Tag Archive | Beauty

Hair Chronicles: Hairstylists from Hell


I’ve been on a  journey since forsaking the concept of chemicals in my head. I went from the short cut that allowed me to put two dabs of gel in it and go, to the bushy, curly do that sometimes looks confused at what it’s doing.  But one thing hasn’t changed and that’s my luck with NOT  finding a consistent hairdresser. Each time I decided to let my hair grow out for 2-3 months at a time, it would get bigger and bigger. I’m in a  city where it’s not predominantly black so I tried a barber  ’round the corner to have it trimmed. His idea of trimmed was cutting it. Which sucks because I was trying to grow it out!!!!

Take two: I went to a  hairdresser who was more into shaping and trimming who was highly recommended by a coworker. First time out, she was attentive and patient, looking to trim and not cut too much. I went back a second time and I left with it lopsided. WTH? She cut it unevenly and so I felt like I needed to tilt my head to the side or put a piece of weave in to make it even. Sigh… At this point, I stopped going to barbers, beauticians, and decided it is just going to be whatever’s on my head. Why pay someone when they are just going to take me back to the starting point?

Fast forward to one year later. I discovered You Tube, Curly Nikki, all these great hairstyles that I know I can’t create on my own. My hair is now long enough and healthy enough that I decided to try one more time to hook up with someone to play in my head. So….I got on a MeetUp page with natural hair chicks and asked for recommendations. I got two great ones! I made my first appointment and she was so excited to see my hair. She fawned over it talkin’ bout “girl your hair does anything I want it to do, I just love it!” (please remember that response in just one second.) I said that’s great and all but “How much is all that going to cost me?” I mean seriously, one of the reasons I went natural was to save money. She gave me the standard 35.00. Sold! I got a cute hairstyle, which I could sleep on and just wake up and fluff! It  lasted for week so I figured I’d hit her up and go back.

Here comes the hard part. So, when I call you and leave a message you normally respond right? No bueno. She didn’t return my call asking for an appointment in a week.  I checked the number, gave it two days, but figured, this is your bizzz, so why you trippin’? Didn’t you luv my hair? blah, blah? Welp. The problem was I had to go out-of-town and you know how important it is to be appropriately coiffed when flying on da plane. I called back getting desperate. This chick ain’t returning my calls? hmpf! So, I got creative and called the shop and asked for ANYBODY who did natural hair. I got an appointment and let out a deep sign of relief! I needed my hair done and this fool was playin’! So why all of a sudden do I get a call from the MIA stylist two days later asking “I heard you were looking for me.” Of course I was twit! But I calmy said,  “I didn’t know if you were too busy so I went ahead and made an appointment because I needed to get out of town-with my hair done.” She ended up doing my  hair after admitting the other stylist couldn’t do it because she wouldn’t be in the shop. So now, I’m pissed. Is this not your business? And are you still in love with my head like you said you were? I’m quietly seething trying to figure things out when she up and says, regardless of what hair style you get, it’s now $65.  My hair is dripping wet, I have 16 hours before I’m on a plane and I’m looking at Ms. “I can’t call you back to make some money.”

Several thoughts ran through my head. DO I stab her now or wait? Whose going to do my head or will I be in jail so it won’t matter? Man, this chick is trippin’ and I paid her the money. LAST TIME. On the plane, I got home and started looking up the other number for hair stylist. It goes to show that it’s a process to find a hair stylist who not only can do your hair, but is consistent and wants to work. This is why I cut my hair off in the first place. Cue the you tube videos because surfed on the plane before realizing I could do the same thing she was doing to my curls. Of course, it will look different so we are back to only using hairstylist only on special occasions. Ain’t this the jinks? But I’m back to savin’ my coins instead of dealing with idiot businesswomen who only respond to text messages. Sorry for the rant. But I hate unprofessionalism in every area of life!

Advertisements

Hair Chronicles: She Needs to Comb Her Hair and other Natural Hair Assumptions


So, I’ve poured over YouTube videos in the past month in an effort to learn different ways to style my hair. I now know my hair is 4c, which means it’s not Christina Milianish or Beyonce-like but moreso India Arie-ish and Lauren Hill post weed-ish. Yea, it’s thick, with really tight curls, and probably the kind of hair that you would readily perm if you didn’t want the bother. Of course I learned this watching countless “how to” videos of twist outs, two strand twists and natural hair updos. It was overwhelming and I realized, this “natural” hair requires the same upkeep as a woman with a perm who has to flat-iron, deep condition and spend hours in the chair before going home and sleeping pretty at night to save her “do”.

Can I be honest? I finally get the tweets and comments that rant so eloquently: “Just because you have natural hair doesn’t mean you don’t have to comb it, comb your hair girl!!! I couldn’t figure out who they were talking about and for a while thought they were being kind of harsh. But after watching the videos, I can see the difference between a woman who styles her hair versus some (me when I first started) who would slick product in that made it curl up and hoped for the best.

I think there’s a certain freedom women with natural hair expect to have. To some, natural means uncombed, or wild and free or basically  less effort. And true enough, if you have a nice curl pattern, spray some water in it and you’re on your way.   It’s weird but even I’ve seen the side eye glances when I don’t glaze my head with pomade and oil to curl my hair. If it’s straight and afro-ish,  the thought is “you obviously  didn’t comb your hair today”. Tsk. Tsk. But if  you put curl activator in it, think Wave  Nouveau from the 90’s, then you must have combed your hair because of the natural waves. Newsflash, Care Free Curl in your head means it’s responding to something other than itself. It’s a trick of the enemy. Seriously.

There’s always a certain amount of pressure to have your hair laid. My boss is Black, and when she talks to me, she starts with my head. If she likes the style that day, she freely looks me in the eye. But don’t let it be too “bushy” even with a cute headband and some pudding pomade junk in it….she just keeps her eyes at forehead level. Shady. But I can go right around the corner to my  co-worker with the 10 yr old dreads who then raves about loving my hair “just the way it is.” I’m confused. Not really, see boss loves perm and India Arie loves natural. See what I’m sayin’?

Natural hair is not for everyone. Mine is best when it’s short because I’m a get up and go woman. But thanks to YouTube, I see the struggle of women everywhere trying to pretend suddenly they are master hair stylists holding up product and bobby pins attempting to convince me my hair is going to curl up just like theirs.  Just stop it. When you had a perm, you went to the shop. You let her trim, cut, perm and color it. Guess what? Nothing’s changed except the texture of your hair. Until you learn how to manage it, you will probably get “forehead” looks from your friends. I’m just saying. I had to tell the truth about this because I couldn’t imagine someone not combing their hair just because it’s natural. It’s a matter of perception so go easy on ’em. It will take them a while, or a decrease in dates and no one wanting to be seen with them, but they’ll get it soon enough. The uncombed head is not cute. So, even if you think you can rock a Solange 70’s fro with nothing on it, (which is  suspect even for her), let a stylist work on your head now and then. This PSA was supported and submitted by a former uncombed head. Even though it took me an hour of struggling every morning and it still looked that way, I have now been set free. Talk to you later. I have a hair appointment in the morning.

Exercising is for the Birds & Other Excuses That Leave Us Fat


Every day after work, I climb on the treadmill. For the past two weeks, I go at least two miles a night, sweating my hair out while my achy knees screech back and forth.  With the exception of tonight, it’s now a part of my daily regimen. See, what had happened was, I couldn’t fit my pants anymore. Well I could but what I mean is I couldn’t fit them without it looking like they were stretch skinny jeans. HORRI-FUL.  And, oh yea.  When I went to the mall and tried on my favorite brand pants, those jokers were squeezing my belly to the point my side was hurting. And that was one size up from what I normally wear. So…….

I had a come to Jesus meeting. You know the one where he tells you he won’t put more on you than you can bear? So I said, well Lord,  I get home so late and once I eat I have to wait 30 minutes and then walk Paisley and go through the bills and at least watch something on tv, right? Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.

My weight is something I can control but only when I do something about it. I’m not overweight by any means, but I’m uncomfortable with my size. And plus, I need a way to relieve stress  after having meetings at work about having meetings and not settling anything  and having to schedule another meeting.  So I got up. And walked to the gym. And it was hard. But I did it. I started with one mile, then said let’s try for a mile and 1/2 the next time. I turned up my ears with  Tyga, Diddy, Katy Perry, Beyonce’, and kept pushing. My  goal was to get up, and then start to think about doing more.

And for the women that sweat in their hair, it’s okay. I struggled with it too until I realized, I have to take care of myself. My hair done is just one way for me to feel good about me.  And if I’m walking around with a cute do’, but unintentionally giving the impression I intended to wear  stretch pants to work, we got a problem. And we all know women who look fabulously made up then start taking a box of pills because they  “all of a sudden” have high blood pressure. They are too cute and the hair is always laid, but no one cares about your hair  if you can’t breathe and then have to take “walk breaks” cuz you losin’ your breath when you go to the outlet mall with your girls.

All I’m saying is do something. Walk. Zumba. Run a block and take your time walking back even if you are wheezing. But start somewhere. We only have one life so why not live it like we care about it?  Put down that pork chop. Or save it for afterwards if you have to.  But get up. And do something. You really are worth it. :)

And oh yea, I’m proud to announce I’m now down two sizes in my favorite pants. Hollaaaaaaaaaaa!

Hair Chronicles: Weaves, Wigs, and Simple reasons why we should love our own hair. #30in30


(as I write this, please note my wig I wore today is lying next to me on the couch)

I’ll never forget the night I was out on a date, walking in cute jeans rockin’ my  bob wig with the wispy bangs  as we walked downtown to hear friends play at a new jazz club.  I had just taken out my microbraids, had my wig cap on underneath my “alternate do” until I could get an appointment to put my hair back in. Notice how I called “my hair.” I didn’t want to perm my real hair so the wig was the easiest choice to cover my eagle’s nest for the time being.  The wind was blowing so I could only turn my head a certain way. He would make a cute joke, and I’d turn my heard towards him, then quickly back so I could make sure my hair was in place. The wind blew so hard one time, the wig shifted and I had to turn the other way to make sure my  cap wasn’t showing. This was way before the clips and half wigs had made their debut into the hair stores. It was a mess. I can laugh now but back then I was trying to be cute fake giggling/grabbing my hair to make sure it didn’t fly off  and I end up looking like I was getting ready to rob a bank.

My hair has always been up for discussion as I’ve tried one style before going long to short to permed then natural then to wigs to weave and back. Sometimes it’s fun, but other times it’s honestly been traumatic. Hair is a deeply personal part of a woman’s image and for Black women, even more so. Ask a black woman to go swimming and you’ll get two responses. “Sure, it’s easy exercise” or “Hell no, I’m not getting my hair wet!!!” Black women will also rip a woman to shreds based on her kitchen or lack of “combed-ness” when it’s natural. It’s the  “pretty perm or die” chicks who would rather have their hair fall out due to disease than let it be chemical free vs. the “you can’t make me comb my hair like a white girl” natural crew. While we shouldn’t be defined by our hair, we can be wise with how we treat it.

The Grio just published an article about the dangers Black women risk when they continually pull and tug at their hair with braids, too tight weaves, and wigs. The article interviews a dermatologist, Dr. Phoenyx who says, “It’s easy to forget about maintaining your own hair when a weave or wig is on top,” says Dr. Phoenyx. “It’s about taking care of what’s underneath — now you have another layer of hair you pay attention to.”

It’s uncomfortable to see Naomi Campbell’s edges or what’s left, but she ain’t the only one.  Black women continue to cover their heads to the detriment of nurturing their real hair. And this includes women with their own mane of healthy hair adding a piece to give themselves the length they see on many reality shows.  What is it that makes us risk our own hair’s health, the best version of us we could give, to take a short cut and stress our “crown and glory?”

Maybe it’s self-inflicted pressure we put on ourselves to hide the stress and toll of not taking care of our spirit and mind.  Maybe it’s the tendency to try to please the men in our lives. And add to that the fact that we neglect being physically fit to save the $60.00 we spent on the perm and cut and we have an unhealthy (but fly lookin’) woman.

I don’t like to wear wearing wigs because I feel like I’m giving a false presentation. Ask the many men who are sadly disappointed when I show up the next day after a date with my baby fro. But I do experiment from time to time with a new hairstyle  when I’m in a bind or just want to exercise daily and and still need to look together for my auditions and work. Fake hair is an alternative and not the solution.  I don’t know about everybody else, but when my hair is done and  it’s  not a question if it’s mine or some Indian lady from overseas, you can’t tell me nothin’. If there’s any reason to give up the weaves, and wigs though, it’s because we are always the best version of ourselves when we use what’s natural to showcase our beauty. So, the next time the wind is blowing, or your coworker suddenly fawns over your long tresses that appeared overnight, or your friend tells you to try a quick weave, remember your real hair is underneath just begging for a chance to shine. Tell your edges to thank me later.