Low Cut and a good line

Before – the fro is a little out of control. Like any little busy boy’s hair – food, sand, and dirt in the hair was getting out of control. I noted, too, a sort of crazy and sometimes dry set of coils were ready for the expert hands of a barber. Off we went to have D cut Blueberry’s fro. D works in an all black barber shop. If you’re in Madison, I’m talking about JP’s. D went for a low cut. I didn’t really know what he meant, but I saw a lot of other young black boys getting the same cut and nod after nod of approval from clients. Honestly, I want to be a white mama with a decent understanding of black culture and practice – and hair is one of those things. Hair is part of cultural practice in all groups – and it is an expression of identity. To be totally honest, what looked cute and sweet to me was really getting out of control. And to confirm this feeling, noone in the barber shop was looking impressed by Blueberry’s little boy afro – It was TIME!

When D finished Blueberry’s low cut, he asked if we wanted a line. I gave an inquisitive look that silently asked, “do I?” to one of his colleagues, who was admiring Blueberry’s finely shaped head. She gave me a clear affirmative. “Yes yes, a line is good,” I said. I had once heard a black student of mine in conversation with his peers telling me that the most important part of getting my son’s hair cut was finding someone who could do a good line. D did a great line. D was a great barber – he was gentle, attentive, and patient. Blueberry cried, but it was the cry of the unfamiliar, not the cry of fear or pain.

Oh what a kissable round head my boy has! I’m sad to see the fro go but I have to say, I allowed others with much much more cultural competency to guide me on this decision – and it’s a good one. It’s also the right practice for our family to engage the black community as part of raising a healthy young one.



10 responses to “Low Cut and a good line

  1. What a cutie!!!! and my neighbor came up to me the other day and offered a lesson in braiding becca's hair – which would be great but she won't tolerate it at all. I think her fro with a few clippies or hairbands is super cute – but apparently I am making some huge hair care mistake. So lessons here we come – hopefully the baby co-operates.

  2. He looks great! But…what is a line?!

  3. HI Christina. After clipping his whole head the line is the finishing work; the sharp cut that runs all the way around his hairline that marks and shapes his clipper cut. A different clipper blade is used and it sets the shape from the bang(front) to the back. Does that make sense? It's hard to see Blueberry's in the pictures. The line cleans up the cut, for sure.

  4. He's such a little cutie. I love his new "do".

  5. OK, I'm sitting in a legislative hearing and I'm getting a little teary looking at these pictures. What a big boy! Jack had his second haircut last weekend and our female hairdresser said she's going to wait until he's a little older to start using the clippers. She went as short as she could with the scissors, but not even close to this. Good to know about the line!Your bath times are going to be so much easier! It will change your life!

  6. I loved the 'fro, too…but doesn't he look like such a handsome big boy now! What a cutie!

  7. He looks sooo handsome!!! I'm sure he loves it himself – good for swimming!

  8. Aww – I liked the fro and I like the buzz. I tried "the line" with little success on Melaku. We're on the way to a fro now. Have a great weekend.

  9. oh Meghan, my husband and I argue over the "line" all the time…I hate it, and he says they (the barbers at the coolest barbershop) know what they are doing…E came to my office a couple of weeks ago (having just had a "too much line" haircut the day before) when AA person after another came to tell me what a great cut he had…I kept saying thank you until it was a really good friend who said the same thing, and I confessed "I can't stand it, it doesn't look natural", and they were like "screw natural, you're a black mama now and you need to make sure your kid looks good, and he looks good now"…go figure…anyway, seems they did a good job on Blueberry's hair, he looks cute as can be!

  10. He looks terrific! We just took the plunge too–also a low cut with a line.But I'm with you Themia, I hate the line… We'll keep doing it anyway, but….

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