“I don’t like getting my hair done, I like my hair did,” Diane (Marsai Martin) tells her mom Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross).
Whew, truer words were never spoken, young Diane! The aforementioned quote actually comes from the upcoming episode of Black-ish, which will be a very special episode focused on none other than black hair.
Bow takes Diane to get her hair done at the salon and wants to spend this time together as a bonding opportunity, but Diane isn’t having it. Diane is conflicted about relaxing her hair again and embarks on a hair journey with the help of Bow, Ruby (Jenifer Lewis) and her hair stylist Yaya (guest star Jill Scott).
In an exclusive peek at the first three minutes of the episode obtained by The Root, Black-ish takes us on an intimate When Harry Met Sally-esque chat with several of its black women staff members, each of whom describes what a “hair day” means to them. As our hair is so versatile (that’s the beauty of it!), a hair day can mean a wash day (mine means blocking out an entire day-and-a-half, so sorry, I can’t come to your brunch), braiding/twisting/locking session, press-and-curl... the possibilities are endless!
Diane is considering a relaxer, which certainly brings back memories of my own hair journey. I got my first Just For Me kiddie perm when I was 13 years old and I remember it vividly. Despite the “no lye” label on the box, I sat betwixt my big sister’s legs sweating with a loop of Denzel Washington’s conk scene from Malcolm X flashing though my head. I swung my legs with anxious anticipation, feeling the looming burn as I kept asking Big Sis, “Is it time yet?” “Not yet, you can’t wash it out yet or it won’t take,” she’d reply, provoking my frown.
Oh, and I appreciate the inclusion of Ruby’s warning, because I distinctly remember the hard-and-hurtful-lesson of not-scratching before a relaxer session. I will never forget that burn. I will never forget that smell.
I would dance that dance off-and-on (I quit the “creamy crack” once in college, only to go back when I graduated) in my young life until I decided to go natural for good in 2011. What a journey, indeed.
Cheers to your own journey, Diane! After all, you’re my favorite character on the show.
The “Hair Day” episode of Black-ish airs Jan. 7 at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.