'ol faithful fro...
I’ve never quite figured out my hair, and maybe I never will. Dealing with it is a perpetual experiment full of pleasant discoveries and frustrating setbacks. In my boredom experimentation, I’ve cut, dyed and even- Lord forgive me- texturized my natural hair. And although not every experiment turned out perfectly, I always learned more about the mysterious ways my hair reacts to different treatments. I may not ever completely figure out my natural hair, but one thing that’s becoming clear to me throughout these trials and errors is that my afro has never let me down.
Has my natural hair surprised me? Yes. Frustrated me? Absolutely. But for me, my relationship with my hair almost plays like a romantic comedy cliché: where the protagonist (me) needs to be distracted by a glamorous appearance (weave) or entertained by a more convenient suitor (braids), before they realize the one they were destined to be with was there all along (hence, the glorious afro!). Are y’all still with me?
Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with weave or braids in my book! I admire the versatile look I can achieve with weave without having to worry about much damage to my real hair. And I love living that carefree #braidlife, but these protective styles usually end up causing me more stress than I anticipate. I’ve only had a sew-in once, and trying to blend my leave-out without using too much heat was an everyday hassle. Whenever I get braids I always end up having to find creative ways to hide the ones that inevitably slip out from my baby hairs. Oh, and I have no choice but to address the issue of the fuzzy halo that rests on my crown, growing bigger and more noticeable with time- because who wants to be the girl with the dusty braids? Not I...
I love the look of weave and braids. When my arms grow weary from months of twisting and detangling, there’s no denying that they both seem like perfect solutions to my hair woes. But once I’ve worn them for weeks, I realize that the convenient lifestyle I imagined that I’d have with those styles is not a reality. The reality is, that I’ll always have to do some maintenance no matter how I’m wearing my hair.
I currently have in Senegalese twists and cannot wait to take them out. They were great, they served their convenient purpose and now they must go. In a few months, I’ll probably miss them. I’ll definitely miss being able to actually fit a hat over my hair, but I won’t miss trying to do a set of crunches with the extra five pounds piled on top of my head. I can’t say I’ll miss the challenge of struggling to preserve the quality of weave or braids to make sure that they last as long as possible to ensure I get every dollar’s worth of the hundreds I paid for them. After all, if I’m going to be frustrated with bad hair days it might as well be for free. For now, I’m happy to say that I can appreciate the freedom that comes with my natural hair, but who knows how I’ll feel after some time? Because like I said, playing with my hair is a never-ending learning experience and I’m down for the journey.
Until the next hair adventure!