Wednesday, March 26, 2008

To And 'fro

Saw my first current Afro the other day. It wasn’t the big, puffy style we knew the first time around, but a smaller style and, possibly, growing larger. We’ll have more on this as time goes by.

The first Afros were more a style statement than any kind of ancestral ‘do. I say this because when I was in grad school, I shared my living space with three Ugandans. I also cut hair on the side, as some students will, to make pizza and gas money. When I asked them how they’d like theirs styled, thinking of the Afro’d Americans on campus, they started to laugh.

“Just cut it short,” the first one said. “Run the clippers over it. We don’t have those in Africa; they’re too hot. We cut our hair as short as we can.”

A few years ago, the style around here was to have a cut that looked as if someone had put a bowl over the kid’s head and started cutting around it. Not the kind of thing you want your kids to find in the yearbook when they find it hidden away.

Or the long, long sideburns that went down like muttonchops. Not as bad as President van Buren, but heading that way.

I tell the students to get a conservative cut for their photos. It’s not what you wore in school, but it always comes back into style.


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