“Family Hair” by Lorenzo Hernandez
March 19, 2021
My sister’s hair is very straight and smooth. Normally it looks like she just combed it even if she just woke up. For a while, she dyed it a blonde at the bottom, and it looked like caramel dipped in old honey—but now, it looks like when you split a Snickers in half and the caramel gets stretchy. But she cares way too much about how it looks, and it’s the same color as a cat, which is her general mood.
My brother typically has a buzz cut, so he looks like a bee from The Bee Movie. And when he grows it out, it’s all curly, so like caramel swirls on a pastry. His hair is flat and wide, but since he’s basically bald, you can see his head, which completes the 40-year-old man with a beer belly look perfectly.
My mom has very basic hair, dark brown, and it’s always straight. But when she doesn’t brush it, it’s all messy, and hair is sticking out in every direction and clumps up like mashed-up caramel. When she doesn’t take care of it, it represents her personality, which is bad, but when she combs it, it’s like when she’s in a good mood—nice, but very close to erupting.
My hair doesn’t listen to combs or brushes. Trust me, I’ve tried. The only thing that can somewhat control it is hair gel, but I’m too lazy to bother, so I just stick with the bed head look. My hair also represents what kind of person I am.
Lorenzo Hernandez, of Big Picture High School, read this original prose piece to open our SAL Presents event with Luvvie Ajayi Jones, which he wrote during the 2019/20 school year with WITS Writer-in-Residence Ramon Isao. Performed on the digital SAL stage on Friday, March 19, 2021.