THE WEAVE WONDER

andreas

I have never understood the relationship between men and weaves. Nearly all men want the ladies to keep it natural. The amusing thing is that these men won’t recognize a head with a weave if it hit them. In time, the hairdressers have learnt how to fix them without the bumps. Of course there are the extremes. These weaves should only be reserved for hair shows. A weave can be so big enough it forms another head on top of the real head.

I think these types of hairs are what convinced one radio host that we ladies can’t be trusted. He said that he couldn’t marry a lady until he knew the shape of her head. His claim was that some females (they call us that these days) wear weaves back to back and you can date one for a whole year without ever seeing her natural hair.

I have fixed a weave. I have fixed a bulky curly mess of a weave. I will still blame Tyra for this hair inspiration. I watched lots of The Tyra Banks Show in my younger years. I had gotten a two-week job during a college break as a front office lady. I wanted to impress.

I love shopping for hair stuff. Some girls find it therapeutic to shop for clothes and shoes. I find it stressful, especially shopping for shoes. I grew into my big feet but the world has yet to make my size. Nothing fits. So I love hair shopping. It took me one hour or more to pick my best weave choice. I had a fantastic time.

I had been advised by a friend on the beauty salon to go. This was my first time fixing a weave. Being so ignorant about this kind of thing I chose to consult those experienced in the field. And experienced she was. Beryl, that’s her name, was one of those ladies you would never see without a hair extension. She is very beautiful; tall, dark and slim. She also had a wicked sense of humour. Apart from my sisters, she is the only lady who got my jokes (read sarcasm).

I find it very intimidating going to a salon, especially a new one. You would think you have the power since you are the one with the money. Oh no, it doesn’t work like that in the salons. These ladies, they have the power. You come with some airs; you may leave the salon with what looks like a bird’s nest on your head.

Not only was this hairdresser talking in a tongue foreign to my ears to her colleagues, she was also pulling my hair like crazy. I did not want to be impolite and interrupt. I figured that this could be my first lesson on torture. When they were done, I congratulated myself on not breaking. However I didn’t like what I saw looking back at me on the mirror. I looked wild. It was like I had gone through a tornado and my hair was telling the story. The hair covered half of my face. They told me that I looked nice. It was late and I knew some of them were sitting impatiently waiting for me to get done and go. Don’t trust the ladies.

I managed to reach at the hostel safely even with the hair impairing my sight. Beryl was polite about my look. It was her hairdresser after all. Also, she is more human than I am. I am honest to a fault. This is a nice way of saying that I am blunt and downright tactless.

Once she came from the salon with the weirdest style ever. There is a weave that usually has a strip standing tall at the top of the head. This could be the one she used. It was a short weave. It appeared like an inverted hat that opened out at the front.

I saw her and burst out laughing. She smiled awkwardly at me. I tried to be polite and muffed my laughs with a pillow. “Is it that bad?”

“It is okay I guess,” I replied. I was grinning. It was all I could do not to laugh.

“I thought so.” She understood what okay actually meant. “The ladies gushed at how pretty I looked.”

“Never trust the ladies!”

She picked a mirror.

“If there is anyone who can pull it off, it’s you,” I encouraged her. She got rid of it the following day.

We love weaves because they let our hair rest. Don’t wear them all the time though. Your hair might want to rest but remember it also needs to breathe. Also, don’t let the hairdresser pull your hair. The edges are the most delicate and weak part of your hair. Constant pulling will lead to balding. Do you want that? Lastly, let your significant other see the shape of your head.

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A GIRL’S QUEST FOR LONG HAIR: PART III

lupita

I kept the hair. With the coastal climate, it was usually limp. It started getting a tint and I would cut it often to keep it looking full. A thought of shaving it never occurred to me (that is, while I was still in college. It occurred a few years later as you will soon find out). How could I survive looking like a boy? I’d rather keep the limp hair than have no hair.

With time, nothing seemed to salvage my hair. The time and the relaxers had started taking toll on it. It was damaged and weak because of the over processing. I had used relaxers since I was thirteen years. What was the point of it all? I had long hair, so what? I decided to cut it. This was much later, after my college days. It was in the stage of ‘finding myself’.

I didn’t do it in the Stone Cold style I had donned in my earlier years with the assistance of the master barber. I cut it short in the Lupita style. It was a bold step but then again I was finding myself.

It is always scary to cut hair after having it for more than ten years. You can’t remember the shape of your head. What if my head looked like an avocado seed? I remembered a girl in high school who told me that my hair looked funny when I held it because I had a bump at the middle of my head. I never saw the bump but what if others could see it? I tried to picture my childhood birthday photos. I knew I had a big head but I consoled myself that I had grown into it just as I had grown into my hands and feet.

I now have short natural hair. Technically not so short but with natural hair, you can never tell. I put down blow-driers and relaxers. I decided to start afresh. It is so funny, I have embraced the things that I was in such a hurry to leave.  The Alleluia comb, the coconut oil; the simple things my mum had tried to teach me.

I believe all hairs are beautiful. I believe that natural hair is the most beautiful. I have dropped the chase for the long straight hair. I have embraced the curly, coily and kinky that my natural hair is. Natural hair has helped me learn a lot. People ask me, “How can you keep your hair like that? I would look horrendous!” I tell them that confidence is the key. If you believe in your beauty, everyone around will believe in it too.