so distraught. It’s six days into the New Year and I’ve just now mustered the strength to write about my anguish. rifocus 2014Ghanaian born artist Peniel Enchill drew what can only now be described as an iconic image of a woman leaving behind a certain set of weights that beset her in 2014. (It’s ‘iconic’ because Rihanna re-pinned it, and anything that Riri pins is blessed.) If you take a look, you’ll see the typical list of things grown women seek to leave behind them as they grow in age and wisdom. These things include, but are not limited to: heartbreak, fake friends and jealously. I wholeheartedly connect with this list, however I need Ms. Enchill to consider adding another item… another dimension to this spiritual liberation that she depicts in her art for it to resonate with me completely. I left my edges in 2014. Is there any room for a block at the woman’s feet marked “edges”? Woi. But you may be reading this and asking yourself: “Oh, Malaka. What is the big deal about these edges you are going on and on about?” There are only two circumstances – possibly three – in which one would feel the need to ask such a question:

  1. You are not a Black woman
  2. You are a White man
  3. You are a Black woman who hasn’t seen her edges since the last time Oasis sat down to a peaceable Sunday dinner.

Silly as it may sound to the rest of humanity, a Black woman’s edges are a status symbol. They are an indicator that you have been well loved and cared for your whole life and that as an adult, you have taken on the duties of preserving that tradition of care. Baby hairs that lay just so are coveted. Good edges mean good nutrition. Tamed edges mean good parenting. Laid edges signal self-respect and dignity. You can be broke and homeless, but the world would never know it if you walk into an establishment with your head held high and your edges intact. So in fact, any attack – planned or successfully executed – on a Black woman’s edges is considered a threat of the highest order! You may as well take her soul! It’s a stupid, stupid code, but I don’t make the rules. I just live by them. My only consolation where my now-stripped and receding hairline is concerned, I am in good company. There are several powerful women who have defied the odds, taken the world by storm and asserted their power despite their jacked up follicular barriers. There’s Gabby Douglas, winner of two gold medals at the London Olympics, for example. Though she earned the ire of African American women everywhere for not slathering on an acceptable level of gel on her forehead before attempting the balance beam event, she won the heart of the globe. gabby_douglas And then there’s Naomi Campbell, who at the ripe old age of 612 is still ripping the runways with NO edges to speak of at all. (Fyi: Models age differently from other humans; sort of like dogs. 1 year in an average human’s life is like 14.82 years in that of a runway models. This is why at the age of 22 you can be considered “too old” to model in the fashion world. See? You learned something today!) naomi_campbell_tractionalopetia_2 But of all the sisters of power without edges, my most favorite has to be aspiring presidential candidates, Samia Nkrumah. The woman is a power house…but her edges are in retreat. I mean retreating like a British battalion in the face of an Ashanti onslaught. It’s magnificent to behold, and very, very memorable. We will remember and vote for Samia in 2016! May her opponents scatter and surrender just as her edges! samia Mmmm. Me too, I’ll face 2015 without my hairline. Perhaps it is the key to doing great things. Maybe people will be better able to see into my brain this way. Help ya’ll see what I’m thinking. Happy New Year.

  • Misty

    Goodness! You had me rolling on this one, especially since I just had my hair done less than 12 hours ago! I never knew that there were such rules about edges, I only knew that if you had none, that you were frowned upon. Thanks for indoctrinating me:-))

    • You did??? We must see a pic! Yeah, i had to Google the rules. Even with my hair unbraided I live in consistent violation.
      It’s hard outchea.

  • Nana Ama

    The politics of black women’s hair!:) Never ending! Rub in our ever-reliable sheabutter (unrefined) on the patch. Works every time. Is there anyone who can bring some from me to you? Let me know.

    • Not a soul, sadly 🙁

  • hahahahahahahahaha I know the struggle of edges. I can send you pics (to be viewed privately of course 🙂 ) of my non existent edges from a few years ago but thanks to castor oil & t444z the edges are back and full now. The trick is to massage everyday on the problem areas and don’t stop even when the edges are back. I use either or depending on my budget – t444z is much pricier than castor oil.

    • The edges struggle is the realest! Now you’ve got me curious about this t444z. I bought some tea tree oil and it doesnt do JACK. I already had thin edges after having baby no 4.

      I’m going to check this stuff out! Aluta continua!

      • Try the t444z or castor oil. I swear by both of them. You can also get in touch with africanhairblog (she has 3 kids and also had some challenges after baby no.3 so she might have a few pointers for you. It wasn’t edges but she is a hair blogger so I’m sure she can help)

  • Great posts sis! 🙂

  • Lmao! “Laid edges signal self-respect and dignity.” I can’t! 😂😂. Anyway, try Jamaican black castor oil

  • Naturalhair

    Maybe stop doing hairstyles that chow your edges….just a thought 🙂

    • Thanks. This was my first time trying tree braids.

  • Adwoa

    I just stumbled on your blog via a friends fbk post on the KKD drama.. OMGoodness!! I cannot stop laughing or reading.. I need to go get a life and finish proof reading documents that should have been done by now! Whew! But honestly, your wit is phenomenal and your style of writing is so engaging and picturesque all I can say is I wish you the very BEST and may The Lord continue to guide you in your chosen journalistic path as u strive to achieve greater excellence. Hugz #Bàdu

    • Awww! Hugz backatcha! I’m so glad you enjoy the blog (even if you stumbled upon it by a rather unpleasant avenue). I’m also grateful that you get the humor!
      All the best to you as you proof read. Back to work! Back to work, I say!!! 🙂