It’s Friday afternoon. I just got off work early and it’s payday. I’m on my way to the city to go to my old beauty supply store because hair in the county is hella overpriced and I am not paying $4 for some braiding hair. But as I’m standing in line with my five packs of hair, gold clips, and jar of edge control I notice the long line of black women ahead of me. All different ages with similar items in hand like me. We are all about to get our hair done for the next few days or weeks. While I stood there waiting I realized that this was one of the things that made me so proud to be a black woman. It’s not about having my hair done, it’s about getting to experiment with the vast amount of hairstyles black women have so creatively come up with.
When my parents separated I, of course had to learn how to manage my own hair from a young age. Even before then it had become my responsiblilty to brush my hair in the mornings before school. It wasn’t something that I particularly liked doing but I had grown to love it. It took a lot of practice and lots of trial and error. I’ve had very successful looks and of course very bad ones. I’ve experiemented with various weaves, relaxers, and hair color on many occasions, sometimes interwining the few. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on various hair products, extensions, and tools. Doing my hair has went from being a chore when I was younger, to now becoming a sort of stress relief practice for me now. Once I get settled in at home and get all of my things together and turn on my music, I just enter in to a different mode. And then seeing my myself transform just brings me this confidence that fuels me. But it’s not just about my outward appearance. Having my hair done honestly makes my life so much easier in the mornings. How convienient is it to just get up, take your head wrap off, spend the next 10-15 minutes getting ready and go!
I understand that working with people who don’t have the same hair passions as you can get a little awkward though. I’ve had my fair share of white coworkers giving me that, “Is that a weave?” or “Did your hair grow overnight!?” *sarcasticly* Yes, it’s weird and partly offensive. I have never minded the questions from other black women because I get more of an appreciation from them rather than an attraction from white people, it’s like I can see the questions coming and I cringe but hey, we’re all a work in progress I guess.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my natural hair but it’s a chore that’s why I’ve been trying various protective styles over the past year. Crochets have been my go to lately. They last for a good amount of time and I’m able to easily oil my scalp. They are also a way for me to use way less heat. My hair has endured so much heat damage that my curls have just finally started to come back from years of damage. Even though I’ve been natural for some years now I had never really felt good about myself unless my hair was straightened and then once my hair did really start to grow my curls were already so damaged that I still couldn’t do a regular wash n go without looking a hot mess. Once I began to realize that my hair needed more moisturizing and less heat, I learned the products that worked for me and I was able to decipher which hairstyles I could work with. YouTube has been my best friend and is where I learned how to do everything I know except braid. At the moment I’m really obsessed with braids so you may see me with more braided looks this summer!
Check out a few of my looks from the past and remember; adding any kind of hair can look natural if you do them just right!
I just want to encourage all my girls and some guys out there as well to love your hair. Try some new styles if you want. Get those braids, do the big chop, work them bundles boo! Whatever you do, do it because YOU want to. Love you hair and embrace being a black woman. As the great Tracy Turnblad said, “Hair doesn’t have to just sit there like a dead thing on your shoulders!”
Thanks for reading and remember to like, comment and share! 🙂