Why My Sons Won't Have To Ask Their Mom For Her Old Pantyhose : Code Switch : NPR: Growing up, I fondly remember spending countless days applying a fingertip of pomade to my head and brushing furiously. Those days also included some awkward conversations with my mother where I'd ask for an old pair of her pantyhose, so I could wear them — on my head. I'd cut them up and fit what used to be the calf section over my hair before bed. Then, each morning before school, I'd inspect my hair to see if there was any hint of waviness. In the school's hallways, a chorus of hairbrushes on black male scalps was the sound of virility, each stroke a bit of a mating dance to the young ladies that passed by.
My high school and college friends often joked that I had (*ahem*) "slave hair" — that is, hair so tightly curled that it could not be tamed even with repeated attempts to straighten it out. They were able to style their hair with waves, and my uncooperative hair was endlessly entertaining to them. I'm certain the opposite sex noticed the deficiency too; I neither made waves in my hair nor with the young ladies.