“When you use a rag you’re washing your face with clothes detergent,”
she said.
“My God! Look at what you’re doing!
Don’t dig your fingernails into your scalp.
Massage the shampoo in using your fingertips,
like this.
No wonder you have dandruff and
split ends,”
she said.
“You’ll damage your hair rubbing it with a towel like that.
You squeeze the hair out dry. No wonder you have split ends,”
she said.
“Look at those black heads around your nose.
You need to exfoliate.
Here, use my luffa.
Look at that big one.
Let me pick that out,”
she said.
You bought Suave shampoo?
This stuff’ll burn and strip your hair.
No wonder you have split ends,”
she said.
“This Dial soap does nothing but clog your pores.
It’s destroying your face.
Use my oatmeal soap.
Let me get that black head,”
she said.
“Don’t condition the top of your head.
Only put conditioner on the ends.
It doesn’t do anything up there.
No wonder you have split ends,”
she said, “Come here,”
and she took a pair of scissors
and snip went the hated hairs
and she said, “Now women will want you.”
And I asked, “Do you want women wanting me?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” she said,
And that’s when I knew I was being groomed.
I’d been built up to be put out
on the curb
healthy, full-bodied radiant hair
clean, glowing skin
and lessons for the long haul.


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