The Adventures of Matty JewFro

by Loolwa Khazzoom • February 11, 2012 • Jewish Multicultural Corner

If I do not wash my long, thick, curly Jew hair in three days, it becomes all matty. A solid knot. So that when my hair is “down,” it looks like it’s above my shoulders. When in fact it goes all the way to my derriere. Tonight was one of those nights. So I called a friend and said I could go on rescue missions, catching people in my matty Jewfro net of hair. He laughed that I could therefore save people jumping off bridges. Which led to a new cartoon character: Matty JewFro! When someone is about to jump off a bridge, she swoops in from nowhere, catches them in her matty Jewfro hair, and flies off, with them safely cradled in the net of her locks.

I want a cape and boots for this gig!

One Response to “The Adventures of Matty JewFro”

  1. Aliza Hausman
    Feb 14, 2012

    A lot of my friends complain when a three day yom tov comes around because they feel they can’t wash their hair at all and their straight/wavy/slightly wavy starts getting oilier and oilier. But my hair is already dry and tight and kinky. I can go a whole week without washing it. Every day, I “revive” it with leave-in conditioner and if it’s really matted, some pomade. Some people freak out when they hear this, as if I have bad grooming habits because they know nothing about tight curly, kinky hair. If I washed it everyday, it’d fall out, dry out even more and I’d have Brillo for hair. Trust me, I’ve tried. In college, I remember when I’d sleepover at friends’ houses and I’d try their shampoo (for straight hair) and I’d go to my friends’ house (who was black, similar hair) and oh, boy, did I go home with different looks. My hair is really long…or BIG.

    I get turned away from regular salons who are afraid of my hair, like Fantastic Sams. It’s okay. I realized they saved me days, if not weeks and months of a bad hair cut. I go to places that understand mixed hair, black hair and curly hair and don’t hate on it. I tell the stylist I want it to look like a “sunburst.” I’ve kept my hair short for so long that it grows “up,” not down like your luxurious locks. Right now, dry, the back touches my shoulders so that means, it’s the longest it has been in a really long time. Whenever a girlfriend sees my hair wet, she asks “Have you gotten a hair cut?” Because it looks longer and totally different and has very defined curls. It was an inside joke between me and a husband to chuckle on cue before we were married when people asked met his every Shabbos (usually when I wash my hair).

    There was recently a character on the new show “Grimm,” who was supernatural and could use her hair to hurt people who were trying to hurt her but I can totally imagine Matty JewFro in a lighter concept. I, sometimes, imagine that my hair has a life of its own. I mean, does it get stuck in branches or was it trying to pick flowers? And more than once, someone has noted that something else has gotten caught in my hair and I have to pick it out sheepishly. That’s not about washing it since now that I go to the gym more often, I, unfortunately, have to wash it more often and condition it more. It’s just that with big JewFro hair, it tends to get into everything!

    But it’s funny how curly hair is so individual even though we try to put it into boxes now so thank G-d, you can find what works for you. The drugstore is often still decades behind still offering services for “normal hair” and African-American hair and nothing in-between. My hair can go for a week without getting knotty. In fact, someone asked me if it doesn’t get very knotty since she has straight hair and if she doesn’t brush it every day, it gets REALLY knotted. My hair does get knotted when I play with my curls when I read or write or do just about anything. I mean, if people are always trying to pet me, why wouldn’t I want to play with my hair too? Twirl it around a finger and watch it bounce back?

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About Loolwa

Loolwa KhazzoomLoolwa Khazzoom has worked with leading media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone, and ABC News. In addition, she has published two books and has lectured at prestigious venues including Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Harvard University. Loolwa is passionate about health, music, dance, multiculturalism, and Judaism.

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Loolwa Khazzoom is a a public relations manager specializing in holistic media, holistic marketing, holistic public relations, and holistic promotions. Her services include branding and messaging development, image and communications management, website content development and optimization, social media management, traditional media campaign management, book development, and in-house writing and editing.

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