The History of My Head…Er…Hair

Mood: Content

Song: Pioneers by Bloc Party / Sleepyhead by Passion Pit /  If I Ever Feel Better – Phoenix

Drink: Cranberry juice!

Snack: Shortbread cookies

In the beginning I was natural. Until age 14 my hair was constantly in braids with bobbles[bubbles], hair clips, and beads attached to them. I was born with a thick afro and I maintained it until my mother had had enough on my 14th birthday. That day I got 2 words of advice:

1. Don’t detangle your hair in the shower while you shampoo.

2. Use a brush with nubby ends.

From that day on I rocked a low ponytail through middle school until I got a third word of advice:

3. Get rid of that rat tail.

So I wore my hair straight without any protective measures. I wrapped my head at night when I could be bothered to remember. By now I was in high school and stretching the boundaries of my religion at the time by falling in love with the Goth and Rave scenes. [A little secret: I still love both.] Sophomore year I met my bestest friend in the whole world and she opened my eyes to fake hair and how obtainable it was thanks to these magical places called beauty supply stores.

I made dreads with her and at home I worked on my wig making skills. I never wore these mind you. We made the dreads into falls and wore them for parties and Otakon 2008 but the wig came out too small. There was no dabbling with wefted hair until senior prom. It didn’t turn out like I wanted so I was put off until college when I helped produce the stage show Rent and some of those girls needed a little help filling out the styles we had in mind for them. Eventually, I was finally put in my place about my ‘rebellious deeds’ and when I went to college I wandered around in either a high bun or high pigtail buns. I slept with my hair like that without a wrap as usual.

Can anyone say: epic breakage?

It wasn’t until after my first year of college when I was bit by the faux bug again and started wearing fake hair almost exclusively. I lied. There was a dorm hosted rave in the basement so I made some awesome yarn falls. I started experimenting with wefted hair and making wigs with it, blending textures and colours. I also started to make dreads again but this time to be braided into my hair. I think I wore my dreads and my homemade wigs to work for the first year and a half until I fell back into my high bun habit. When I went from intern to permanent I found full synth wigs and soon after that lace front wigs for the sake of professionalism. In the event of an extended vacation or weekend getaway I would install dreads (wool and synthetic) for a no nonsense and maintenance free good time. But for the most part I continued to wear wigs until last Friday.

I’m not saying I won’t ever wear a wig again. I still love wigs and fake hair with a passion second to crafting. In fact, I just bought a cheap wig to make a dread wig for when the urge to wear dreads becomes too much. I just won’t wear wigs on a regular basis and try to pass it off as my own anymore. Especially lace wigs. I believe the lace is the main factor for my thin hairline in the front.

At some point during this history I went from relaxing my hair completely straight to texturizing, which is pretty much a relaxer but weaker, for curly yet manageable hair. I don’t know why or when I decided to do this. All I know is that until recently I didn’t even know wearing your own Universe-given hair was even a thing. My best friend was natural for a long while but she decided to get dreads after a while which only solidified subconscious my idea about natural hair: natural hair is unmanageable, ugly, and good for nothing but locs.

I’m pretty thankful I don’t think like that anymore. Now I respect the uniqueness of natural hair. For years I’ve had people tell me that they wish they had my hair and my response was always whenever they wanted to switch, I would be up for it. I’m sure that at some point during this adventure – when detangling just doesn’t seem possible, when single strand knots run rampant through my doo, when my routine doesn’t fit into the 20 minutes I have – I’ll feel that way again and during those times I hope I can keep away from the creamy crack, braid my hair out of the way and throw a wig over it for a while until I feel better.

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