Message From The Author

Author's Message

Hair-apy


TRISHA R. THOMAS SEES LIFE THROUGH HAIR


Everyone's had a bad hair day, when your misbehaving locks seem to be taunting you, ruining your whole morning. Author Trisha R. Thomas understands the fussiness of follicles and has based her popular Nappily series -- her
latest, Nappily Married (St. Martin's Griffin), is out this month -- on the struggles black women face, socially and personally, when it comes to hair.

When Thomas started the series, "I was dealing with my own issues as far as what's expected of black women. We have to do everything everyone else does and we have to deal with our hair."

Thomas now wears her hair in fuss-free dreadlocks after tiring of the twice-monthly, often five-hour long appointments required to maintain a sleek, straight hairdo.

"It's almost exhausting, it's
not like a spa day," Thomas says of the frequent salon visits. "You don't sit there and be quiet because then you're a snob and don't be happy because then you're stuck up. There's all these requirements to the etiquette of a hair salon," she sighs. "It's just one of those processes that sucks up a lot of energy when you could be home doing the laundry."

Abandoning the salon routine also led Thomas to write her
first novel, Nappily Ever After, where protagonist Venus becomes aggravated with the trappings associated with maintaining straight hair, and shaves it all off.

Venus' adventures in hairstyling have captured the imaginations of women all over, including actress Halle Berry, who one can never imagine having a bad hair day.

Berry identified with Venus' character so much that she's set to play her in a film version of Nappily Ever After, slated to begin filming soon.

Meanwhile Venus continues to grow up. In Nappily Married, she's dealing with having a young child along with suspicions about her husband's fidelity -- which leads her back to the salon.

The book opens at the hairdresser: "She's telling them to put some straightener cream on ... she thinks her husband is having an affair with this long-haired, straight-haired beauty."

Thomas believes there's a strong link between women's hair and their men -- in fact, she says, "Only because
of my husband do I have hair. He is the only glue between my scalp and the open air. If we didn't have those social obligations I don't think anyone would have hair, we'd all be running around with bald heads."

But Thomas sees hope for all of us, and for our hair.

"It's almost like I'm writing my own kind of self-help book, but it's dressed up in pretty bows," she says. The message she wants to impart to women, straight-haired, dreadlocked or shaved? "I hope this helps women accept happiness. I hope that's my next message -- that it's OK right where I am. It's OK to be happy."
Bad hair day or no. -- Elissa Petruzzi


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